PhD fellowship in “Identification of epigenetic and F-actin regulators improving the efficiency of ex vivo gene therapy” at the Biotech Research and Innovation Centre (BRIC), University of Copenhagen
The PhD is part of the EU funded “Gene Therapy of Rare Diseases” Doctoral Network (GetRadi) which is a MSCA Doctoral Network.
Within the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action (MSCA), University of Copenhagen is offering one PhD position for a Doctoral Candidate (DC), commencing on 1 March 2023. The position is for 36 months and is funded by Horizon Europe.
The successful applicant will join a multidisciplinary EU-funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie International PhD training network. This interdisciplinary doctoral position is based at the Department of BRIC (the Biotech Research and Innovation Centre), Brakebusch Group, at the University of Copenhagen (UCPH). The position will be supervised by Professor Cord Brakebusch.
For further information, applicants may contact the main supervisor Cord Brakebusch, e-mail: email@example.com, direct phone: +45 35325619.
The GetRadi Doctoral Network
Rare diseases are affecting more than 30 Mio people in the EU and are in most cases caused by genetic mutations. The only curative treatment for patients suffering from these diseases is gene therapy, but many technical problems still need to be solved before safe and affordable somatic gene therapy will be a clinical routine. Aim of the EU funded Doctoral Network “Gene Therapy of Rare Diseases” (GetRadi) is to train 10 PhD students to become exceptional experts in gene therapy of rare diseases. In their research projects, the students will aim to overcome major technical challenges that still prevent the widespread use of somatic gene therapy in the clinic. All projects are embedded in a tight and synergistic academic-industrial collaboration to develop marketable products for the application of gene therapy. This GetRadi training will allow young scientists to spearhead future research efforts in gene therapy of rare diseases.
More information can be found on the GetRadi’s homepage www.getradi.ku.dk
Chromatin modifications and nuclear F-actin have been shown to affect genome editing efficiency. The underlying molecular mechanism, however, is unclear, and the effects might be highly dependent on the extent and timing of the chromatin alteration. Initiated by the recent finding of our group of a methylation inihibitor improving CRISPR genome editing efficiency by HDR, we will now investigate by a CRISPR ko screen the role of chromatin and nuclear F-actin modifying genes on the efficiency of the repair of a single nucleotide variant by genome editing. This will identify novel pathways to increase the efficiency of defined gene repair during gene therapy of rare diseases.
Prof. Cord Brakebusch’s group at BRIC, University of Copenhagen, has extensive experience in the generation and analysis of genetically modified mice and was one of the first groups in Scandinavia using CRISPR genome editing for that purpose (https://www.bric.ku.dk/research-groups/Research/Brakebusch_Group/). Major research interest of the group in addition to genome editing technologies is the Rho GTPase signaling in vivo during development and disease and in the nucleus, where it links with epigenetic regulation and DNA repair.
BRIC is a Center of Excellence at the University of Copenhagen with a strong focus on molecular mechanisms underlying disease (www.bric.ku.dk). More than 20 ambitious groups are working at BRIC in a highly collaborative atmosphere, supported by state-of-the-art Core Facilities and administrative services.
- Master’s degree in life sciences. Please not that your master's degree must be equivalent to a Danish master's degree (two years 120 ECTS/2 FTE MSc + 180 ECTS/3 BSc)
- Enthusiasm for research
- Good English skills, written and spoken
- Collaborative, interactive mindset
- Experience in molecular biology or animal research is of advantage
In addition aplication will be required to meet the MSCA Doctoral Network eligibility criteria, notably:
- You must not have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Denmark for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before the start of your employment at UCPH. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account.
- You must not be in possession of a doctoral degree when starting your employment at UCPH.
Applicants will only be considered for the position if they fulfill both of the above eligibility criteria.
Terms of employment
The position as PhD fellow is full time (37 working hours weekly) and lasts 3 years. It is funded by Horizon Europe and will start 1 March 2023.
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 to the Graduate School of Health and Medical Sciences.
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 requirements from the European Commission related to the MSCA programme and 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 begins around DKK 28,300 roughly 3,800 EUR (taxable) plus pension (April 2022 level). In addition, a mobility allowance (gross amount 600 EUR per month from the EU to UCPH) and (if eligible) also a family allowance (gross amount 660 EUR per month from the EU to UCPH).
Your application, written in English, may be submitted electronically by clicking “Apply now” below and should include the following documents in PDF format:
- Motivated letter of application (max. one page)
- CV incl. education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
- 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: https://ufm.dk/en/education/recognition-and-transparency/find-assessments/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.
- Applicants with a Master´s degree from abroad should also enclose a short description of the grading scale used
- Publication list (if relevant)
- Other information to consider: References and recommendations (to consider)
The deadline for applications is 20 October 2022, 23.59pm CET
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 him/herself.
Candidates will be assessed and short listed for interviews, which are supposed to take place mid-November. All candidates will be informed of the outcome of their application.
The applicant will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.
You can read about the recruitment process at https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/
The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the diversity of society and encourages 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.