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PhD fellowship(s) in virus-host interactions

The University seeks to appoint one or more PhD student(s) to the Department of Immunology and Microbiology (ISIM) to work at CO-HEP to commence as soon as possible.

Information on the Department can be found at

Our group and research

During the PhD, you will be working on the molecular and cell biology of RNA virus infections. You will join the group of Associate Professor Troels Scheel, who leads a research team of currently seven scientists. Our group is part of Copenhagen Hepatitis C Program (CO-HEP, headed by Professor Jens Bukh) with around 35 researchers and affiliated with Department of Immunology and Microbiology (ISIM), University of Copenhagen and with Department of Infectious Diseases, Hvidovre Hospital. Your primary work location will be at the university. Our work environment is ambitious, dynamic and international.

Project description

RNA viruses are responsible for significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. Pathogens of our interest include hepatitis viruses, flaviviruses (e.g. yellow fever, zika), picornaviruses (e.g. polio, coxsackie), alphaviruses (e.g. sindbis, chikungunya) and animal pathogens such as pestiviruses. We have specific interest in virus-host interactions, including RNA interactions that are becoming increasingly important. Some, such as that of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and the micro-RNA, miR-122, are emerging as therapeutic targets. We recently identified and characterized similar interactions for other viruses. Much, however, remains to be understood on RNA interactions during infection. Another interest is animal models for HCV using the recently discovered HCV-related hepaciviruses in rodents and horses.

Your project on virus-host interactions will be defined together with your supervisor, Troels Scheel, and will involve methodology such as virus cultivation, molecular biology assays, functional characterization, translation and replication reporter assays, crosslinking immune-precipitation (CLIP), RNA-seq and related methods. You will be expected to actively participate in method development and development of the project. A high level of motivation, ambition and involvement will be expected.

Principal supervisor is Associate Professor Troels K. H. Scheel, Copenhagen Hepatitis C Program (CO-HEP), Department of Immunology and Microbiology,, +45 25122771

Troels Scheel was appointed Associate Professor at University of Copenhagen in April 2016 after completing his postdoc at Charles Rice’ laboratory at The Rockefeller University in 2015. He was awarded Starting Grants from the Danish Council for Independent Research and the European Research Council (ERC). Jens Bukh has led CO-HEP for 14 years and was awarded advanced grants from The Danish Council for Independent Research and the Novo Nordisk Foundation and received the Novo Nordisk Prize.

For more information on research and recent projects:

Start: As soon as possible after signing of contract.

Duration: 3 years as a PhD student with the potential option of an additional lead-in period as research assistant of up to 3 months.

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 at another research team
  • Obtain experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project
  • Write a PhD thesis on the grounds of your project

Required qualifications

The successful applicant should have:

  • An MSc in virology, molecular, cellular or systems biology, or related fields. Applicants expecting to obtain the MSc degree in the near future are also encouraged to apply.
  • Hands-on experience in long-term scientific projects during and/or after your MSc studies.
  • Experience with virology, cell culture, molecular biology, microbiology, high-throughput technology or immunology is an advantage.
  • Interest in RNA viruses, molecular biology and novel deep sequencing methods.
  • Authorship on publications in high quality journals is an advantage.

    The applicant is further expected to possess good interpersonal and communicative skills. The working language is English and good English speaking, reading and writing skills are therefore required. You will be expected to drive your research with independence and initiative, but also to interact well with the group in a dedicated but pleasant work atmosphere.
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 26.755 DKK /approx. 3.567 EUR (April 2018-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:

Copenhagen is a modern and international city with a high living standard. Foreign applicants may find these links useful: (International Staff Mobility).

Application procedure
Your application must be submitted electronically by clicking ‘Apply now’ below. The application must include the following documents in PDF format:

  • Motivated letter of application
  • CV incl. education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  • Master of Science diploma and transcript of records. If not yet completed, include a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor
  • Publication list (if applicable)
  • Letter(s) of recommendation (optional)

Application deadline: 30 November 2020, 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 above-mentioned 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 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.

Interviews are expected to be held in late January or February 2021.

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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