PhD fellowship in ”Fibrosis and intracellular calcium handling in the pathophysiology of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction” at the Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Copenhagen

A PhD position is available in the Cardiac Electrophysiology Group at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. The position is available from September 1st, 2022, or at a mutually agreed date. Very motivated and committed candidates with experience in cardiovascular physiology and animal models of human disease are invited to apply.

The employment as PhD fellow is full time and for 3 years. The position is fully funded and is conditioned upon the applicant’s successful enrollment 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.


Project description

Heart failure is a critical, clinical diagnosis characterized by shortness of breath at rest, fatigue, weakness and edema. Two categories of heart failure exists: Heart failure with reduced or with preserved ejection fraction (HFrEF and HFpEF, respectively). A weakened heart muscle causes HFrEF, whereas HFpEF hearts are too stiff to be filled sufficiently during diastole. Historically, focus has been on HFrEF, but HFpEF represents an unmet medical need due to the unknown underlying causes, and the lack of efficient, clinical treatment options.

The student will use an integrated approach – both cellular, intact organ and whole-animal experiments – to test novel treatment options for HFpEF. Ultrasound-based echocardiography can be applied to follow the development of heart failure in the individual animal. Isolated, beating hearts can be used to gauge the effect of changes in filling pressure. Histology tests fibrosis development and fluorescent dyes can be used to visualize the intracellular calcium handling in disaggregated cardiomyocytes.

We are looking for an exceptional candidate with a flair for animal experiments. One that will be able to master many skills in the laboratory using whole animals, intact organs and isolated cells.


Principal supervisor is Associate Professor Morten B Thomsen.

Primary co-supervisor is Associate Professor Jens C Brings Jacobsen


October 1st 2022 or soon thereafter

Job description

Your key tasks as a PhD student at are:

  • Plan, execute and evaluate independent research under supervision
  • Complete PhD courses or equivalent education corresponding to 30 ECTS points
  • Teach pregraduate students
  • Disseminate your research orally and written
  • Write a PhD thesis on the grounds of your project

Criteria for the assessment of candidates

We evaluate the candidates primarily based on the following criteria:

  • You must have qualifications corresponding to a master’s degree related to the subject area of the project i.e. physiology, biology, bioengineering, medicine, human biology, veterinary medicine, molecular biomedicine or similar.
  • Experience with animal (rodents) experiments is very desirable. Prior skills in animal experiments are preferred, but not required. The candidate will perform surgery (blood-vessel cannulation) and harvest organs for experimental purposes. The candidate should be able to master the procedures within the first few months after being accepted into the program.
  • Experience with echocardiography, isolated heart studies e.g. Langendorff or calcium imaging is highly meriting.
  • Basic knowledge of cardiac electrophysiology and hemodynamics
  • High proficiency in English is a benefit.

Place of employment

The place of employment is at Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in a dynamic and international research environment with many research groups. Our research facilities include state-of-the-art laboratories supported by several core facilities.

Terms of employment

Employment as PhD fellow is full time and for maximum 3 years.

Employment is conditional upon your successful enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD 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 terms of employment and salary are in accordance to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State (AC).


For specific questions relating to the PhD project, please contact the principal supervisor Associate Professor Morten B Thomsen ( General information about PhD programs at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences is available at the Graduate School’s website:


Application and Assessment Procedure

Your online application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include:

  • Motivated letter of application (max. two pages)
  • Curriculum vitae focused on the assessment criterias outlines above. Include information about your education, laboratory experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position. Please include a photo.
  • Certified copy of original Master of Science diploma and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in other language than English or Danish. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is accepted. As a prerequisite for a PhD fellowship employment, your master’s degree must be equivalent to a Danish master’s degree. We encourage you to read more in the assessment database: Please note that we might ask you to obtain an assessment of your education performed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science.
  • Publication list (if possible)
  • Reference letters (if available)

Application deadline

Application deadline is June 15th, 2022. We will not consider material received after the deadline, and will not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the 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.

The applicants 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 30, 2022

The University of Copenhagen wish to reflect the diversity of society and encourage all qualified candidates to apply regardless of 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.


Morten Bækgaard Thomsen


Application deadline: 15-06-2022
Employment start: 01-10-2022
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Biomedicinsk Institut
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