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PhD Fellowship in Veterinary Parasitology

Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences  
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences  
University of Copenhagen  
Section of Parasitology and Aquatic Pathobiology, Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (IVH), Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at University of Copenhagen, wishes to appoint a PhD Fellow in the area of Veterinary Parasitology for three years from 1 May 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter.
Information about the Department can be found at
Project description
Infection with gastrointestinal parasites is one of the most severe impediments on sustainable production of meat and milk from livestock. Widespread resistance to the small number of available synthetic drugs has rendered continued prophylactic drug treatment unsustainable. An alternative control option may be the use of natural, bioactive feed additives with anti-parasitic activity. Here, we will investigate the potential of seaweed to be used as a novel anti-parasitic treatment and as a health promoting feed additive through beneficial changes in the gut microbiota. We will also examine how the processing of seaweed material (e.g. fermentation) enhances its activity.
The PhD Fellow will assess the anthelmintic activity of seaweed extracts and fractions using in vitro parasite and cell-based immunological assays and in vivo studies to determine effects on parasite infection and general gut health in pigs (microbiome).
Project organisation
This 3-year PhD study is part of a collaborative project SEAPAR: Seaweed and related bioactive products for parasite control (2017-21) funded by The Danish Green Development and Demonstration Program (GUDP), including the University of Copenhagen, the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Fermentationexperts A/S and Nordisk Tang A/S. This ultimate goal is the translation of results into new anti-parasitic products targeting the pig industry while promoting a better environment. The PhD Fellow will be formally enrolled in the PhD programme at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences. He/she will be a member of the Veterinary Parasitology Research Group at IVH (
Job description
In collaboration with postdoctoral and senior researchers, the PhD Fellow will be expected to plan and conduct experiments to test a number of bioactive extracts against nematode parasites using in vitro assays. Subsequently, trials will be carried out in infected pigs to test the most promising products in vivo. The work will be a close collaboration between IVH, DTU and the participating industrial partners. Fieldwork and travel, visits to collaborators (e.g. for meetings or experimental work) as well as some international travel, will be required. Full training will be available. The PhD fellow will also contribute to teaching or other relevant work in the section.  
Key criteria for the assessment of candidates
The candidate should have:  

  • Relevant MSc or BSc (hons) degree in the fields of parasitology, veterinary or animal science, biology, biotechnology, or other related field
  • Fluency in written and spoken English
  • Interest in working with experimental animals
Qualification requirements
Applicants with the following professional and personal qualifications will be highly advantaged:  
  • Documented laboratory work within parasitology or other related field including published work
  • Experience with in vitro parasite or cell-culture assays
  • Certificate or interest working with experimental animals
  • Postgraduate experience
  • Rich on initiative and strong motivation for research
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Well-developed collaborative skills and a team player 
Formal requirements
The position is available for a 3-year period for applicants holding a relevant master´s degree. The successful candidate will be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD Fellow at the Graduate School of Health and Medical Sciences. Employment as a PhD Fellow will be conditional on successful enrolment in the PhD programme according to the rules stipulated in “Bekendtgørelse nr. 18 af 14. januar 2008 om ph.d.-graden.“
Terms of employment
Salary and other terms and conditions of appointment are set in accordance with the Agreement between the Ministry of Finance and AC (Danish Confederation of Professional Associations) or other relevant professional organisations. Depending on seniority, the monthly salary begins around DKK 26,454.141 (approx. 3.550 EUR) plus pension. The position is covered by the Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities (2013).
Place of work
The main place of work will be at the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Copenhagen at Frederiksberg Campus. Field work, travel in relation to guest visits or stays at other international research institutions and international conferences will be part of the position as well as meetings in Denmark.
For further information about the post, please contact Professor Stig M. Thamsborg by phone +45 353 33778 or +45 2214 0733) or email
Foreign applicants may find the following link useful (International Staff Mobility).
General information about PhD programmes at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences is available on the Graduate School’s website  
Application procedure
The application must be submitted in English, by clicking on “Apply online” below and must include the following:  
  • Cover letter detailing your motivation and background for applying for the specific PhD project
  • CV
  • Diploma and detailed transcripts of records (MSc and BSc)
  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications (if any), peer reviewed and other
  • Personal recommendations (if any)
  • A maximum of 3 relevant scientific works which the applicant wishes to be included in the assessment (if any)
The deadline for applications is 4 March 2018. Any applications received after this time or incomplete will not be considered.  
Receipts of the applications will be acknowledged, and the applicant will be kept continuously informed of the progress of the application.
The further process
Shortlist: After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorised recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Appointment Committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an expert assessment committee. Selected applicants are notified of the composition of the committee and 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  
Assessment: The selected applications will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities and the University of Copenhagen’s guidelines 2013. The Assessment Committee makes a non-prioritised assessment of the academic qualifications and experience with respect to the mentioned area of research, techniques, skills and other requirements listed in the advertisement.  
Please note that the applicant will be contacted if the assessment committee requires further documentation.
The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

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