PhD fellowship in computational biology at the Globe Institute

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
University of Copenhagen


We are offering a Ph.D. fellowship in computational biology/bioinformatics commencing 1 November 2024, or as soon as possible thereafter.

Our group and research
In the Korneliussen group, we develop statistical methods to facilitate the analysis of high throughput sequencing data.  Past projects have been state-of-the-art methods within population genetics, such as demographic inference, population structure, and signatures of selection, but also methods within medical genetics with a special emphasis on the direct application of these to low-coverage data and ancient DNA. 

The applicant will also be part of the Lundbeck GeoGenetics Centre, the newly established Centre for Ancient Environmental Genomics, and the coming AEGIS center. These are interdisciplinary research centers committed to unlocking the vast yet largely untapped research potential of ancient environmental genomics by enhancing key experimental and computational capabilities. The goal is to study community-wide and population-level processes on an unprecedented temporal and spatial scale to help resolve fundamental questions about the history of life on Earth. The centers bring together a diverse team of researchers with backgrounds in geology, genetics, ecology, evolutionary biology, computer science, statistics, and more. As part of the GeoGenetics Centre, the applicant will have access to the data generated from the high-throughput sequencing center.

Project description
The successful PhD candidate will work within the Korneliussen group and the computational team at the centres. The candidate will have opportunities to shape their projects according to their interests, in consultation with the advisor, and the projects can range from theoretical methods development to empirical data analysis. 

The broader focus of the PhD is the development and implementation of novel statistical methods for the analyses of DNA sequencing data. Of specific relevance to this Ph.D. position are methods for estimating genetic distance and full phylogenetic trees while taking into account molecular evolution substitution models. Secondly, the hosting centre, the CAEG Center of Excellence, is devoted to the generation of ancient environmental genomes as part of a diverse suite of projects spanning million-year-old material from extreme arctic environments to DNA sequencing data from lost civilizations in southeast Asia. The Ph.D. candidate will have the opportunity to develop programs to facilitate and drive the data analyses of one or more of these large projects.

Principal supervisor; Thorfinn Sand Korneliussen, Globe Institute,, +4550433250

Start:                  1 November 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter

Duration:          3 years as a PhD student

Job description
Your key tasks as a PhD student 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 should hold an MSc related to (possibly human) genomics, computer science, or mathematics degree with good results and good English skills. Previous publications (if any) and relevant work experience will also be considered criteria for assessing your qualifications.

Requirements for the applicants are:

  • MSc degree in bioinformatics, statistical genetics or a related quantitative field (mathematics, physics, statistics)
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English
  • Completed formal courses in basic programming

In addition to these formal requirements, we are looking for a candidate that:

  • has experience and a strong interest in population genetics and statistical genetics
  • has experience with the programming languages R and C/C++
  • has experience working in Linux
  • has experience in working with genetic data, including low-depth sequencing data
  • has experience with the development of mathematical methods or algorithms
  • is highly motivated, reliable, and able to work independently in a structured manner
  • has good communication skills
  • Completed formal courses in the analysis of large genetic data sets including NGS data

Place of employment
The place of employment is at the Globe Institute, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in a dynamic and international research environment. Our research facilities include modern laboratories and access to multiple state-of-the-art computer clusters.

About Globe Institute
The Globe Institute is part of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen. The Institute’s main purpose is to address basic scientific questions through interdisciplinary approaches. The institute operates at the intersection of natural and medical sciences and the humanities. Information on the institute can be found at:

The Globe Institute is committed to creating an inclusive and diverse environment where employees and students can belong and thrive. See website for more information. All qualified applicants will receive full consideration. Candidates who, through their research, teaching, and/or service, contribute to diversity and competencies of our Institute are encouraged to apply. The University of Copenhagen strives to offer a family friendly and flexible working environment with a sustainable balance between work- and private life, including parental leave schemes (up to 47 weeks for both parents) and up to six weeks of paid holidays per year. The university offers a variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families.

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 starting date is 1 November 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter.

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 30,700 DKK/approximately 4,100 EUR (April 2024 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: 11 August 2024, 23.59pm CEST.

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 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.


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.


Thorfinn Sand Korneliussen


Application deadline: 11-08-2024
Employment start: 01-11-2024
Department/Location: Globe Institute
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