We are offering a PhD fellowship in Epidemiology commencing March 15, 2021 or as soon as possible hereafter.

Our group and research
Section of Epidemiology contributes to the development of the field of theoretical epidemiology, with a specific focus on causal inference, complexity and life course epidemiology. The dynamic interplay between genes, environment and health across the life course and across generations are objects of research in the section. Jensen Group is part of the Novo Nordisk Challenge project “Harnessing the Power of Big Data to Address the Societal Challenge of Ageing” together with the Center for Healthy Aging and Statistics Denmark and the primary field of research of the group is identification and evaluation of biomarkers and novel metabolic markers of aging (fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dementia) and disease progression.  https://www.dataforgood.science

Project description

The project will study the interrelationship of adverse metabolic health with dementia and will examine plasma biomarkers, specifically non-esterified fatty acids (NEFAs), in relation to cognitive decline and risk of dementia. The pathogenesis of dementia overlaps substantially with that of type 2 diabetes and related glycemic disorders. NEFAs play a role in metabolic pathogenesis such as impairing insulin signalling resulting in insulin resistance and can furthermore cross the blood-brain barrier, thus might be a key metabolic risk factor for dementia. The project aims to measure and relate total and individual NEFAs to dementia, cognitive decline, vascular and atrophic brain abnormalities. It extends beyond epidemiology to determine whether total or individual NEFAs can be leveraged therapeutically, but also by testing their use as biomarkers to identify subjects most likely to respond to therapy (e.g., targets for precision medicine).

Register based studies on the association between dementia and different metabolic disorders is also expected to be performed in the project. We are therefore seeking a candidate with an interdisciplinary profile bridging biology and epidemiology.

Principal supervisor is Professor Majken K. Jensen, Department of Public Health, maje@sund.ku.dk

Start:                  March 15, 2021

Duration:          3 years as a PhD student

Job description
Your key tasks as a PhD student at SUND are:

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision
  • Complete PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS points
  • Participate in active research environments including a stay at another research team
  • Obtain experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project
  • Teach and disseminate your knowledge
  • Write a PhD thesis on the grounds of your project

Key criteria for the assessment of applicants
Applicants must have qualifications corresponding to a master’s degree related to the subject area of the project e.g. a Master of Science in public health, human biology, medicine, computational biomedicine, bioinformatics, biostatistics or another degree with a focus on data analysis, biology, and biomarkers.

Other important criteria are:

  • The grade point average achieved
  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project: data analysis, physiological understanding, laboratory experience.
  • Previous publications
  • Relevant work experience
  • Other professional activities
  • Curious mind-set
  • Language skills: The workplace language is English, but some command of Danish will be needed as the project will use a wide variety of data sources that are primarily documented in Danish

Place of employment

The place of employment is at the Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment.

Terms of employment
The employment as PhD fellow is full time and for 3 years.

It is conditioned upon the applicant’s successful enrolment as a PhD student at the Graduate School at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.

The PhD study must be completed in accordance with The Ministerial Order on the PhD programme (2013) and the Faculty’s rules on achieving the degree. Salary, pension and terms of employment are in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. Depending on seniority, the monthly salary begins around 27.550 DKK /approx. 3.700 EUR (April 2020-level) plus pension.

For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact the principal supervisor.

General information about PhD study at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences is available at the Graduate School’s website: https://healthsciences.ku.dk/phd/guidelines/

Application procedure
Your application must be submitted electronically by clicking ‘Apply now’. The application must include the following documents in PDF format: 

  1. Motivated letter of application (max. one page)
  2. CV incl. education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  3. Master of Science diploma and transcript of records. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor will do
  4. Publication list (if possible)

Application deadline: January 22, 2021, 23.59pm CET

We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

The further process
After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the hiring committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an unbiased assessor.

The assessor makes a non-prioritized assessment of the academic qualifications and experience with respect to the above-mentioned area of research, techniques, skills and other requirements listed in the advertisement.

Once the assessment work has been completed 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 https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/

The applicant will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.

Interviews are expected to be held in week 6.

The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences comprises approximately 7500 students, 1500 PhD students and 3200 employees. The Faculty advances the field of health sciences through its core activities: research, teaching, knowledge sharing and communication. With basic research fields ranging from molecular studies to studies of society, the Faculty contributes to a healthy future through its graduates, research findings and inventions benefitting patients and the community. The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position. 


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