University of Copenhagen PhD Fellowships 2020-2021 in Medicinal Chemistry/Chemical Biology

University of Copenhagen PhD Fellowships 2020-2021 in Medicinal Chemistry/Chemical Biology

Deadline: August 7, 2020

Applications for the University of Copenhagen PhD Fellowships 2020-2021 in Medicinal Chemistry/Chemical Biology are now open. The University of Copenhagen is offering two three-year PhD fellowships in Medicinal Chemistry/Chemical Biology at the Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology. The PhD fellowships are financed by the Independent Research Fund, Denmark. The fellowships are available from October 1, 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Project Description

Enzymes formerly thought to be protein lysine deacetylases, have now been shown to target different types of lysine modifications in the human proteome. Hydrolases called HDACs and sirtuins, have been shown to target these modifications to affect gene expression and metabolism among other cellular functions.

The objectives of the current projects are to design and finetune strategies to target certain members of these enzyme classes by either developing so-called PROTACs or developing novel bioisosteres. The tasks during both of these projects will thus include chemical synthesis, compound characterization, enzymatic inhibition profiling, and cell culture work. In this interdisciplinary way, they will evaluate and optimize new chemical probes to target nuclear class I HDACs and mitochondrial sirtuins, respectively. They expect that the developed probes will become valuable tools to dissect the biological function of mentioned enzymes in both healthy and diseased cells and tissues.


Your key tasks as a PhD fellow at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences are to:

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision.
  • Complete PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approximately 30 ECTS points.
  • Participate in active research environments including a stay at another research institution, preferably abroad.
  • Obtain experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project.
  • Participate in the undergraduate teaching of students in pharmaceutical sciences.
  • Participate in national and international conferences and scientific meetings.
  • Write a PhD thesis on the grounds of your research project.


  • Depending on seniority, the monthly salary begins around DKK 27,590 (approx. 3,700 EUR) (taxable) plus pension (April 2020 level).


  • Applicant must have qualifications corresponding to a master’s degree chemistry, pharmacy or chemical engineering prior to the starting date;
  • Fluency in English and excellent communication skills;
  • They are looking for a highly motivated individual with a strong background in organic synthesis;
  • The applicant should also have strong theoretical education in organic chemistry, biochemistry, medicinal chemistry, and spectroscopy. Hands-on experience with biochemical, enzymological or molecular biological methods will be seen as favorable.

Terms of Employment

The employment as PhD fellow is full time and for 3 years. Start date is October 1, 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter.

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 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. The PhD student is expected to be affiliated to the graduate programme in pharmaceutical sciences, Drug Research Academy.

Assessment Criteria

Key criteria for the assessment of applicants

  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project.
  • Relevant work experience.
  • Publications.
  • The grade point average achieved.
  • Other professional activities.
  • Language skills.
  • The successful applicant is also required to be enterprising and to possess good interpersonal skills.


Your application, in English, must be submitted electronically and must 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
  • Diploma and transcripts of records: Master´s degree diploma (including grade transcripts for bachelor´s and master´s degrees). If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor will do. Applicants with a Master´s degree from abroad should also enclose a short description of the grading scale used
  • Publication list (if possible)
  • Other information to consider: References and recommendations (if possible)

Click here to apply

For more information, visit University of Copenhagen.