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PhD Fellowship in Veterinary Microbiology

- Identification of novel antimicrobials and antimicrobial helper drugs
Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
University of Copenhagen
Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (IVH), Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at University of Copenhagen wishes to appoint a PhD fellow in Veterinary Microbiology from 1 February 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter. The position is limited to three years.
Information about the Department can be found at
The aim of the project is to identify novel substances with antimicrobial activity or the ability to potentiate current antimicrobials in an established library of microbial extracts, using hypomorphic expression of essential and non-essential genes of multi-drug resistant Klebsiella pneumonia and ESBL Escherichia coli.
Short project description
A panel of inducible strains with reduced expression of essential genes will be constructed in MDR Klebsiella pneumonia and ESBL E. coli, previously characterised by WGS. This will enable detection of compounds with low abundance or specificity to the target protein, enhancing identification of new antibiotic scaffolds or hits. The generated constructs will be used to screen growth inhibition using the libraries of microbial extracts available at the collaborating partner, Naicons, Italy. Additionally, the libraries will be screened for growth inhibition in presence of sub-inhibitory concentrations of clinically important antibiotics to which the strains are resistant, leading to possible identification of compounds able to potentiate antibiotic activity and ultimately reverse resistance.
Project organisation
The project has a duration of 3 years. The PhD fellow will be associated to the MSCA-ITN-2017 training network CARTNET, and the fellow will be enrolled in the PhD programme Molecular Bacteriology and Infection at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. We offer the opportunity to work in a state-of-the-art, highly innovative and scientifically stimulating environment with ambitious colleagues, excellent training opportunities, both personally and professionally and the opportunity to contribute with new knowledge to an exciting and fast-moving scientific field.
Principal supervisor
Professor John Elmerdahl Olsen
Eligibility criteria
Master degree (DVM, Medical doctor or M.Sc.). Applicants must not have been awarded a PhD degree previously, and must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers prior to the recruitment. They must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Denmark for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment. The communication and teaching language throughout CARTNET is English, so proof of English proficiency is required.
Job description
The PhD fellow will mainly be concerned with performing his/her own research project under supervision from the supervisors. In addition, the student will obtain transferrable and technical skills through participation in training activities in the CARTNET training-network, and through PhD courses at University of Copenhagen or at other participating institutions in the network. Within certain limits, the student must also expect to participate in teaching in subject areas relevant to the project and to carry out other duties related to research. The position includes obligations to publish and communicate research findings at relevant meetings and conferences.
Qualification requirements
The successful applicant has the following professional and personal qualifications:  
  • A relevant master’s degree in veterinary science, medical science, biology or another related field and have shown a potential for research (should at least have submitted a master’s thesis for assessment before the application deadline)  
  • Documented experience with laboratory work within clinical microbiology and molecular microbiology  
  • Hands-on experience with pathogenic bacteria  
  • Strong motivation  
  • Good communication skills  
  • Be fluent in written and spoken English.  
  • Well-developed collaborative skills 
General job description
Your key tasks as a PhD fellow at Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences (SUND) are to:  
  • Manage, carry through and conclude your research projects, from experiments to analyses of samples  
  • Actively participate in PhD courses  
  • Write scientific articles and finalise your PhD thesis  
  • Participate in international congresses  
  • Conduct research stays and participate in training events at institutions involved in Cartnet  
  • Teach and disseminate your research
Place of work  
The main place of work will be at Section of Veterinary Clinical Microbiology, Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Copenhagen at Frederiksberg Campus. Secondment to the collaborating partner in Milan, Italy is mandatory, as well as travel in relation training activities in CARTNET.
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 26.073 (approx. 3.499 EUR) plus pension. The position is covered by the Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities (2013).
For further information about the post, please contact Professor John Elmerdahl Olsen by phone +45 3533 2784 or email For any administrative queries please contact HR Officer Marie-Louise Rosenlund, 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 “Apply online” below and must include the following:  
  • Cover letter detailing your motivation and background for applying for the specific PhD project  
  • A 1-2 page letter detailing your motivation and background for applying for this specific PhD project  
  • CV  
  • Diploma and detailed transcripts of records  
  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications (if any), peer reviewed and other  
  • Personal recommendations  
  • A maximum of 3 relevant scientific works which the applicant wishes to have included in the assessment 
The deadline for applications is 23 December 2017 at 23.59. Any applications received after this time or incomplete will not be considered.  
Receipt of the application 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.
The project is part of the Marie Curie ETN training network (CARTNET) and will involve secondments at other sites involved in the network. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 765147.  

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.


John Elmerdahl Olsen


Application deadline: 23-12-2017
Employment start: 01-02-2018
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Institut for Veterinær- og Husdyrvidenskab

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