PhD fellowship in Parasite-Microbiota Interactions at the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences

We are offering a PhD fellowship in Parasite-Microbiota Interactions commencing 1 February 2023 or as soon as possible hereafter.


Our group and research
The Parasites, Immunology and Gut Health (PIGH) group applies small (rodent, zebrafish) and large (swine) animal models and in vitro cell culture techniques to explore host-pathogen-microbiome interactions and nutritional immunology. The group is a multidisciplinary team embedded within the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, with close links to other sections working on diseases, food chemistry, natural product chemistry, and the gut microbiome. Our aims are to develop novel therapies to prevent infection and disease in animals and humans. The group is international in nature, and the daily working language is English.


Project description

The PhD project is part of the project ‘Linking host and parasite microbiomes to probe the nature of parasitism’ funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark. The PhD project will work with animal models (primarily zebrafish, with some mouse work) to explore interactions between dietary components, the gut microbiome, and intestinal parasites. The PhD student will work together with other PhD students and postdocs to carry out the work. This involves zebrafish handling and husbandry, infection of zebrafish with parasites, together with analysis of tissues using various immunological, molecular and metabolomic techniques. An international research stay in France (several months) is also included and work here will be focused on the microbiome in gnotobiotic zebrafish. Full training will be provided. The PhD student will also contribute to teaching in the section.


The supervisors for the PhD project are Associate Professor Andrew Williams, Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (IVH), Associate Professor Louise von Gersdorff Jørgensen, IVH, and Associate Professor Morten Limborg, GLOBE Institute. Please direct enquiries to Andrew Williams: or +45 353 32797. 

Start:                  1 Febraury 2023

Duration:          3 years


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 must have qualifications corresponding to a master’s degree related to the subject area of the project, e.g. Microbiology, Biology, Biotechnology, Veterinary/Animal Science.  Please note that your master’s degree must be equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (two years).

Other important criteria are:

  • Ability to multi-task
  • Fluency in written and spoken English.
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team
  • High level of self-motivation
  • Experience or interest in working with experimental animals
  • Demonstrated experience with any of the following techniques is desirable but not essential: Sterile cell culture techniques, qPCR, generation and handling of microbiota and/or metabolomics data.


Place of employment

The place of employment is at the 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. Our research facilities include modern laboratories and facilities for experimental animal studies.


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 1 February 2023 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 Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. Depending on seniority, the monthly salary starts at approximately 27,800 DKK/Roughly 3,700 EUR (October 2021 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 applicable)

5. Reference letters (if any)


Application deadline:  1 November 2022, 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 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 49.  

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.


Andrew Richard Williams


Application deadline: 01-11-2022
Employment start: 01-02-2023
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences

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