PhD Fellowship in Bacteriophage-Host Interactions
University of Copenhagen Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences

PhD fellowship in Bacteriophage-Host Interactions at Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences

We are offering a PhD fellowship in Bacteriophage-Host Interactions commencing on 1 November 2020 or as soon as possible hereafter.

Our group and research

Our research group PHAGEBio studies the biology and applications of bacteriophages that have a natural ability to kill bacteria. The aim of our research is to elucidate novel mechanisms of phage-host interaction as well as exploiting phages and their enzymes to control pathogenic bacteria. We offer the opportunity to work in a state-of-the-art, highly innovative and scientifically stimulating environment. We value team work and consists of a group of ambitious researchers from all over the world and have a large network within the field of bacteriophages. We offer excellent training opportunities, both personally and professionally and the opportunity to contribute with new knowledge to an exciting and fast-moving scientific field.

For more information see here:

Project description

The world-wide threat of antibiotic resistant bacteria has made WHO and EU emphasize the urgent need for innovative alternatives to antibiotics against Gram-negative pathogens. The aim of this project is to describe the interaction of phage tail fibers with the bacterial receptor as well as to identify novel phage resistance mechanisms. The work is part of a larger project aiming to develop and designing tail fibers targeting clinical and foodborne pathogens. This will be done by submitting a large dataset of phage-host interactions to machine learning and quantifying the efficacy of new designed tail fibers.

As a PhD fellow you will identify tail fibers of E. coli phages and determine their interaction with their cognate receptor at the protein level, taking part in the development of the training dataset to be used for prediction of phage-host interaction and tail fibers design. You will clone tail fibers from phages and test their binding on the target strains. To this aim, a period of 3-6 months in the laboratory of Sam Nugen, Cornell University, USA, is included. Furthermore, you will investigate novel phage resistance mechanisms using comparative genomic in combination with biological data on phage infection. We expect you to reveal novel understanding of phage biology and phage-host interactions and contribute to other projects running in the PHAGEBio research group. The project is funded by NIH.

Principal supervisor is Professor Lone Brøndsted, Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences,

Start:                    1 November 2020

Duration:             3 years as a PhD student

Job description

Your key tasks as a PhD student 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

We expect you to be highly motivated and ambitious and as an applicant you must have qualifications corresponding to a master’s degree related to the subject area of the project e.g. bacteriophage biology, molecular microbiology, biotechnology or similar.

Other important criteria are:

  • The grade point average achieved
  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
  • Previous publications
  • Relevant work experience
  • Other professional activities
  • Curious mind-set with an active interest in bacteriophages, molecular microbiology, bioinformatics and structural biology
  • Language skills

Place of employment

The place of employment is at Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in a dynamic and international research environment. Our research facilities include modern laboratories and state-of-the-art equipment.

Terms of employment

The employment as a PhD fellow is full time and for 3 years.

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 26.755 DKK /approx. 3.567 EUR (April 2018-level) plus pension.


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

General information about PhD study 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. Master of Science diploma and transcript of records. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor will do

4. Publication list (if possible)

Application deadline: Sunday 23 August 2020, 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 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.

Interviews are expected to be held in week 39 and 40.


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.


Application deadline: 23-08-2020
Employment start: 01-11-2020
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Institut for Veterinær- og Husdyrvidenskab

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