PhD fellowship in Cardiac Electrophysiology

Department of Biomedical Sciences
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
University of Copenhagen

We are offering a PhD fellowship in Cardiac Electrophysiology starting November 1, 2022, or as soon as possible hereafter.

Our group and research
The “Gap Junction” Group led by Associate Professor Morten Schak Nielsen specializes in cardiac electrophysiology with specific emphasis on the propagation of action potentials in the myocardium. A particular interest is the involvement of structural features of the intercalated disc in cardiac conduction. We use a variety of methods including patch clamp, measurements of conduction velocity, whole-heart Langendorff perfusion, fluorescence- and electron microscopy.

The Department's research is translational and placed in the cross-field between basic health research and the clinic/industry. The aim of our research is to generate new knowledge that can be used in the prevention and treatment of diseases, for example diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and cancer. The group is part of the research theme “Physiology of Circulation, Kidney and Lung”, which comprises a vivid research environment covering circulatory physiology from the cell to in vivo level.

Project description
Cardiac activation has long been thought to occur solely through conduction from cell to cell via gap junctions. However, many findings are at odds with the idea that gap junctions are the sole route of conduction. The aim of the project is to demonstrate a different mode of conduction, which involves changes in the extracellular potential. The investigations will primarily be performed using patch clamp, whole-heart Langendorff perfusion and electron microscopy. We will demonstrate that cell-to-cell activation can occur independent of gap junctional coupling at the cellular and tissue level. A demonstration of electrical field coupling will have high impact on our fundamental understanding of cardiac electrophysiology. It will necessitate a revision of textbooks in human physiology and most importantly change the way we clinically address conduction in cardiac diseases.

Principal supervisor is Associate Professor Morten Schak Nielsen, Department of Biomedical Sciences, e-mail:, Direct phone: +45 3532 7427.

Start:                 November 1st, 2022

Duration:          3 years as a PhD Fellow

Job description
Your key tasks as a PhD Fellow at SUND are:

  • Carrying through an independent research project under supervision
  • Completing PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approximately 30 ECTS points
  • Participating in active research environments including a stay at another research team
  • Obtaining experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project
  • Teaching and disseminating your knowledge
  • Writing a PhD thesis on the grounds of your project

Key criteria for the assessment of applicants
Applicants must have qualifications corresponding to a master’s degree related to the subject area of the project, e.g., Medicine, Molecular Biomedicine, Human Biology, Biology, or another relevant Life Sciences education. Please note that your master’s degree must be equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (two years).

Your scientific qualifications:

  • MSc degree in a relevant topic
  • Experience with cardiac physiology and/or electrophysiological techniques will be considered an advantage
  • Experience with handling of animals and appropriate FELASA certification will be considered an advantage

Your personal qualifications:

  • You have a passion for science, and you know what it takes to succeed
  • You have excellent collaborative skills
  • You are result-oriented
  • You know how to set professional and personal goals – and meet them
  • You work independently and accept responsibility
  • You can extract the essence of your research and convey it in both written and oral form

We provide:

  • An opportunity for an ambitious student to grow and reach towards his/her potential as a researcher
  • A dynamic research environment with room for scientific discussion

Other important criteria are:

  • The grade point average achieved
  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
  • Previous publications
  • Relevant work experience
  • Other professional activities
  • A curious mind-set
  • Fluency in written and spoken English

Place of employment
The place of employment is at the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment. Our research facilities include modern laboratories and a dynamic research environment.

Terms of employment
The average weekly working hours are 37 hours per week. The position is a fixed-term position limited to a period of 3 years. The start date is November 1, 2022, or after agreement.

The employment 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 Taxation and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. Depending on seniority, the monthly salary starts at approximately 28,365 DKK/approximately 3,800 EUR (April 2022 level) plus pension.

For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact the principal supervisor.

General information about PhD studies 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. 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
  4. Publication list (if possible)

Application deadline: August 31, 2022, at 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 can comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself.

You find information about the recruitment process at

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 39.

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 Schak Nielsen


Application deadline: 31-08-2022
Employment start: 01-11-2022
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Department of Biomedical Sciences
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