PhD Fellowship in Protein Self-assembly and Aggregation for Biomaterials 2018, Denmark

University of Copenhagen


September 10, 2018


Opportunity Cover Image - PhD Fellowship in Protein Self-assembly and Aggregation for Biomaterials 2018, Denmark

PhD fellowship in protein self-assembly and aggregation for biomaterials

The Department of Pharmacy is offering a three-year PhD fellowship in in protein self-assembly and aggregation for biomaterials. The PhD fellowship is be part of a 5-year research project titled “Protein Superstructures as Smart Biomaterials (ProSmart)”, financed by a “Villum Young Investigator Grant” to Associate Professor Vito Foderà (personal website and research profile at KU). The project will be based at the excellent research environment of the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Copenhagen and in collaboration with the “Center for Biopharmaceuticals and Biobarriers in Drug Delivery”, the Department of Chemistry at the University of Copenhagen and the University of Cambridge (UK). The fellowship is available from 01.12.2018 or as soon as possible thereafter.  
Project description  
Biomaterials are expected to play a major contribution to the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals as well as for applications in tissue engineering, bio-sensing and drug delivery. In connection to these fields, having tunable materials whose properties can be rationally controlled is necessary and still remains a major challenge. The project has as a main objective to develop a platform for the rational design of highly tunable protein-based materials for drug delivery. To reach this goal, optical, UV and IR spectroscopies in combination with small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and quantitative modeling will be mainly employed.  
The successful applicant will specifically work on the analysis of protein aggregate kinetics, with the aim of providing a connection between inter-protein interactions and the temporal feature of the reaction. He/she will work closely with a biophysicist/biochemist Postdoc (focusing on aggregate characterization) and, lately in the project, with a cell biologist Postdoc (mainly focusing on the application of the different protein self-assembled structures as efficient delivery systems of biologically-relevant compounds). All these projects will also benefit of the existing projects currently running in the group (1 Postdoc and 2 PhD students).  
Principal supervisor  
Associate Professor Vito Foderà, Department of Pharmacy, Email:, tel. +45 35336131).  
Required qualifications  
As an applicant you must have:  
  • Obtained a Master´s degree in in (bio)physics, (bio)chemistry, nanotechnology, biology, pharmaceutical sciences or related areas prior to the starting date  
  • Fluency in English and excellent communication skills  
  • Capability of working at the interface between different disciplines  
  • Embrace of an international research environment  
Preferred qualifications  
We are looking for a highly motivated individual with proofs of a strong background in/experience with one or several of the fields mentioned below:  
  • protein science  
  • protein-based materials and protein aggregation  
  • structural biology  
  • theoretical modeling of bio-molecular self-assembly  
  • biophysical characterization of protein samples  
  • microscopy-based techniques  
  • optical and IR spectroscopy  
  • Matlab programming or equivalent  
Job description  
Your key tasks as a PhD fellow at the Faculty are to:  
  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision  
  • Write scientific articles and the PhD thesis on the grounds of your research project  
  • Complete PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS points  
  • Obtain experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project  
  • Participate in the undergraduate teaching of students in pharmaceutical sciences  
  • Participate in national and international congresses and scientific meetings  
  • Stay at an external research institution, preferably abroad  
Key criteria for the assessment of applicants  
  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD programme  
  • Relevant work experience  
  • Previous publications  
  • The grade point average achieved  
  • Other professional activities  
  • Language skills  
  • The successful applicant is also required to be enterprising and to possess good interpersonal skills  
Formal requirements  
The successful applicant will be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences according to the rules stipulated in the Ministerial order on the PhD programme at the universities (PhD order) from the Ministry of Science, Innovation, and Higher Education and the guidelines for the PhD programme at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.  
The PhD student is expected to be affiliated to the graduate programme in pharmaceutical sciences, Drug Research Academy.  
Terms of employment  
The position as a PhD fellow is available for a 3-year period.  
Salary and other terms and conditions of appointment are set in accordance with the Agreement between the Ministry of Finance and AC (Danish Confederation of Professional Associations) or other relevant professional organizations. The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure. Minimum monthly salary is DKK 26,754.55 (taxable) + pension contribution.  
Application procedure  
The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.  
Your application must include:  
  • Cover letter: Letter stating the interest in and qualifications for the project (max. one page)  
  • Full CV  
  • Diploma and transcripts of records: Master´s degree diploma (including grade transcripts for bachelor´s and master´s degrees). Applicants with a Master´s degree from abroad should also enclose a short description of the grading scale used  
  • Possible publication list  
  • Max. 1 recommendation letter.  
  • Names, e-mails, telephone numbers and addresses of 1 or 2 other referees.  
The University of Copenhagen wishes to encourage everyone interested in this post to apply, regardless of personal background.  
Deadline for applications: 10.09.2018. Please note that only online applications will be accepted. Applications received later than this date will not be considered.  
Post application procedure  
After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Appointments Committee.  
All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an expert assessment committee.  
Selected applicants are notified of the composition of the committee and each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself. You can read about the recruitment process at  
The Appointments Committee consists of the supervision group and the Head of Department who is the authorized recruitment manager. The Expert Assessment Committee consists of the principal supervisor.  
Selected candidates will be called for interviews that will be held around mid-October 2018. An answer as to the granting of the fellowship can be expected approx. 6 weeks after application deadline.  
For further information, applicants may contact the supervisor or Administrator Marianne W. Jørgensen, e-mail:, direct phone: +45 3533 6449.  


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Publish Date
August 06, 2018
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