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211-1799/24-2H 1-2 PhD Fellowships in machine learning for protein function

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Universitetsparken 13, 2100 København Ø, Danmark

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1-2 PhD Fellowships in machine learning for protein function
Machine Learning for LIfe Science (MLLS), Department of Biology
Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen

The Machine Learning for LIfe Science (MLLS) Center invites applications for 1-2 PhD Fellow positions starting in September 2024, or as soon as possible after that. The positions are carried out within the scope of MLLS and the CAZAI project, both of which are funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation Data Science Initiative. The Department of Biology and the Pioneer Centre for AI, Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen will host the PhD candidates.

About the MLLS Center
The Machine Learning for Life Science Center is currently funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation until the end of 2026. The principal investigators are from the Department of Computer Science and Biology, University of Copenhagen and DTU Compute, Technical University of Denmark and all are working on machine learning methodology inspired by applications in life and natural sciences. The Pioneer Centre for Artificial Intelligence at University of Copenhagen serves as host for the Center’s activities.

For more information on the Center's activities and researchers, please see http://mlls.dk.

About the CAZAI project
Cazyme specificity prediction using AI (CAZAI) is a collaborative research project headed by professor Bernard Henrissat, DTU Bioengineering, Technical University of Denmark (DTU) with Co-PIs, professor Ole Winther, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen (UCPH) and Research engineer Renaud Vincentelli, Aix-Marseille University. CAZAI is funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation and runs until the end of 2027. The project aims at improving the functional characterization of carbohydrate-active enzymes through predictive machine learning and experimental data collection and validation. The advertised positions will have Ole Winther as main supervisor.

The PhD projects
The PhD positions aim at

  1. improving models for detailed functional predictions for protein in general and carbohydrate-active enzymes in particular and
  2. developing general machine learning methodology inspired by the applications to sequence and structure based bioinformatics.
Who are we looking for?
We invite applications from outstanding candidates with a background in machine learning preferably with excellent knowledge about biology and/or bioengineering. A strong motivation for doing multidisciplinary research is mandatory.

Research projects involving both fundamental machine learning methods development and working tightly with the bioengineering collaborators in the project at DTU Bioengineering to advance the state of the art in functional prediction. Positions are available for three years.

The PhD programme
The PhD programme offered is three years of full-time study within the framework of the regular PhD programme (5+3 scheme).

Qualifications needed: To be eligible for the regular PhD programme, you must have completed a degree programme, equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (180 ECTS/3 FTE BSc + 120 ECTS/2 FTE MSc) related to the subject area of the project, e.g. Computer science, Machine learning, Bioinformatics or other related technical disciplines. For information of eligibility of completed programmes, see General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database.

Terms of employment in the regular programme
Employment as PhD fellow is full time and for maximum 3 years.

Employment is conditional upon your successful enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD School at the Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.

The terms of employment and salary are in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State (AC). The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.

Responsibilities and tasks in the PhD programme

● Carry through an independent research project under supervision
● Complete PhD courses corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS / ½ FTE
● Participate in active research environments, including a stay at another research institution, preferably abroad
● Teaching and knowledge dissemination activities
● Write scientific papers aimed at high-impact journals
● Write and defend a PhD thesis on the basis of your project

We are looking for the following qualifications:
● Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
● Relevant work experience
● Relevant publications
● Other relevant professional activities
● Curious mind-set with a strong interest in the research themes of MLLS and CAZAI
● Excellent English language skills

Application and Assessment Procedure
Your application, including all attachments, must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include:

  1. A statement describing your research interests, experience and background, and your motivation for applying for a PhD position at the Department of Biology (maximum two pages, text, figures and references included).
  2. Curriculum vitae including information about your education, experience, any publications, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  3. Original diplomas for Bachelor of Science or Master of Science and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in another language than English or Danish. If the education is not yet completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is accepted.
  4. Publication list (if possible)
  5. Reference letters (if available)
Application deadline:
The deadline for applications is 30 April 2024, 23:59 GMT +2.

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 deadline, a number of applicants will be selected for academic assessment by an unbiased expert assessor. You are notified whether you will be passed for assessment.

The assessor will assess the qualifications and experience of the shortlisted applicants with respect to the above-mentioned research area, techniques, skills and other requirements. The assessor will conclude whether each applicant is qualified and, if so, for which of the two models. The assessed applicants will have the opportunity to comment on their assessment. You can read about the recruitment process at http://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/.

Interviews with selected candidates are expected to be held in May/June 2024.

Questions
For specific information, please contact Ole Winther ([email protected]).

General information about PhD study at the Faculty of SCIENCE is available at the PhD School’s website: https://www.science.ku.dk/phd/.

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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