PhD Position in Protein science

PhD Position in Protein science

Structural Biology and NMR Laboratory (SBiNLab), Department of Biology, UCPH, Denmark

The Kragelund-group at the Structural Biology and NMR laboratory (SBiNLab), Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark, is looking for a highly motivated PhD student to join projects on intrinsically disordered proteins and protein regions (IDPs and IDRs). The PhD position is fully funded and for 3 years, starting January 1st, 2024, or soon thereafter. Information on the Kragelund-group can be found at:

Our research
The Kragelund-group focuses on the interaction of IDPs and IDRs with other biomolecules and on how disorder help expand molecular communication. We aim to provide a detailed understanding of how structural disorder leads to regulatory diversity and how this diversity relates to biological function. To achieve these goals, we host the Novo Nordisk Foundation Challenge Center REPIN – rethinking protein interactions, joining 5 different research groups in Europe. Additionally, we have state-of-the-art facilities for recombinant protein production and analytical tools such as CD, ITC, MST, nano-DSF, Q-TOF MS for biophysical and biochemical characterization. Our main technique is biomolecular NMR spectroscopy, and we have regular access to synchrotron SAXS.  

Project description: We are looking for a driven and ambitious person, with an ability to work independently and in collaboration with other groups. The candidate should have a strong interest in pursuing a PhD degree in the field of protein science with a focus on IDPS and IDRs. The position is one of eleven PhD positions in the Horizon Europe-funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action (MSCA) Doctoral Network IDPro, Intrinsically disordered proteins in health and disease: mechanisms, molecular context and opportunities for drug discovery.

IDPro is an exceptional network of nine beneficiaries (eight academic and one industrial) and five partner organizations (four industrial and three academic) from seven different countries, with excellent track records in protein research and supervision. Together, we will train eleven doctoral candidates, with distinct competencies of relevance for the field of intrinsically disordered proteins, to secure future scientific breakthroughs in a rapidly developing field. We will investigate how disordered proteins interact, how interaction is affected by disease-related mutations, and assess how disordered proteins cause aberrant cellular signaling in relevant human disease models. Furthermore, we will design ligands that can be further developed into molecular probes, which could represent lead structures for the development of drugs. The goal of IDPro is to strengthen an emerging field in biology and medicine with implications for both academia and industry in the European union.

The specific project in the Kragelund-group will address fundamental questions regarding the role of context in protein-protein interactions involving IDRs. The goal is to define principles governing these interactions with a special focus on interdomain interaction in nuclear receptors and other transcription factors. The work includes heterologous expression and purification of proteins and characterization of their interactions using a range of biophysical methods and analyses, including biomolecular NMR spectroscopy as a main method.


Qualifications: To be eligible for this 3 year PhD programme, you must have completed a degree programme, equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (180 ECTS/3 FTE BSc + 120 ECTS/2 FTE MSc) related to the subject area of the project, e.g. in biochemistry, chemistry, structural biology or similar, providing basic theoretical and practical knowledge in protein science.. For information of eligibility of completed programmes, see General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database. Experience in working with recombinantly produced proteins should be demonstrated through a MSc project.

The applicant must be fluent in written and spoken English. The candidate is expected to take initiative driving the project, but also to collaborate with the other members of the doctoral network. Emphasis will be given on personal qualities, including analytical capacity, accuracy, flexibility and collaborative skills.

Please note: This MSCA Doctoral Network grant aims to promote mobility within the EU. Applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Denmark for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before their date of recruitment.

Additional merits or desired skills: The ideal candidate would be able to express and purify proteins in E. coli using a variety of chromatographic methods and perform basic characterization of the proteins. Furthermore, experience with protein interaction techniques such as isothermal titration calorimetry, fluorescence polarization (or other methods), and structural methods (circular dichroism, X-ray crystallography, biomolecular NMR or small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS)) are meritorious.

The selection is based on the following criteria: Completion of the above qualifications, grades in relevant courses, suitability of the courses to the research program, previous experience in working and/or performing research in the wider area that relates to the project described above. An integrated assessment of the applicant is generated to employ the best possible candidate that can succeed in the doctoral studies and contribute to a positive development of the department and the research program.

Place of employment
The employment is at Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, located in the Biocenter in the Northern Campus, close to the centre of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in a dynamic and international research environment. SBiNLab joins three research groups located in the Copenhagen Biocenter at UCPH all interested in proteins and IDPs combining biophysics, NMR spectroscopy and computation.

Terms of employment
Salary, pension and other conditions of employment are set in accordance with the Agreement between the Ministry of Taxation and AC (Danish Confederation of Professional Associations) or other relevant organization. Depending on qualifications, a supplement may be negotiated. The employer will pay 17.1 % to your pension fund.

Foreign and Danish applicants may be eligible for tax reductions if they hold a PhD degree and have not lived in Denmark the last 10 years.

The position is covered by the Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities 2020.

For further information please contact Birthe B. Kragelund (

Foreign applicants may also find this link useful: (International Staff Mobility).

Application procedure
Your online application must be submitted in English by clicking ‘Apply now’ below. Furthermore, your application must include the following documents/attachments – all in PDF format:

  1. Motivated letter of application (max. one page).
  2. CV incl. education, work/research experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position.
  3. A certified/signed copy of Master of Science certificate. If the MSc is not completed, a written statement from the supervisor on when this is happening, will do.
  4. List of publications with description of the personal contributions to each work, and if no publications exist, a pdf copy of the Masters’ thesis.

Application deadline:  

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 deadline is 9 October 2023 23:59 GMT+1.

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. 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 during week 44.

University of Copenhagen wish to reflect the diversity of society and welcome applications from all qualified candidates regardless of age, disability, gender, nationality, race, religion or sexual orientation. Appointment will be based on merit alone.




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.


Birthe Brandt Kragelund


Application deadline: 09-10-2023
Employment start: 01-01-2024
Department/Location: Department of Biology

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