PhD fellowship in Characterization and targeting Streptococcus agalactiae persister cells at Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences

We are offering a PhD fellowship in microbiology commencing 1 October 2020 or as soon as possible herafter.

Our group and research
The PhD fellow will be part of the Research group “Molecular Veterinary Microbiology” at the Section for Clinical Veterinary Microbiology. Research carried out in the Mol-Vet-Micro group aims to find new ways to prevent and cure bacterial diseases in animals and humans, and thus to contribute to reduction in use of antimicrobials. Our toolbox is state of the art. We have a modern DNA-sequencing facility, we use sophisticated animal- and cell culture- models, and we have expertise to genetically modify disease-causing bacteria. 

Project description

Streptococcus agalactiae is an important cause of infections in humans and animals, and this bacterium can produce a small subpopulation of dormant persister cells that are highly tolerant to killing by antibiotics. Such persister cells are therefore suspected to be important for recurrent infections and treatment failure. The goal of this PhD project is to investigate S. agalactiae persisters to understand the bacterial factors that lead to persister cell formation and identify new leads for antimicrobial compounds targeting these dormant bacteria. The project will include bacterial genetic modification, expression analysis, biofilm- and virulence-assays.

Principal supervisor is Associate Professor Line Elnif Thomsen. Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, E-mail:, Direct Phone:  +45 35 33 27 54

Start:                    1 October 2020

Duration:             3 years as a PhD student

Job description
Your key tasks as a PhD student 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
  • Teach and disseminate your knowledge
  • Write a PhD thesis and scientific articles on the grounds of your project

Key criteria for the assessment of applicants
We are seeking a highly motivated and ambitious pre-doctoral candidate with a strong educational background within Molecular Microbiology.

Applicants must have qualifications corresponding to a master’s degree related to the subject area of the project e.g. Biotechnology, Molecular Microbiology or similar. In addition, the applicant must possess a general understanding of bacterial physiology and genetics and have practical experience with handling bacteria. Practical experience with bacterial genetic modification is considered a great advantage.

Other important criteria are:

  • The grade point average achieved
  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project,
  • Previous publications
  • Relevant work experience
  • Other professional activities
  • Curious mind-set with a strong interest in Bacterial Molecular Microbiology
  • Excellent English communication skills, both oral and written, are prerequisite for the successful candidate

Place of employment

The place of employment is at Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment. The candidate is also expected to work 4 month at Lund University, Sweden.

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:

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

1. Motivated letter of application (max. one page)

2. CV incl. education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position

3. Master of Science diploma and transcript of records. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor will do

4. Publication list (if possible)

Application deadline:  12 July 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 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.

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 week 32 and 33


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.


Application deadline: 12-07-2020
Employment start: 01-10-2020
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Institut for Veterinær- og Husdyrvidenskab

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