The International Doctoral Programme ‘Discovering treatment from biomedical research’ (DISCOVER)

Up to 10 fully funded PhD positions at Biotech Research and Innovation Centre (BRIC), University of Copenhagen

Application deadline August 7, 2022

Are you:

  • Scientifically curious and determined to go for a PhD degree?
  • Eager to understand why diseases arise and how new treatments can be developed?
  • Driven to strengthen your scientific creativity and independent thinking?

Up to 10 PhD positions are open at BRIC, University of Copenhagen (UCPH) for talented young researchers who want to pursue a PhD degree in biomedical research. The scheme is co-funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 101034291.

Why apply to the DISCOVER programme?

DISCOVER offers young researchers a unique opportunity to join an international and interdisciplinary PhD program within biomedicine. DISCOVER offers research training in an international and modern research environment at the university (main research supervision) and formalized collaboration with one of the neighbouring hospitals (clinical co-supervision). The training programme seek to empower all students to fully exploit the potential of their talent. The aim is to nurture scientific creativity and translational abilities, and to provide the groundwork for a career track in academia, the hospital sector or industry. The programme further seeks to empower a new generation of responsible researchers with focus on reducing the environmental footprints of research.

About the programme

DISCOVER will in total recruit 24 fellows over three calls during 2021-2023. The programme offers 36-months fully funded positions, attractive employment and salary conditions with enrolment as PhD-student at the Graduate School of Health and Medical Sciences, UCPH. Each fellow will work with an original biomedical research project in one of BRIC’s laboratories. Clinical co-supervision will be part of each project to develop the translational potential of the project. An individual career development plan containing research and transferable courses, international research visits, mentoring and career activities, is a central element ensuring career progress throughout the training. Please visit for more information on the program.

About BRIC

BRIC is a top research centre and our researchers have made seminal contributions in the field of epigenetics, cancer biology, stem cell biology, neurobiology and bioinformatics. The centre is located in modern buildings with state-of-the art facilities and counts 250 employees and more than 60% international researchers. The daily language is English. We have an open and collaborative environment with a focus on equality and inclusiveness. A student association offers network and social activities. BRIC is part of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen. The faculty’s Graduate School has 22 specialized PhD programs and the DISCOVER fellows will be enrolled into the programme for Molecular Mechanisms of Disease (, coordinated by BRIC. Please visit for more information on centre.

Candidate eligibility

The programme is open for motivated researchers with a master’s degree and maximum three years of experience since issuing of the degree at the time of application. Applicants with an MD can have up to five years of experience. Prolonged career breaks are taken into account upon documentation (parental leave, illness, military- or civil service). As a prerequisite for a PhD fellowship employment in Denmark, your master’s degree must be equivalent to a Danish master’s degree. We encourage you to read more in the assessment database: Please note that we might an assessment of your education performed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science. Also, mobility is required, and applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activities (work, study etc.) for more than 12 months in Denmark in the 3 years immediately prior to the call deadline. Further, applicants may not have been employed at UCPH more than three months prior to the application deadline.

Key selection criteria

The selection process includes these steps of evaluation: eligibility check, evaluation of application material, interview with selection committee and match making with applicant and potential hosts. The selection will be merit-based, using weighed criteria in three defined areas: Education and track record, Scientific potential and Motivation – see the guide for applicants.

Application procedure

Deadline for application is August 7th, 2022. The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below. The applicant MUST use the provided mandatory templates (the mandatory templates can be downloaded on the Discover webpage) and include the following: 

  • Motivation letter/Cover letter
  • CV (mandatory template)
  • Eligibility declaration (mandatory template)
  • List of 2-3 referees (mandatory template)
  • Certified copy of original master diploma and transcripts records in the original language, including an Authorized English translation if issued in other language than English*
  • Documentation of English test **
  • Documentation for career breaks (if any)
  • Other relevant information for consideration

* The master’s degree needs to be completed so that the diploma is issued no later than start of the fellowship (January 1st, 2023). If the master’s degree is not completed at time of application, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is required.

** Please read here if you need to upload an English test If the test not available at the time of application, copy of an English test will be required at time of interview.

As a prerequisite for a PhD fellowship employment, your master’s degree must be equivalent to a Danish master’s degree. We encourage you to read more in the assessment database: Please note that we might ask you to obtain an assessment of your education performed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science.

Please carefully read the detailed description of the eligibility critia and requirements for the application in the  Applicant’s Guide found at Receipts of the applications will be acknowledged, and the applicant will be kept continuously informed of the progress of the application. All applications must be received by the application deadline.


Timeline of call

  • Opening of call: June 7st, 2022.
  • Application deadline: August 7th, 2022
  • Evaluation and selection of candidates: August-September 2022.
  • Online interviews with selection committee: September 27-28th.    
  • Online host interviews: Week 41+42
  • Answers to applicants: End October-Early November
  • Time for employment: January 1st, 2023


For more information about the process, guidelines or the application system, please contact DISCOVER Programme manager: Jette Gjerke Hemmingsen,


Application deadline: All applications, in English, must be received August 7th, 2022. A full set of application material including use of mandatory DISCOVER templates must be submitted. Applications not containing all required documents will not be processed.

Terms of employment and salary

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions offer attractive salary and working conditions. 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 and according to the rules and regulations laid down by European Union’s Horizon 2020 Marie S. Curie COFUND programme. Depending on seniority, the monthly salary begins around 28,448.54 (aprox. 3.824 EUR) plus pension as a PhD fellow plus pension as a PhD fellow

The appointment as PhD fellow is for 3 years. It is conditioned upon the candidates’ successful enrolment in the Faculty of Health and Medical Science’s PhD school. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the candidate and supervisor during an initial short-term employment of 3 months as a research assistant.  

The PhD study must be completed in accordance with The Ministerial Order on the PhD programme (2013) and the University’s rules on achieving the degree.  


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