PhD fellowship in Drug Delivery

Department of Pharmacy

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences (SUND)

University of Copenhagen

Department of Pharmacy is offering a three-year PhD fellowship in Drug Delivery. The PhD fellowship is financed by Independent Research Fund Denmark. The fellowship is available from 1/12-2019 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Project description

Although vaccines have had a tremendous positive impact on global health, they are expected to be even more important in the future due to the increased frequency of drug-resistant microorganisms and diseases representing so-called “difficult targets” against which we do not have effective vaccines yet, e.g., tuberculosis, AIDS and cancer. One promising strategy is the use of vaccines based on mRNA that encode antigenic proteins from pathogens or tumour cells. In fact, mRNA vaccines represent a new era in vaccinology. However, challenges include the effective delivery of mRNA across cell membranes to the immune cell cytosol, and proper induction of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) that then can kill infected or transformed cells. Recently, we have made major breakthroughs addressing both of these challenges by identifying important constituents of such vaccines: an innovative delivery system based on nanoparticles that delivers nucleic acids to the cytosol. In addition, we have identified molecular components needed to induce strong CTL responses. These two principles will be combined into one multifunctional nanoparticle-based vaccine that both delivers mRNA encoding antigen and induces CTL responses. Microfluidics manufacturing will be used to precisely control the particle properties and to ensure the scalability of the production process, which is essential for translating the concept to the clinic. The efficacy and safety of the mRNA vaccines will be tested in animal models of infection and cancer. Improved understanding of basic molecular requirements for next-generation mRNA will have a tremendous impact on global vaccine development.

Principal supervisor

Professor, Camilla Foged, Department of Pharmacy

E-mail:, direct phone: +45 3533 6402.

Information about the Department can be found at

Required qualifications

As an applicant you must have:

  • Obtained a Master´s degree in Pharmacy, Biochemistry or related areas prior to the starting date
  • Fluency in English and excellent communication skills

Preferred qualifications

  • We are looking for a highly motivated individual with a strong background in/experience with Drug Delivery.

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
  • The grade point average achieved
  • Other professional activities
  • Language skills
  • The successful applicant is also required to be enterprising and to 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 principal supervisor, Camilla Foged, 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) and

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)
  • Full CV
  • 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
  • Possible publication list
  • Other information to consider: Possible references and recommendations

The deadline for applications is 27/9-2019.

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 diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

An answer as to the granting of the fellowship can be expected approx. 4 weeks after application deadline. 


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.


Ansøgningsfrist: 27-09-2019
Ansættelsesdato: 01-12-2019
Arbejdstid: Fuldtid
Afdeling/Sted: Institut for Farmaci

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