PhD Fellowship in Chemical Biology

University of Copenhagen

PhD Fellowship in Chemical Biology

We are looking for one 3-year PhD Fellow in Chemical Biology. The fellowship is available from 1 January 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Our research
In the Strømgaard lab, we combine tools from chemistry and biology, and apply these in studies of therapeutic peptides and proteins. Our aims are to develop modulators for protein-protein interactions (PPIs) and to provide molecular-level insight herein. We are interested in PPIs that are therapeutically relevant, in particular between integral membrane proteins and their intracellular protein partners, also known as receptor complexes.

Job description
The position is one of eleven PhD positions in the Horizon Europe-funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action (MSCA) Doctoral Network IDPro (project 101119633), intrinsically disordered proteins in health and disease: mechanisms, molecular context, and opportunities for drug discovery.

IDPro is an exceptional network of nine beneficiaries (eight academic and one industrial) and five partner organizations (four industrial and three academic) from seven different countries, with excellent track records in protein research and supervision. Together, we will train eleven doctoral candidates, with distinct competencies of relevance for the field of intrinsically disordered proteins, to secure future scientific breakthroughs in a rapidly developing field. We will investigate how disordered proteins interact, how interaction is affected by disease-related mutations, and assess how disordered proteins cause aberrant cellular signaling in relevant human disease models. Furthermore, we will design ligands that can be further developed into molecular probes, which could represent lead structures for the development of drugs. The goal of IDPro is to strengthen an emerging field in biology and medicine with implications for both academia and industry in the European union.

Career development within research and education is part of the positions. The candidate can gain relevant teaching experience (10% of the time), which will support the development of a relevant teaching track record and portfolio.

More information can be found on the IDPro home page

PhD project: Development of peptide-based probes to modulate PSD proteins
The five key proteins present in the PSD (PSD-95, SynGAP, Homer, Shank and GKAP) are important for normal brain function, and dysfunction of these proteins has vast implications for a wide range of brain diseases. The proteins comprise larger intrinsically disordered regions, and hence are also referred to as intrinsically disordered proteins (IDP). Those regions are often important for structure and function. In this project, the fellow will examine how targeting such IDPs of the PSD proteins with peptide-based probes will provide a better understanding how to restore the healthy state of PSD using peptide modulators.

Supervisor: Professor Kristian Strømgaard, Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology.

1 January 2024 or as soon as possible hereafter

3 years as a PhD Fellow

Our department
Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology is committed to research-based teaching and interdisciplinary research that supports the development and understanding of chemical and pharmacological properties of drugs and drug targets. We work as part of a dynamic academic community of research, education and innovation within the Pharmaceutical Sciences bridging Health Sciences and Life Sciences.

Information about the Department can be found at

Job description
Your key tasks as a PhD student at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences 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 taking active part in research- and educational organizational initiatives under Center for Medicinal Chemistry
  • A stay at another research environment
  • Obtaining experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project
  • Teaching of undergraduate students in pharmaceutical sciences
  • Writing a PhD thesis on the grounds of your project

Key criteria for the assessment of applicants
Applicants must have qualifications corresponding to a master’s degree related to the subject area of the project, e.g. chemistry, chemical engineering or pharmacy. Please note that your master’s degree must be equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (two years).

Required qualifications
As an applicant you must have:

  • qualifications corresponding to a master’s degree in medicinal chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacy or biotechnology prior to the starting date
  • Fluency in English and excellent communication skills

Please note: This MSCA Doctoral Network grant aims to promote mobility within the EU. Applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Denmark for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before their date of recruitment. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account.

Furthermore, the applicant must not be in possession of a doctoral degree at the first day of the employment.

Please note that you will only be considered for the position if you fulfill all the above eligibility criteria.

Preferred qualifications
We are looking for a highly motivated individual with a strong background in peptide or protein chemistry, and with a desire to learn about the other fields. The applicant should also have strong theoretical education in peptide chemistry, biochemistry, and spectroscopy. Hands-on experience with biochemical methods will be seen as favorable.

Other important criteria are:

  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
  • Relevant work experience
  • Previous publications
  • The grade point average achieved
  • Other professional activities
  • A curious mind-set with a strong interest in peptide chemistry and chemical biology
  • Language skills

Place of employment
The place of employment is at the Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment. Our research facilities include modern laboratories, equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure for synthesis, compound characterization, and biochemical assays.

Terms of employment
The PhD position is a fixed-term position limited to a period of 3 years and The average weekly working hours are 37 hours per week.

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

Salary, pension and terms of employment are in accordance with the requirements from 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 28,990 DKK/roughly 3,880 EUR (October 2023 level) plus pension.  

The position is covered by the Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities 2020.

For further information, applicants may contact the principal supervisor Kristian Strømgaard, e-mail:, phone: +45 3533 6566 or PhD coordinator Marianne W. Jørgensen, e-mail:, phone: +45 3533 6449.

General information about PhD studies at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences is available at the Graduate School’s website:

For more information on working and living in Denmark visit (International staff mobility) and

Application procedure
Your application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking “Apply now” below and 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. Applicants with a Master´s degree from abroad should also enclose a short description of the grading scale used
  4. Publication list (if possible)
  5. Other information to consider: References and recommendations (if possible)

The deadline for applications is 30 September 2023, 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 authorised 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.

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 as soon as possible after the application deadline.

You can read about the recruitment process at

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.


Kristian Strømgaard


Marianne Wieslander Jørgensen


Application deadline: 30-09-2023
Employment start: 01-01-2024
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology
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