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PhD fellowship in Drug Delivery of Biopharmaceuticals: Epithelial barrier dynamics

The Department of Pharmacy is offering a three-year PhD fellowship in Drug Delivery of Biopharmaceuticals in the Center for Biopharmaceuticals and Biobarriers in Drug Delivery. The PhD fellowship is financed by the Department of Pharmacy, University of Copenhagen and the Novo Nordisk Foundation Grand Challenge Program. The fellowship is available from 01.02.2018 or as soon as possible thereafter.  
Project description  
The demand for peptide and protein therapeutics that can be used without injection is increasing. However, due to the structural properties of such biopharmaceuticals, it is extremely challenging to design drug delivery systems suitable for efficient delivery of therapeutic doses of, e.g., peptides after oral administration. Novel drug delivery systems must be tailored to the physicochemical properties of the specific drug molecules, the functional excipients and the intended route of administration.  
This interdisciplinary project will address how to utilize the dynamics of the epithelial barrier for transport of peptide and protein drugs. The hypothesis is that the specific mechanisms governing the epithelial barrier dynamics can be utilized in relation to transport of specific peptide drugs. Understanding the intercellular junction dynamics will be of crucial importance for the development and utilization of specific and safe functional excipients that may be used in drug delivery systems intended for, e.g., oral administration of peptide drugs.  
The aim of this project is to study and influence intercellular junction dynamics in epithelia using relevant analytical technologies and a variety of cell-based models relating to the in vivo situation.  
Principal supervisor  
Professor Hanne Mørck Nielsen, Department of Pharmacy  
E-mail:, direct phone: +45 3533 6346  
Required qualifications  
As an applicant you must have:  
  • Obtained a Master´s degree in pharmaceutical sciences, biomedical engineering, biochemistry, or similar prior to the starting date  
  • Fluency in English and excellent communication skills  
  • The ability to work in an interdisciplinary environment  
Preferred qualifications  
We are looking for a highly motivated individual with a background in pharmaceutical sciences, molecular biology, biotechnology, biomedical engineering, biochemistry, or similar. Experience with drug delivery, cell culture models, relevant in vivo assessment, and biopharmaceuticals will be preferred. The candidate must be able to work independently but will also interact with a multidisciplinary project group involved in many aspects of studying and evaluating drug delivery. Extensive training in the relevant disciplines will be provided.  
Job description  
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 the research project  
  • Complete PhD courses or another equivalent education corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS points  
  • Obtain experience with teaching or another type of dissemination related to your PhD project  
  • Participate in the undergraduate teaching of students in pharmaceutical sciences  
  • Participate in national and international congresses and scientific meetings  
  • Stay at an external research institution, preferably abroad  
Key criteria for the assessment of applicants  
  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD programme  
  • Relevant work experience  
  • Previous publications  
  • The grade point average achieved  
  • Other professional activities  
  • Language skills  
  • The successful applicant is also required to be enterprising and to possess good interpersonal skills  
Formal requirements  
The successful applicant will be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences according to the rules stipulated in the Ministerial Order on the PhD programme at the universities (PhD order) from the Ministry of Science, Innovation, and Higher Education and the guidelines for the PhD programme at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.  
The PhD student is expected to be affiliated to the graduate programme in pharmaceutical sciences, Drug Research Academy.  
Terms of employment  
The position as a PhD fellow is available for a 3-year period.  
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 organizations. The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.  
Minimum monthly salary is DKK 26,073 (taxable) + pension contribution.  
Application procedure  
The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.  
Your application must include:  
  • Cover letter: Letter stating the interest in and qualifications for the project (max. one page)  
  • Full CV  
  • Diploma and transcripts of records: Master´s degree diploma (including grade transcripts for bachelor´s and master´s degrees). Applicants with a Master´s degree from abroad should also enclose a short description of the grading scale used  
  • Possible publication list  
  • Other information to consider: Possible references and recommendations  
The University of Copenhagen wishes to encourage everyone interested in this post to apply, regardless of personal background.  
Deadline for applications  
15.12.2017. Please note that only online applications will be accepted.  
Applications received later than this date will not be considered.  
Post application procedure  
After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Appointments 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  
The Appointments Committee consists of the supervision group and the Head of Department who is the authorized recruitment manager. The Expert Assessment Committee consists of the principal supervisor.  
An answer as to the granting of the fellowship can be expected approx. 4 weeks after application deadline.  
For further information, applicants may contact the supervisor or Administrator Marianne W. Jørgensen, e-mail:, direct phone: +45 3533 6449.  
For more information on working and living in Denmark visit (International staff mobility) and   

Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


Hanne Mørck Nielsen


Application deadline: 15-12-2017
Employment start: 01-02-2018
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Universitetsparken 2, 2100 København Ø

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