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PhD fellowship in companion animal surgery and rehabilitation at Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences

We are offering a PhD fellowship in companion animal surgery and rehabilitation commencing 1 September 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Our group and research
Our current research focus is clinically based with a strong focus on orthopaedic disease and aspects of surgical management and recovery postoperatively. We are particularly focused on aspects of cranial cruciate ligament disease, in particular pre-operative planning, and objective measures of limb use following surgery. The specialised surgery and rehabilitation group consists of 7 surgeons covering teaching, clinical case management and research-related roles.

The PhD Fellow will be included in the surgery group of the Section for Surgery, Neurology & Cardiology based at the Companion Animal Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg Campus (Copenhagen), and will join a group of highly dedicated and enthusiastic surgeons and researchers with strong links to related disciplines within the hospital, university, and internationally.

Project description
Cranial cruciate ligament disease is one of the most common non-traumatic orthopaedic disorders in dogs.

Stability of the femorotibial joint is dependent on the integrity of the cranial cruciate ligament as well as the interplay of the various muscles and tendons that cross the joint. Recent research suggests a strong role for the biceps femoris muscle and pes anserinus group in stabilising the joint pre- and postoperatively.

While most patients recover well after surgery, speed and completeness of recovery vary quite markedly. One possible explanation is altered muscle activity or muscle balance in the hindlimb. Persistent alterations in muscle activity have been noted in human athletes and dogs using EMG, although this technique has many technical challenges and is difficult to use outside the laboratory setting. A newer and potentially more robust alternative is the use of acoustic myography, which is more portable and can enable recording of dogs during a wide range of normal activities.

Specific aims of this study are to characterise muscle activity patterns and balances in normal and affected dogs, longitudinal follow-up of affected dogs postoperatively, correlation of muscle activity patterns with objective characterisation of limb use, and identification of rehabilitation strategies that could improve recovery times and degrees clinically. Additional related studies that you may become involved in include assessment of muscle elasticity, meniscal integrity, and the effect of different activities on muscle recruitment in various dog breeds.

Principal supervisor is:
Professor MSO James Miles

Dept. of Veterinary Clinical Sciences


Direct Phone: +4527195491.

Start: 1 September 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 with one or more other research teams
  • Obtain experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project
  • Teach and disseminate your knowledge
  • Participate in the surgery/rehabilitation clinic at the The Companion Animal Hospital, University of Copenhagen
  • Write a PhD thesis on the grounds of your project
Key criteria for the assessment of applicants
Applicants must have a master’s degree in veterinary medicine (DVM). The candidate must hold a Danish authorization to practice veterinary medicine in Denmark or be able to obtain this authorization upon admission.

Other important criteria are:

  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project including clinical experience with small animal surgical (including orthopaedic) cases
  • Possible research experience within veterinary surgery or rehabilitation
  • Enquiring mind-set with a strong interest in patient recovery, postoperative management, biomechanics and/or physiology
  • The applicant must be able to communicate in Danish/Scandinavian with clients regarding diagnosis, hospitalization etc. of dogs included in this clinical project.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English
  • Good collaboration and interpersonal skills
Place of employment
The place of employment is at Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Frederiksberg Campus, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment. Our research facilities include modern laboratories and a state-of-the-art Companion Animal Hospital.

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 27.568 DKK / approx. 3.675 EUR (February 2021-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:

Application procedure
Your application must be submitted electronically by clicking ‘Apply now’ below. 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 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 suffice

4. Publication list (if possible)

Application deadline: 2 May 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 assessment 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

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

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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