PhD fellowship in Medicinal Chemistry at the Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
University of Copenhagen

A PhD fellowship within medicinal chemistry is available at the Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology, University of Copenhagen, starting 1st of December 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The research environment
The position is in group of Ass. Professor Elisabeth Rexen Ulven ( at the Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology. The research of the group is within organic and medicinal chemistry targeting GPCRs with focus on development of tool compounds for carboxylate sensing GPCRs. The Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology ( represents a strong research environment that is leading in medicinal chemistry and neuropharmacology.
The University of Copenhagen ( was founded in 1479 and is ranked 29 in the world (ARWU2018).

Project description
G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are highly druggable and one of the largest groups of drug targets today, but many receptors remain to be fully explored. The overall aim of this project is to develop novel tool compounds that will enable or facilitate biological and pharmacological investigations of carboxylate-sensing GPCRs as potential drug targets. The main focus will be on the free fatty acid receptor FFA2, which is a GPCR that is activated by short-chain free fatty acids and has been linked to inflammation and metabolic disorders. The project will include ligand design, organic synthesis, development and characterization of fluorescent tracers and in vitro screening. The project is financed by the Lundbeck Foundation.

Principal supervisor
Ass. Professor Elisabeth Rexen Ulven, Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology


Information about the Department can be found at

Required qualifications
The successful candidate will have the following qualifications:

  • A MSc-degree in medicinal chemistry, organic chemistry or a closely related field
  • High motivation and basic scientific skills in organic synthesis and/or medicinal chemistry
  • Fluency in English and excellent communication skills
  • Good collaborating skills

Experience with fluorescence, computational modelling and biological testing will be regarded positively but is not required.

General Job description
Your key tasks as a PhD fellow at the Faculty are to:

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision
  • Write scientific articles and the PhD thesis on the grounds of your research project
  • Complete PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS points
  • 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
  • Stay at an external research institution, preferably abroad

Key criteria for the assessment of applicants

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

Formal requirements
The position is available for a 3-year period for applicants holding a relevant master´s degree.

The successful applicant will be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences according to the rules stipulated in the Ministerial order on the PhD programme at the universities (PhD order) from the Ministry of Science, Innovation, and Higher Education and the guidelines for the PhD programme at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.

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

Terms of employment
The position as a PhD fellow is available for a 3-year period.

Salary and other terms and conditions of appointment are set in accordance with the Agreement between the Ministry of Finance and AC (Danish Confederation of Professional Associations) or other relevant professional organizations. Depending on seniority, the monthly salary begins around DKK 27,135 (approx. 3,618 EUR) (taxable) plus pension. The position is covered by the Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities (2013). 

For further information, applicants may contact the supervisor, Elisabeth Rexen Ulven, e-mail:, or Administrator Marianne W. Jørgensen, e-mail:, direct phone: +45 3533 6449.

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

Application procedure
The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Your application must include:

Cover letter: Letter stating the interest in and qualifications for the project (max. one page)

  1. Full CV
  2. Diploma and transcripts of records: Master´s degree diploma (including grade transcripts for bachelor´s and master´s degrees). Applicants with a Master´s degree from abroad should also enclose a short description of the grading scale used
  3. Possible publication list
  4. Other information to consider: Possible references and recommendations

The deadline for applications is Sunday, 29nd of September, 2019, at 23:59 GMT + 1.

Please note that only online applications will be accepted. Applications received later than this date will not be considered.

The further process
Shortlist: After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorised recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Appointment Committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an expert assessment committee. Selected applicants are notified of the composition of the committee and each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself. You can read about the recruitment process at  

Assessment: The selected applications will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities and the University of Copenhagen’s guidelines 2013. The Assessment Committee makes a non-prioritised assessment of the academic qualifications and experience with respect to the mentioned area of research, techniques, skills and other requirements listed in the advertisement. 

Please note that the applicant will be contacted if the assessment committee requires further documentation.

The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position. 


Københavns Universitet giver sine knap 10.000 medarbejdere muligheder for at udnytte deres talent fuldt ud i et ambitiøst, uformelt miljø. Vi sikrer traditionsrige og moderne rammer om uddannelser og fri forskning på højt internationalt niveau. Vi søger svar og løsninger på fælles problemer og gør ny viden tilgængelig og nyttig for andre.


Elisabeth Rexen Ulven


Ansøgningsfrist: 29-09-2019
Ansættelsesdato: 01-12-2019
Arbejdstid: Fuldtid
Afdeling/Sted: Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology

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