2 PhD fellowships in MS-based proteomics

Posted 2 years ago

We are offering two 3-year PhD fellowships in the Nielsen group at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, commencing 1 September 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Our group and research
You will be working in the group of Professor Dr. Michael L. Nielsen at The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research (CPR – www.cpr.ku.dk). The center has been established at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, to promote basic and applied discovery research on human proteins of medical relevance. The center comprises a wide range of expertise and resources including proteomics, protein production, and characterization of disease mechanisms.

The Nielsen group focuses on developing and applying novel proteomics technologies to detail cellular outcomes in a systems-level approach, with the aim to improve current understanding of cellular phenotypes and diseases. To this end, the selected candidate will employ or improve current cutting-edge mass spectrometry (MS)-based strategies for identification and quantification of post-translational modifications (PTMs).

For more information about the research group, please visit:

Focus of available PhD projects
The PhD projects currently available in the Nielsen lab will center on one of the following research areas related to using cutting-edge proteomic technologies for dynamic and temporal characterization of PTMs. Candidates applying to the position should ideally indicate which research area they are interested in:

  •  PhD project 1 – Method development: Our lab has pioneered cutting-edge MS methodology for the unbiased and systemic study of ADP-ribosylation, and a large portion of contemporary proteomics knowledge in the field was generated in our lab. Still, there are technical hurdles to overcome with regard to sample preparation and MS-technical method development, and the analysis and stratification of the generated data could be further improved. The ideal candidate would be expected to assess current methodology in order to improve upon it, or systematically integrate currently available MS data in order to provide a comprehensive overview or perform meta-analysis.
  • PhD project 2 – Method application: ADP-ribosylation has emerged as a vital PTM in many cellular processes, including transcription, DNA damage, chromatin modulation, RNA processing, metabolomics, protein localization, and many others. For the majority of PARP enzymes, their biological roles remains enigmatic and analyzing their functional implications by MS-based proteomics will aid this understanding. The ideal candidate is therefore expected to investigate the cellular roles of ADP-ribosylation and PARP enzymes to improve current understanding of PARP biology.


  •  PhD project 3 – Method application: The Nielsen lab has developed the first proteomics strategy for systems-level studies of site-specific, endogenous and native SUMOylation, which can be applied in any sample type from all higher eukaryotes. In this project, the candidate will work on utilizing SUMO-proteomics strategies to unravel the role of the SUMOylation pathway in the context of health and disease. 

Principal supervisor is Professor Dr. Michael L. Nielsen, CPRmichael.lund.nielsen@cpr.ku.dk

Start:                 1 September 2022

Duration:          3 years as a PhD student


  • Candidates are required to have a Master’s degree in biochemistry, molecular biology, natural science, bioinformatics or similar prior to starting
  • An analytical aptitude of devising innovative scientific or technical solutions
  • Prior experience in research fields related to ADP-ribosylation or PARP biology would be a distinct advantage
  • Knowledge in one or more of the following area(s) would be considered an advantage: molecular and cell biology, cell signaling, chromatin biology, proteomics, or systems biology
  • Prior experience in high resolution mass spectrometry is not essential, but would be considered an advantage
  • Knowledge in bioinformatics and large-scale data analysis, and skills in statistical computational environment such as R and Python will be considered a distinct advantage, but not a requirement
  • Good communication skills, both oral and written
  • Strong motivation and excellent scientific skills are essential
  • The ability to conduct independent and creative research, demonstrate scientific productivity, and show good inter-personal and communication skills.

Place of employment
The employment is at CPR (www.cpr.ku.dk), University of Copenhagen, located in central Copenhagen. The research environment at CPR is vibrant, ambitious, and international, with approx. 30 different nationalities currently represented. The Center comprises modern laboratories and state-of-the-art facilities within protein science. Seminars with high-profile international speakers and regular internal research seminars are organized at the Center.

Terms of salary and 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 September 2022 or after agreement.

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 28,300 DKK/Roughly 3,800 EUR (April 2022 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: https://healthsciences.ku.dk/phd/guidelines/

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: 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
  4. Publication list (if possible)

Application deadline:  4 May 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 can find information about the recruitment process at: http://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/

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.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Job Features

Job CategoryTeaching and scientific research, Doctorat

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