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PhD Fellowship in Structural Biology of Mitochondrial RNA Maturation and PhD Fellowship in Structural Biology of Mitochondrial DNA replication at Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
University of Copenhagen


Two PhD fellowships are available in the newly established Kummer lab at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research (NNF-CPR - https://www.cpr.ku.dk/) at the University of Copenhagen.

Before entering the fellowships, the successful candidates will have an initial employment as Research assistant for 1 year scheduled to start 1 July 2021 or soon after.

Our Group
Our group (https://www.cpr.ku.dk/research/protein-structure-function-program/kummer/) is located at The Novo Nordisk Center for Protein Research (NNF-CPR) that was established in 2007 at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, to promote basic and applied research. NNF-CPR is located in central Copenhagen and provides an international, interdisciplinary and collaborative environment. Our group has a deep interest in understanding mitochondrial biology on a structural and functional level with a specific focus on how mitochondria maintain their DNA and how they produce functional RNA species. We investigate macromolecular assemblies involved in these processes by a combination of cryo-electron microscopy, functional biochemistry and cell biology. The candidate will join a newly established lab and strong team player and networking skills are therefore valued. As a PhD candidate, you will have the opportunity to work on an interesting and challenging project that will profit from your enthusiasm and willingness to implement new methodology.

About the PI
Eva Kummer has strong expertise in protein and RNA biochemistry as well as electron microscopy. After a PhD in biochemistry on mechanisms of protein quality control in bacteria and yeast, her latest research has focused on unravelling mammalian mitochondrial translation mechanisms. For this she has combined in vitro reconstitution approaches with single-particle cryo-EM. For further information about the PI, please visit:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/eva-kummer-7099931b7/
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Eva-Kummer

Project Description – project 1
The PhD candidate will focus on RNA processing machines in mitochondria using in vitro and in vivo reconstitution approaches coupled with structural analysis by single particle cryo-EM and functional studies. Our group is part of the Protein Structure and Function Program at NNF-CPR that contains the groups of Guillermo Montoya (Program Director) and Nicholas Taylor. The Program provides state-of-the-art infrastructure and instrumentation including a Titan Krios and a Glacios both equipped with Falcon III DED, as well as multiple smaller screening instruments. In addition, the candidate can profit from a number of core facilities including protein production, crystallography, biophysics, high performance computing, mass spectrometry, and genomics.

Project Description – project 2
The PhD candidate will focus on the working principles of the mitochondrial replication machinery using in vitro and in vivo reconstitution approaches coupled with structural analysis by single particle cryo-EM and functional studies. Our group is part of the Protein Structure and Function Program at NNF-CPR that contains the groups of Guillermo Montoya (Program Director) and Nicholas Taylor. The Program provides state-of-the-art infrastructure and instrumentation including a Titan Krios and a Glacios both equipped with Falcon III DED, as well as multiple smaller screening instruments. In addition, the candidate can profit from a number of core facilities including protein production, crystallography, biophysics, high performance computing, mass spectrometry, and genomics.

Required qualifications
As an applicant you must have:

  • Obtained (or expect to have obtained) a Master’s degree (equivalent to a Danish Master’s degree) in Biology, Biochemistry, Biophysics or related areas prior to the starting date
  • Fluency in English and excellent written and oral communication skills
Preferred qualifications
We are especially interested in candidates with previous experience in protein purification and electron microscopy or other structural techniques, although all necessary training will be provided to help you succeed.

Job description
During the first year as Research assistant, the candidate will have to formulate a PhD project, help out with research tasks and start become familiar with the research field of interest and apply for enrolment as PhD fellow.

Your key tasks as a PhD fellow at the Faculty are to:

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision
  • Write scientific articles and the PhD thesis on the grounds of your research project
  • Complete PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS points
  • Obtain experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project
  • Participate in national and international congresses and scientific meetings
  • Stay at an external research institution, preferably abroad
Terms of employment
The employment as Research assistant is full time and for 1 year.
Salary, pension and terms of employment are in accordance with the agree¬ment 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 29,600 DKK /approx. 3.980EUR (February 2021-level) plus pension.

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, as well as a positive assessment of the 1-year research assistant position. Enrolment at the Graduate School requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant (for more information, please see https://healthsciences.ku.dk/phd/guidelines/) .

The PhD study must be completed in accordance with The Ministerial Order on the PhD programme (2019) 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. 3.700 EUR (February 2021-level) plus pension.

Questions
For further information, please contact Associate Professor Eva Kummer, eva.kummer@cpr.ku.dk. For administrative information please contact the HR Center, sund-hr-cpr@sund.ku.dk.

Application procedure
Your application must be submitted electronically by clicking ‘Apply now’ below. The application must include the following documents in PDF format:
- Letter of motivation
- CV incl. contact details of three references and a complete list of publications, if applicable
- Transcripts of university studies (BSc and MSc, showing individual grades). If the MSc has not yet been completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor will be fine.

Application deadline: 11 April 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 http://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/

The applicant will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 1443 of 11 December 2020 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.




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