PhD fellowship in Functional Genomics

Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
University of Copenhagen


We are offering a PhD fellowship in Functional Genomics commencing January 1, 2023, or after agreement.

About us
The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research’s vision is to strengthen interdisciplinary research that transforms our basic understanding of the mechanisms that underlie metabolic health and disease, and to accelerate this knowledge toward new prevention and treatment strategies. We were established in 2010 and in 2017, we moved into new laboratories, offices, and meeting rooms in the Maersk Tower

The Center has around 260 employees who work in an international, highly collaborative research environment across a range of biomedical disciplines. You can read more about us here

The Group
The Kilpeläinen Group uses genomic, molecular and health data to understand how genetic variants contribute to the risk of cardiometabolic disease. Through in-depth understanding of disease mechanisms, particularly in the adipose tissue, the group seeks to open avenues for new treatments. The group’s research strategy starts from human genetic association data, followed by bioinformatic prioritization of the causal variants, genes, and cell types. Subsequent experimental studies using cellular phenotyping assays and rodent models seek to validate the variants’ effects on their target genes and downstream cellular programs and characterize the physiological consequences. The Kilpeläinen group is international, gender-balanced and interdisciplinary, including both computationally and experimentally oriented scientists. The group collaborates actively with local and international collaborators and is well-networked within international genetics consortia. For more information about the Kilpeläinen group, please visit

Project description
We seek an enthusiastic, passionate researcher to perform a PhD project in Functional Genomics. The main objective of the PhD project is to identify gene regulatory effects in human adipose tissue that connect non-coding genetic variants to an increased risk of obesity and cardiometabolic disease. The project will propel understanding of how genetic risk variants may contribute to obesity and cardiometabolic disease by regulating gene expression in adipose tissue. The research performed by the PhD student will involve integrative analyses of transcriptomic and epigenomic data from human adipocyte in vitro experiments and from single-nucleus RNA and ATAC-sequencing of subcutaneous fat biopsies. The project will prioritize genetic variants and genes for subsequent gene perturbation experiments that seek to validate the genetic variants’ effects on their target genes and downstream cellular programs.

Principal supervisor is Associate Professor Tuomas Kilpeläinen, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, email

Start:                 January 1, 2023, or after agreement

Duration:          3 years as a PhD Fellow

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

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision
  • Complete PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS points
  • Participate in active research environments including a stay at another research team
  • Obtain experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project
  • Teach and disseminate your knowledge
  • Write 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., bioinformatics, biostatistics, computational biology, etc.

Other important criteria are:

  • Pronounced experience in the programming languages R and/or Python
  • Experience from Linux/UNIX environment and high-performance computing
  • Experience in analysing genetic association data
  • Experience in analysing RNA sequencing data
  • Experience in mapping gene enhancers using data on e.g., chromatin accessibility and histone modifications
  • Excellent academic track record and demonstrated scientific productivity, such as previous research publications
  • Excellent communication skills in both written and spoken English
  • Some hands-on experience of wet lab research is an advantage

Place of employment
The place of employment is at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, 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, bioinformatics and statistic guidance, and access to big data from multiple cohorts.

Terms of employment
The employment as PhD fellow is full time (37 hours per week) and for 3 years. The starting date is January 1, 2023, or after agreement.

It 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 begins around 28.448 DKK / approx. 3.818 EUR (October 2022 level) plus pension.

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: October 9, 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 can read about the recruitment process at

The applicant 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 wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcome applications from all qualified candidates 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.


Tuomas Oskari Kilpeläinen


Application deadline: 09-10-2022
Employment start: 01-01-2023
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research
Content not available due to cookie preferences

You cannot see the content of this field because of your cookie preferences.

Click here to change your cookie settings.

Category: Marketing

Search all vacancies