PhD fellowship in social science of health promotion, exercise and sport

Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports invites applicants for a PhD fellowship in the complexities of women’s menopausal transitions. The project is part of the interdisciplinary research center Women in Healthy Transition (

Start date is (expected to be) 15 December 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The project
The PhD project will consist of a nation-wide quantitative survey and a follow-up qualitative study with individual interviews and focus groups. The participants in the survey will be Danish women in the age of 45-59 years. The aim of the survey will be to investigate relations between menopausal status, symptoms, physical activity, well-being and socioeconomical factors among others. The qualitative study will based on the quantitative results to deepen the understanding of particularly relevant relations through a micro sociological lens. Thus, the PhD project is based on a mixed method approach to adequately examine the complexities of menopausal transitions in Denmark.

Who are we looking for?
We are looking for excellent candidates within the fields of social science of exercise and health promotion. Applicants can have a background from sport and exercise social science, public health, psychology or sociology. Experience with and knowledge about both quantitative and qualitative methods will be needed.

Our group and research - and what do we offer?
The PhD student will be employed at the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. The PhD student will be affiliated in the section Sport, individual and Society which aims at promoting sport and movement activities for individuals and in society. The section contributes to the understanding of sport, movement activities, and the importance of the body historically. Emphasis is on the wider health aspects of sport and movement activities, but also on the pleasure of movement, enjoyment, and citizenship. The PhD student will be part of the research group Sociological Research in Sport and Exercise (SoRSE) whose common focal point is sociology through which we strive to contribute to an international research community, to support Danish municipalities, sport organizations and political decision makers and to make a difference in everyday life. We are located in Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in a dynamic research environment.

Principal supervisor is Ass. Professor Maria Hybholt, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports,, 35320840. A co supervisor from Department of Public Health will be affiliated before the start date.

The PhD programme
A three year full-time study within the framework of the regular PhD programme (5+3 scheme), if you already have an education equivalent to a relevant Danish master’s degree.

Qualifications needed for the regular programme
To be eligible for the regular PhD programme, you must have completed a degree programme, equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (180 ECTS/3 FTE BSc + 120 ECTS/2 FTE MSc) related to the subject area of the project, e.g. Social science of sport, exercise and health promotion, Public Health, Sociology or related fields with excellent results. For information of eligibility of completed programmes, see General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database.

Job description

Responsibilities and tasks in the PhD programme at Science are:

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision
  • Complete PhD courses corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS / ½ FTE
  • Participate in active research environments, including a stay at another research institution, preferably abroad
  • Teaching and knowledge dissemination activities
  • Write scientific papers aimed at high-impact journals within the field of research
  • Write and defend a PhD thesis on the basis of your project

Key criteria for the assessment of applicants
We are looking for highly motivated applicants with the following competences and experiences:

  • The candidate will be self-motivated with the ability to work independently as well as competent to collaborate as part of an interdisciplinary research team
  • A creative and curious mindset with a strong interest in the everyday life of women, menopause and health/physical activity
  • Fluency in Danish is a requirement to conduct the qualitative study
  • Excellent communication skills in both spoken and written English
  • Prior experience and hands-on in any of the following areas is an advantage:
    • Quantitative methods (e.g. surveys and statistical analysis)
    • Qualitative methods (e.g. focus groups and individual interviews)
    • Theoretical understandings of societal problems

Terms of employment in the regular programme
Employment as PhD fellow is full time and for maximum 3 years.

Employment is conditional upon your successful enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD School at the Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Taxation and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.

Application and Assessment Procedure
Your application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include

  1. Motivated letter of application (max. one page) including motivation for applying for the specific PhD project
  2. Curriculum vitae including information about your education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  3. Original diplomas for Bachelor of Science or Master of Science and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in another 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.
  4. Publication list (if possible)
  5. Reference letters (if available)

Application deadline:
The deadline for applications is 15 October 2023, 23:59 GMT +2.

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 deadline, a number of applicants will be selected for academic assessment by an unbiased expert assessor. You are notified, whether you will be passed for assessment.

The assessor will assess the qualifications and experience of the shortlisted applicants with respect to the above mentioned research area, techniques, skills and other requirements. The assessor will conclude whether each applicant is qualified. The assessed applicants will have the opportunity to comment on their assessment. You can read about the recruitment process at

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

General information about PhD study at the Faculty of SCIENCE is available at the PhD School’s website:

The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position. 


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.


Maria Hybholt


Application deadline: 15-10-2023
Employment start: 15-12-2023
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports

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