PhD Fellowship in Biology

University of Copenhagen

PhD Fellowship in Biology

The research group of Eva Kummer is looking for an excellent and highly motivated PhD candidate to investigate how Herpes virus replicates its genome using biochemical and structural approaches. Before entering the fully funded 3-year PhD fellowship, the successful candidates will have an initial employment as Research assistant for 2 months scheduled to start 01 September 2024 or as soon as possible hereafter.


Our group and research

Kummer group investigates protein complexes that help to maintain and express mitochondrial as well as viral DNA. Here, we are specifically interested in the molecular mechanism that stir replication, RNA processing and translation. The primary methodological approaches of our laboratory are single particle cryo-electron microscopy and protein biochemistry. Our group profits from generous funding by an NNF-CPR core grant, a Hallas Møller Emerging Investigator grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation, and a Research grant from the Leo Foundation.

We are currently part of Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research (CPR) and will later this year join the Biotech Research and Innovation Center (BRIC), both of which are part of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, and promote basic and applied research. CPR and BRIC host research groups of different disciplines ranging from systems biology, proteomics, and chemical biology to cancer and disease biology.


Project Description

You will investigate the structure and function of macromolecular complexes that drive Herpes simplex virus replication using in vitro reconstitution and single particle cryo-EM. Herpes simplex is one of the most widespread viral infections with currently no option for cure. Moreover, resistance to antiherpetic medication is emerging necessitating the search for new targets. A major caveat in developing anti-herpetic compounds is a lack of structural information of the herpes simplex replication system. Our mission is to generate these structural insights to foster a better understanding of the herpes simplex replication strategy. In this project, you will recombinantly purify components of the Herpes simplex replication machinery, reconstitute viral replication complexes in the test tube, and study their structure and function by single particle cryo-EM and functional biochemical assays.

We are equipped with state-of-the-art cell culture, protein purification and characterization instrumentation. Moreover, we have access to sample preparation equipment and electron microscopes at CFIM (Core Facility for Integrated Microscopy at the University of Copenhagen). This includes Leica GP2 and Vitrobot Mark IV vitrification devices, a Glacios TEM equipped with Falcon 3 DED, and a Krios G2 equipped with Falcon 4i DED and Selectris X imaging filter, as well as a Helios Hydra PFIB-SEM. EM data analysis will be performed on an in-house GPU cluster at CPR. Taken together, your project will profit from excellent infrastructure, and you will join a competitive, collaborative, and international work environment.


Principal Supervisor

Associate Professor Eva Kummer (email: eva.kummer(at) has strong expertise in protein and RNA biochemistry as well as electron microscopy. In her research group, she focusses on mitochondrial gene expression as well as mitochondrial and viral replication mechanisms. Examples of her and her group’s work include:


Start: 01 September 2024

Duration:  3 years as a PhD student + 2 months as research assistant for enrolment


Key criteria for the assessment of applicants

Required qualifications  
We are looking for an excellent and highly motivated candidate with strong team player skills. As an applicant you must have: 

  • Obtained (or expect to have obtained) a Master’s degree (equivalent to a Danish Master’s degree) in Biology, Biochemistry, Biophysics or related areas prior to the starting date 
  • Fluency in English and excellent written and oral communication skills

As a PhD candidate, you will have the opportunity to work on an interesting and challenging project that will profit from your enthusiasm and willingness to learn and implement new methodology. Import criteria that will be evaluated are:

  • The grade point average achieved
  • Professional qualifications and work experience relevant to the PhD project
  • Other professional activities


Preferred qualifications 
We are especially interested in candidates with previous experience in protein purification and electron microscopy or other structural techniques, although all necessary training will be provided to help you succeed. 


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

  • Carrying through an independent research project under supervision.
  • Completing PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approximately 30 ECTS points.
  • Participating in active research environments including a stay at another research team.
  • Obtaining experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project
  • Teaching and disseminating your knowledge.
  • Writing a PhD thesis on the grounds of your project


Terms of 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 2024.

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 during an initial two-month employment as a research assistant.

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 Taxation and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. Depending on seniority, the monthly salary starts at approximately 30,700 DKK/Roughly 4,100 EUR (April 2024 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:


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:  10 June 2024, 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 find information about the recruitment process at:


The applicants 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 29 and 30.

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.


Eva Kummer


Application deadline: 10-06-2024
Employment start: 01-09-2024
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research