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PhD fellow in Traceable Pharmaceuticals

Department of Computer Science (DIKU)
Faculty of Science

University of Copenhagen

The Department of Computer Science (DIKU), Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen (UCPH) is offering a PhD scholarship in secure track-and-trace technology for personalized medicine commencing August 1st, 2021, or as soon as possible thereafter.

Description of the scientific environment
The Programming Languages and Theory of Computing (PLTC) Section at DIKU researches foundational and applied aspects of programming languages and systems for functional programming, high-performance computing, machine learning, probabilistic programming, decentralized systems and more, with a wide variety of applications including digital health and sustainable production in collaboration with other sections, departments and partners.

DIKU offers a research environment at the highest international level. The working language is English. Denmark is among the countries with the highest English language proficiency index. The workplace is on the North Campus of UCPH, located ten minutes from the city center of Copenhagen, which is consistently ranked among the world's most livable cities.

Project description
The Track & Trace -- Traceable Pharmaceuticals project is an interdisciplinary project in collaboration with the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UCPH. Its objective is designing innovative personalized pharmaceutical products linked to a decentralized proof-of-concept platform for secure (confidential and privacy preserving) tamper-proof event recording, product tracking, user authentication and access authorization. The data collected from individuals is to be used for generating a spectrum of dosage units, simulating their use on a specific patient at particular time in their treatment, based on rich health data to facilitate individualized optimal dosing. Ultimately, this new supply chain is envisaged to enable more precise and safe medication.

This PhD fellowship is hosted at DIKU and focuses on the computer science aspects of Track & Trace. The project is to address questions such as: How can individual tablets be securely serialized, that is reliably identified for digital tracking and yet guaranteed not to be physically or digitally forgeable? How can sensitive fine-grained personal health data from smart phones, health trackers, blood pressure monitors or similar be used as real-time input to personalized dosage optimization, while preserving the patient’s control over their data and providing an auditable provenance of their use? How can models of the predicted effects of a tablet be described in a domain-specific language (DSL) for pharmaceutical engineers that encapsulates and facilitates dosage optimization based on fine-grained individual time series data? How can a variety of techniques such as data analytics/heuristic methods, deep learning and/or probabilistic programming be employed ``under the hood’’ without hardwiring them into the DSL?

While driven by pharmaceutical products for personalized medicine, the expected outcome is novel models, techniques and demonstrations for secure identification, tracking and tracing of physical resources in general.

This fellowship is complemented by a PhD fellowship in Prof. Jukka Rantanens research group at the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, which has the pharmacology research expertise and production facilities for individualized printing of tablets.

Principal supervisor is Professor Fritz Henglein, Department of Computer Science (DIKU). Email: Direct Phone: +45-30589576.

Job description
The position is available for a 3-year period. 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 a PhD dissertation
  • Teach and disseminate your research
  • To stay at an external research institution for a few months, preferably abroad
  • Work for the department
Formal requirements
Applicants should hold an MSc degree in computer science or equivalent with solid academic credentials in algorithms, programming languages, systems, data science/machine learning. Prior knowledge of decentralized systems (based on blockchain and distributed ledger technology), security and privacy techniques (hardware, systems and/or cryptography) are advantageous, but not required. An active interest in a cross-disciplinary research agenda and research interactions to improve digital health is vital. You are expected to have good English skills. As criteria for the assessment of your qualifications, emphasis will also be put on previous publications (if any) and relevant work experience.

Terms of employment
The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

The starting salary is currently at a minimum DKK 330,817 (approx. €44,108) including annual supplement (+ pension at a minimum DKK 53,761). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

Integrated MSc and PhD Scheme
The position is also available for candidates who are (or are eligible to be) enrolled at one of the faculty’s master programmes in computer science or other relevant area. The duration of the integrated programme depends on the amount of credits that you have passed on your MSc programme. For further information about the study programme please see:, “Study Structures”.

Scholarship and terms of employment for integrated MSc and PhD
PhD grant portions (Ph.D.-SU klip)
In the period up to the completion of the MSc programme (up to three years), the student is entitled to so-called PhD grant portions. The grant portions are financed by the grant donor but not by the Danish State Educational Grant and Loan Scheme Agency (as is the case for the ordinary study grant portions on the BSc and MSc programmes). They are called PhD grant portions because this kind of remuneration is regulated and described in the Executive Order on the State Educational Grant and Loan Scheme in Denmark (SU-bekendtgørelsen), and because the value of a PhD grant portion corresponds to the value of an ordinary Danish study grant portion. Students are awarded 48 PhD grant portions during the period of their MSc and PhD studies.

48 PhD grant portions at DKK 6,243 each, corresponding to DKK 299,664 (approx. €39,955).

'Duty work'
As a supplement to the PhD grant portions, the student may, in accordance with the collective agreement of the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC), be offered 'duty work'. In the period up to the completion of the MSc programme, students performing 'duty work' are paid by the hour. UCPH has decided to offer students on integrated MSc and PhD schemes 150 hours of 'duty work' per year during Part A of the programme (until two years of the combined programme of study remain). 'Duty work' during Part A if it has a duration of three years: 450 hours at a rate of DKK 219.58 (+ 12.5% holiday pay), corresponding to DKK 111,163 (approx. €14,821)

For further information about Part A please see:

Salary in accordance with the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC)
In the period after the completion of the MSc programme, the student is employed as a PhD scholar and is remunerated in accordance with the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC). The scheme is arranged in such a way that students graduate from the MSc programme at a time when there are two years left of the integrated programme. For this reason, the salary must be paid for a period of two years in accordance with the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC). The amounts specified include a supplement locally agreed upon as well as pension contributions: Salary as a PhD scholar: 24 months at a rate of DKK 32,048 (including pension contributions and supplement), corresponding to DKK 769,158 (approx. €102,554).

Application Procedure
The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include

  • Cover Letter
  • CV
  • Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc)
  • Acceptance Letter for the relevant MSc Programme at SCIENCE, if any
  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications (if any)
  • 1-3 reference letters (if any)
Reference letters must be uploaded by the applicant him/herself. The recruiting person must NOT obtain reference letters which content is not known to the applicant him/herself. This is against Danish law.

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

The deadline for applications is 30 April 2021 23:59 GMT +2.

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

For specific information about the PhD scholarship, please contact the principal supervisor Professor Fritz Henglein, Department of Computer Science (DIKU). Email: Direct Phone: +45-30589576.

General information about PhD programmes at SCIENCE is available at

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