PhD Scolarships

The Department of Food Science at the University of Copenhagen (UCPH FOOD) invites applications for PhD scholarships to start up from 1 January 2023, or as soon as possible thereafter.

UCPH FOOD is internationally recognized for excellence in food science research and education, strong industrial collaboration and with a vibrant international environment, where English is the primary working language. The Department has the mission to contribute with new fundamental knowledge and innovative solutions for society and industry in order to support sustainable food production, food security and safety, as well as production of consumer attractive, palatable and high-quality novel foods promoting human health and well-being. We are characterized by a high involvement in interdisciplinary research at both international and national levels.

Further information about the Department can be found at

Research areas
The research areas for the PhD scholarships should be within the following seven strategic research areas covered by the research groups within UCPH FOOD:

  • Food quality:
    Understand how raw materials, food processing and storage affect food quality including digestibility, nutritional properties, sensory properties and flavour release, functional properties, shelf-life as well as the content and quality of micro- (vitamins and minerals) and macro-nutrients (proteins, carbohydrates and lipids) and untargeted molecular profiling for unknown food composition and food authenticity/adulteration. 
  • Proteins (Dairy, Meat, Plant):
    Understand food protein structure, chemistry, processing and function in the food matrix as well as in the body (digestion). Special focus on novel gentle processes for protein extraction, fractionation and preservation of plant-based raw materials to produce functional ingredients or foods. 
  • Microbial biodiversity and food biotechnology:
    Understand and exploit microorganisms and enzymes in order to develop and optimize food fermentations, preserve raw materials and prevent spoilage, enhance nutritional value, improve flavour and structure, and ensure microbiological safety. 
  • Food processes and supply chain:
    Understand and develop new sustainable food processes to effectively produce foods with improved safety and shelf-life, attractive sensory attributes, enhanced nutritional value, improved digestibility, and absence of anti-nutritional factors and adverse chemical changes during processing. This includes gentle and emerging technologies for minimization and/or utilization of all resources in the food supply chain including raw materials, ingredients, water, co-products (process, side and waste streams), and combination of sensor and data technology (process analytical technology).
  • Digitalisation and modelling of food systems:
    Develop front edge data and sensor technology (incl. remote sensing, quality by design, process analytics, machine learning, chemometrics, new algorithms, databases and robotics) for digitalization and optimization of the food production and the food value chain towards future green production systems with zero environmental footprint and strong industrial competitiveness.
  • Sensory and Consumer science:
    Understand sensory drivers (flavour, texture and appearance) for food acceptance in relation to new product development, processing and shelf life. Understand and develop tools for consumer behavioural change for a transition towards more green food choices, including digitalization of food situations and understanding consumer food choices.
  • Human metabolome, gut microbiome, digestibility:
    Understand how diet and specific dietary components, bioactive substances, anti-nutrients, prebiotics, probiotics and bacteriophages (viruses attacking bacteria) interact with the human digestive system, including microbial interactions in the gut microbiome, and influence on the human metabolome (faecal, urine, blood metabolome), and how these in turn influence human health and well-being.

Who are we looking for?
Applicants should hold an MSc degree related to the one or more of the seven strategic research areas mentioned above with excellent results and good English language skills. As criteria for the assessment of your qualifications, emphasis will also be based on publications (if any), relevant work experience and the potential of the applicant’s proposed research project.

Applicants must contact a relevant supervisor at FOOD to develop a research idea within one or more of the seven strategic research areas adn submit a brief research proposal to illustrate the ability to formulate a research idea and to validate excellence within the chosen research area.

The PhD programme
Depending of level of education, the PhD programme can be undertaken as either:

Option A: A three year full-time study within the framework of the regular PhD programme (5+3 scheme), if you already have an education equivalent to a relevant Danish master’s degree.

Option B: An up to five year full-time study programme within the framework of the integrated MSc and PhD programme (the 3+5 scheme), if you do not have an education equivalent to a relevant Danish master´s degree – but you have an education equivalent to a Danish bachelors´s degree.

Option A: Getting into a position on the regular PhD programme

Qualifications needed for the regular programme
To be eligible for the regular 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 thematic areas mentioned above. For information of eligibility of completed programmes, see General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database.

Terms of employment in the regular programme
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 SCIENCE, 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). The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.

Option B: Getting into a position on the integrated MSc and PhD programme

Qualifications needed for the integrated MSc and PhD programme
If you do not have an education equivalent to a relevant Danish master´s degree, you might be qualified for the integrated MSc and PhD programme, if you have an education equivalent to a relevant Danish bachelor´s degree. Here you can find out, if that is relevant for you: General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database.  

Terms of the integrated programme
To be eligible for the integrated scholarship, you are (or are eligible to be) enrolled at one of the faculty’s master programmes with relations the thematic areas mentioned above.

Students on the integrated programme will enrol as PhD students simultaneously with completing their enrolment in this MSc degree programme.

The duration of the integrated programme is up to five years, and depends on the amount of credits that you have passed on your MSc programme. For further information about the study programme, please see:, “Study Structures”.

Until the MSc degree is obtained, (when exactly two years of the full 3+5 programme remains), the grant will be paid partly in the form of 48 state education grant portions (in Danish: “SU-klip”) plus salary for work (teaching, supervision etc.) totalling a workload of 150 working hours per year. A PhD grant portion is currently (2021) DKK 6.321 before tax.

When you have obtained the MSc degree, you will transfer to the salary-earning part of the scholarship for a period of two years. At that point, the terms of employment and payment will be according to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State (AC). The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.

Responsibilities and tasks in both PhD programmes:

  • Complete and pass the MSc education in accordance with the curriculum of the MSc programme (ONLY when you are attending the integrated MSc and PhD programme)
  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision
  • Complete PhD courses corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS / ½ FTE
  • Participate in active research environments, including a stay at another research institution, preferably abroad
  • Teaching and knowledge dissemination activities
  • Write scientific papers aimed at high-impact journals
  • Write and defend a PhD thesis on the basis of your project

We are looking for the following qualifications:

  • Professional and excellent qualifications relevant to the PhD project
  • Relevant publications
  • Relevant work experience
  • Other relevant professional activities
  • Curious mind-set with a strong interest in the thematic areas mentioned above
  • Good English language skills

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

Please include

  1. Cover letter describing your motivation to undertake a PhD study (max. one page)
  2. A brief research proposal framing a research idea within one or more of the seven strategic research areas (max. 5500 characters with spaces)
  3. Curriculum vitae including information about your education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  4. Original diplomas for Bachelor of Science or Master of Science as well as transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation, if issued in another language than English, Danish, Swedish or Norwegian. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor with contact details to the supervisor is accepted
  5. Publication list (if possible)
  6. Reference letters (if available)

Application deadline:
The deadline for applications is 15 September 2022, 23:59 GMT +2.

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 deadline, a number of applicants will be selected (shortlisted) for academic assessment by two evaluators. You are notified, whether you will be selected for assessment.

Three internal assessors will assess the shortlisted candidates. The assessors will assess the qualifications and experience of the shortlisted applicants with respect to the above mentioned strategic research areas, techniques, skills and other requirements. The assessors will conclude whether each applicant is qualified and, if so, for option A or option B. The assessed applicants will have the opportunity to comment on their assessment. You can read about the recruitment process at

The top qualified applicants will be invited for interviews October-November 2022.

For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact Deputy Head of Department for Research and Innovation Nanna Viereck at +45 3533 3502, or Head of Department Anna Haldrup at +45 9356 5698,

General information about PhD study at the Faculty of SCIENCE is available at the PhD School’s website:

The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position. 



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.


Anna Haldrup


Nanna Viereck


Application deadline: 15-09-2022
Employment start: 01-01-2023
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: FOOD
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