Postdoc in Science Studies

Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

University of Copenhagen

The University of Copenhagen is seeking a highly motivated and talented postdoctoral fellow to commence October 1, 2021 at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research (CBMR), University of Copenhagen.

The postdoctoral fellowship is part of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research International Postdoctoral Program

About us

The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research’s vision is to strengthen interdisciplinary research that transforms our basic understanding of the mechanisms that underlie metabolic health and disease, and to accelerate this knowledge toward new prevention and treatment strategies. The Center was established in 2010 and has around 240 employees who work in an international and highly collaborative research environment. You can read more about us here

Our research

The postdoc position is situated in the Center’s Program for Metabolic Science in Culture (Director Professor Ken Arnold), based at the Medical Museion: The Medical Museion is a university medical museum combined with an interdisciplinary research group that looks at health and medical sciences in their cultural, historical, and philosophical context. The Center’s scientific research invokes fundamental questions about the relationship between medical science, clinical medicine and human experience; and the Medical Museion’s starting point is that metabolic research is an integral part of culture and history. We produce exhibitions, events, collection projects, and online communication, all informed by both biomedical science and our humanities research programme covering philosophy of science, history of science, medical humanities, STS, museology and anthropology. Current topics of investigation can be found on individual staff pages here

The postdoc project will be overseen by Associate Professor Karin Tybjerg and Professor Ken Arnold, and the postdoc will be fully integrated into the Center and in the Medical Museion research environment. The project will also form part of an interdisciplinary group of researchers investigating views of the body in medicine as well as the concept of diagnosis from philosophical, historical viewpoints.

Job description

The concept of diagnosis plays multiple roles in medical practice and biomedical knowledge. It helps make sense of patient bodies, direct treatment, and enables researchers to focus their work through categorized body material. While humanities research has often focused on psychiatric diagnosis, diagnosis in somatic medicine holds great promise as a route to understanding medical knowledge between practice and science and to map connections between research, clinical medicine and patients.

The project Between Knowing and Doing will investigate how clinical diagnoses enter and are used in research, how they are transformed in different systems of research, and how differentiated diagnoses return to the clinic and patients. Collaborating within the Center offers an opportunity to follow diagnostic categories in practice and across biomedical research and clinical medicine. The project will take its starting point working with the flagship project SEGMENT at the Center, which works with categorizing diabetes on several platforms, and then connecting findings to understandings of the concept of diagnosis from across the biological sciences, humanities and social sciences. Drawing on a practice-embedded philosophically informed approach, the project aims to bring us closer to understanding how biomedical knowledge and disease categories are co-produced in the cases of obesity and diabetes. The candidate might draw on ideas of epistemic flexibility, ‘epistemic iterations’ as well as historical categories underlying current usage.

As an integrated part of the research project the candidate will also collaborate with programming staff at the Medical Museion to organize events and other forms of engagement with stakeholders among patients, practitioners and the broader public.


The fellowship is aimed at early career researchers. We are looking for a highly motivated and accomplished researcher with the following competencies and qualifications.

  • A PhD degree in a relevant humanities or social science discipline, e.g., philosophy of science, history of science, medical humanities, STS or anthropology
  • or
  • A PhD in biomedical or health sciences plus at least masters level research experience with humanities
  • Experience with the study of science from humanities or social science perspectives is desirable; an ability to engage with scientists and scientific literature is essential
  • Enthusiasm for topics in metabolism and philosophy, history and sociology of medicine
  • An ambitious, independent and critical mindset
  • Confidence in designing their own research methodologies
  • Excellent English communication skills, both written and oral
  • Experience or interest in public communication or museum work is a bonus


The CBMR International Postdoctoral Program is open for applicants that hold a PhD degree awarded from a university outside of Denmark. The PhD degree has to be obtained before October 1, 2021. The program is also open for applicants with a Danish PhD degree who can document at least 12 months full-time research experience from outside Denmark. You are not eligible to apply for the program if you have been employed in a postdoctoral position for more than one year at the University of Copenhagen prior to the commencement of the fellowship.                           

Terms of employment

The employment as postdoc is a full time position for 3 years. Starting date is October 1, 2021.

Salary, pension and terms of employment will be in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and AC (Danish Confederation of Professional Associations). Depending on qualifications, a supplement may be negotiated.

Non-Danish 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.


For further information about the position, please contact Associate Professor Karin Tybjerg at Questions regarding the CBMR International Postdoctoral Program must be directed to For questions regarding the recruitment procedure, please contact HR at

The University of Copenhagen International Staff Mobility office offers support and assistance to all international researchers on all issues related to moving to and settling in Denmark. Read more at

Application procedure

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

  • Cover letter expressing the motivation and previous research experience of the applicant (max 1 page)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Copy of the PhD degree certificate and the Master degree certificate. In case the PhD has not yet been completed, a written statement from the supervisor confirming it will be obtained before October 1, 2021 is acceptable.
  • List of publications
  • References (name and contact details of at least two references)

Application deadline: April 19, 2021, 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 abovementioned 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 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 March 13, 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.

The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of their personal background.


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.


Karin Tybjerg


Application deadline: 19-04-2021
Employment start: 01-10-2021
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research
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