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University of Copenhagen PhD Scholarship, Denmark

Publish Date: Apr 20, 2016

Deadline: May 13, 2016

Using citizen science to examine behavior, resource use, biodiversity, and distributions of ants in Denmark

Applications are invited for a PhD scholarship at the Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. The PhD candidate will start as soon as October 1, 2016 and be enrolled for three years.

Project description

The PhD project is part of a newly funded citizen science project called Ant Hunt, which will engage children in Danish schools in discovering ant biodiversity in Denmark. The project will rely on data collected by the public, as well as data collected by the students, the research team, and other collaborators in Europe and elsewhere around the world. This project is part of a larger study led by Rob Dunn and Nate Sanders that tests hypotheses about the macroecology, community ecology, resource use, and behavioral ecology of ants, while engaging and encouraging the public to participate in the scientific endeavor. The student will not only get a chance to develop and ask and address exciting questions at the forefront of biodiversity science, but she will also have the opportunity to engage in public outreach within the Natural History Museum of Denmark.

PhD supervisors
Rob Dunn and Nate Sanders. 

Qualifications and competences

Successful applicants will have completed a Masters Degree or equivalent in ecology, entomology, or biology by September 30, 2016. The strongest applicants will have (1) experience working with insects (preferably ants), (2) at least an awareness of quantitative analyses within the R statistical environment, and (3) enthusiasm for field work and working with the public. It is expected that the strongest applicant will have strong skills in written and spoken English; ability to speak and write in Danish is not a requirement for this position.  Experience working with the public will be seen as a plus, as will enthusiasm for participating in conferences and outreach activities at the museum and elsewhere.

The position is available for a 3-year period and your key tasks as a PhD student at SCIENCE are:

• To manage and carry through your research project
• Attend PhD courses
• Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
• Teach and disseminate your research
• To stay at an external research institution for a few months, preferably

Place of employment

The PhD student will be employed by the Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen ( and will work at the Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate (CMEC), a Center of Excellence directly funded by the Danish National Research Foundation ( CMEC is also part of the Biodiversity Section in the Natural History Museum of Denmark. CMEC is a long-term funded center of excellence with a cross-disciplinary research program addressing fundamental questions on the origin, maintenance, conservation and future of life and biological diversity on Earth. The 40+ researchers at the center currently represent 18 different nationalities and the working language is English.

The student will also interact closely with Pernille Hjort’s group in the Department of Public Engagement at the Natural History Museum of Denmark at the University of Copenhagen. The mission of the department is to create a sustained interest and knowledge within science and natural history among children, teenagers and adults throughout Denmark. This is done through events, education and projects – and by working with authentic scientific issues, methods and problems to increase the motivation and understanding. The department develops and delivers high quality knowledge and teaching based on the museum’s research, collections and exhibitions.

Salary and conditions

The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.
Terms of appointment and payment are in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Federation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State (AC). The starting salary for candidates with an MSc degree will be a minimum of DKK 306,667 per year plus pension contribution DKK 42,338 with the possibility of salary negotiation.
Information about working conditions and taxes is available at the University website for International Staff Mobility:
General information about PhD programs at the Phd School of SCIENCE is available at

Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact Professor Nathan Sanders at

Application procedure

Applicants should write their application in English and submit it electronically. Please include all of the following:

• Application letter (max 1 page)
• A statement of potential research ideas related to the (vague)
  description of the project (max 1 page)
• A statement of your views and experience in engaging with the public
  in research (max 1 page)
• Description of previous research experience (max 0.5 page)
• Curriculum vitae, including applicant’s e-mail address and telephone 
   number (max. 3 pages)
• University transcripts
• The names and email addresses of at least three professional

The deadline for applications is May 13, 2016.

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee. Afterwards an assessment committee will be appointed to evaluate the selected applications. The applicants will be notified of the composition of the committee and the final selection of a successful candidate will be made by the Head of Department, based on the recommendations of the assessment committee and the interview committee.
The main criterion for selection will be the research potential of the applicant and the above mentioned skills. The successful candidate will then be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD school of Science. You can read more about the recruitment process at

Applications received after the deadline, or with insufficient documentation or otherwise not complying with the above requirements, will not be considered. It is expected that the successful candidate will be enrolled at the PhD School of the Faculty of Science starting by October 1, 2016.

The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.


This opportunity has expired. It was originally published here:

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