PhD fellowship in Nutritional Immunology/Parasitology at the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. We are offering a PhD fellowship in Nutritional Immunology/Parasitology commencing 1 October 2023 or as soon as possible hereafter.

Our group and research: The Parasites, Immunology and Gut Health (PIGH) group applies small (rodent) and large (swine) animal models and in vitro cell culture techniques to explore host-pathogen-microbiome interactions and nutritional immunology. 

The group is a multidisciplinary team embedded within the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, with close links to other sections working on diseases, food chemistry, natural product chemistry, and the gut microbiome. Our aims are to develop novel therapies to prevent infection and disease in animals and humans. The group is international in nature, and the daily working language is English.

Project description:

The PhD project is part of the project ‘Understanding how gut metabolites regulate type-2 mucosal immunity’ funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The role of nutrition and dietary components in regulating mucosal immune function is becoming extensively explored, due to rising rates of allergies and chronic inflammation.

Our group is interested in how dietary components and the gut microbiota interact to regulate type-2 immunity at mucosal surfaces, which is critical for protection against helminth parasites but can also cause pathologies such as allergies when dysregulated.

The PhD project will focus on how pigs respond to infection with the helminth Trichuris suis when fed diets with different levels of fermentable fibers. We aim to identify gut metabolites derived from the breakdown of dietary fiber that shape the development of innate immune cells in the gut during T. suis infection.  Some work in mouse models will also be involved.

The PhD student will work together with other PhD students and postdocs in this research, involving infection of pigs or mice with Trichuris spp, metabolomic, microbiome and immunological analyses, including work at collaborating laboratories in both Denmark and abroad (several months). Full training will be provided. The PhD student will also contribute to teaching in the section.

Principal supervisor isAssociate Professor Andrew Williams, Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences. +45 353 32797. 

Start:                1 October 2023
Duration:         3 years

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, likely abroad.
  • 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 qualifications corresponding to a master’s degree related to the subject area of the project, e.g. Immunology, Biology, Biotechnology, Veterinary/Animal Science.  Please note that your master’s degree must be equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (two years).

Other important criteria are:

  • Ability to multi-task
  • Fluency in written and spoken English.
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team
  • High level of self-motivation
  • Experience or interest in working with experimental animals
  • Demonstrated experience with any of the following techniques is desirable but not essential: Flow cytometry, Sterile cell culture techniques, qPCR, handling of transcriptomic and/or metabolomics data.

Place of employment:

The place of employment is at the Department of Veterinary and Animal 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 facilities for experimental animal studies.

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 October 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter.
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 Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. Depending on seniority, the monthly salary starts at approximately 28,800 DKK/Roughly 3,850 EUR (April 2023 level) plus pension.

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. 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 applicable)

5. Reference letters (if any)

Application deadline:  [16 July 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 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.

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 34. 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.

Contact: Andrew Richard Williams E-mail:

Application deadline: 23-07-2023

Employment start: 01-10-2023

Working hours: Full time

Department/Location: Insitut for Veterinær- og husdyrvidenskab

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