PhD Fellowship in Veterinary Oncology, Radiotherapy and Immunology

University of Copenhagen Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences

PhD Fellowship in Veterinary Oncology, Radiotherapy and Immunology

We are offering a PhD fellowship in veterinary oncology, immunology and radiotherapy commencing 15 January 2023 or as soon as possible hereafter.

Our group and research
The PhD project is a collaboration between the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at University of Copenhagen (DK), the Department of Medical Radiation Physics at Lund University (SE), the Department of Radiation Physics at Skåne University Hospital (SE), the Section for Biotherapeutic Engineering and Drug Targeting at the Danish Technical University (DK) and the Institute for Radiation Oncology at Oxford University (UK).

The PhD project will investigate the effects of FLASH radiotherapy on the immune system in two experimental murine models and in canine spontaneous cancer patients. The murine study part will be performed at Oxford University under the supervision of Kristoffer Petersson and the canine study part will be performed at the University of Copenhagen and at Lund University under the supervision of Betina Børresen, Maja Arendt and Kristoffer Petersson. Other co-investigators are Anders E. Hansen from DTU, who will be involved in evaluating the anti-tumor immune response, and Crister Ceberg from Lund University, who will be involved in the canine FLASH treatments.

There are currently multiple other PhD students working with FLASH radiotherapy at Oxford University and Lund University as well as PhD students working with canine cancer at the University of Copenhagen or with cancer immunology at DTU, so the PhD student will have the opportunity to be part of an active research environment and to form a network with other like-minded researchers. Also, the PhD student will be involved in the clinical work in the oncology service at the University Hospital for Companion Animals, which currently has two board-certified veterinary oncologists in the team, so the PhD student will also get the opportunity to evolve his/her clinical oncological capabilities. 

The project will give the PhD student a strong foundation for performing both pre-clinical and clinical research projects, hence he/she may have a broad range of career opportunities after commencing this project. On top of this, the 6-month research externship at Oxford University will be very significant for future research employments and funding opportunities.

Project description

The project will be performed in two work packages.

The first work package investigates the effect of FLASH radiotherapy on tumor immune response in two experimental murine models. This is planned to be performed during a 6-month research externship at Oxford University, so the applicant must be willing to stay in the UK during this period. The applicant will treat tumor-bearing mice with FLASH radiotherapy and, following FLASH treatment, the applicant will perform various analyses on the tumor tissue to quantify immune status.

The second work package investigates the effect of FLASH radiotherapy on local and systemic immune response in canine cancer patients and correlates the immune response to local and systemic treatment efficacy. The applicant will recruit canine cancer patients and perform various clinical procedures at the University Hospital for Companion Animals at the University of Copenhagen, while the FLASH radiotherapy treatments will be performed at Skåne University Hospital. The applicant will perform various analyses on both blood and tumor tissue to quantify the local and systemic anti-tumor immune response following treatment.

Principal supervisor is Assoc. professor Betina Børresen, Dept. of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, bb@sund.ku.dk, +4521288696.

Principal co-supervisor is Assoc. professor Maja L. Arendt, Dept. of Veterinary Clinical Sciences

Start:             15 January 2023 or as soon as possible hereafter

Duration:      3 years as a PhD student

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

Key criteria for the assessment of applicants
Applicants must have a master’s degree in veterinary medicine and be authorized to practice veterinary medicine within the EU or have the qualifications to become authorized prior to commencing the study. Please note that the master’s degree must be equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (two years).

Other important criteria are:

  • Fluency in English (requirement)
  • FELASA C course (preferred, but not a requirement)
  • Experience with anaesthetizing and/or sedating dogs (preferred, but not a requirement)
  • Experience working with laboratory animals (preferred, but not a requirement)

Place of employment

The place of employment is at the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, 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 and equipment.

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 15 January 2023 or as soon as possible hereafter.

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 Taxation and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. Depending on seniority, the monthly salary starts at approximately 27,800 DKK/Roughly 3,700 EUR (October 2021 level) plus pension.

Questions
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:  Sunday 16 October 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 find information about the recruitment process at: https://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.

Interviews are expected to be held in week 46 and 47.

The University of Copenhagen wish to reflect the diversity of society and encourage all qualified candidates to apply regardless of personal background. 

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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.

Contact

Betina Børresen

Info

Application deadline: 16-10-2022
Employment start: 15-01-2023
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Institut for Klinisk Veterinærmedicin