PhD fellowship in Gut Health in Pigs at Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
University of Copenhagen

We are offering a PhD fellowship in gut health in pigs commencing 1 February 2020 or as soon as possible hereafter. The PhD fellow will be part of the Animal Genetics research group.

Our group and research
Our research group is part of Section for Animal Genetics, Bioinformatics and Breeding. The focus of our research is to generate information that contributes to novel biological insight into mammalian genomes and clarify the function of genomic components, with the aim to support sustainable animal breeding and production. Our group has a broad research network both nationally and internationally. The PhD fellow will be part of an interdisciplinary collaboration at Institute of Veterinary and Animal Sciences including clinical sciences, microbiology and bioinformatics.


Project description
The majority of the antibiotics consumed in the Danish pig production is attributed to the treatment of enteric infections and diarrhea outbreaks in weaners, which, if untreated, frequently results in high mortality, reduced animal welfare, and lowered productivity. In this PhD-project omics- technologies (genomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics, metagenomics) will be used to establish an in-depth investigation in clinically well characterized pigs from herds with a high incidence of diarrhea. The PhD fellow will use genome wide association studies (GWAS) to identify Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL, eQTL, mQTL) harboring genetic determinants influencing gut health. The aim of the project is to establish complete genetic profiles for pigs with a ‘healthy’ and ‘diseased’ gut respectively, and to identify genetic and metagenomics determinants for a healthy gut. The project is expected to result in the identification of biomarkers and elucidation of host target receptors for pathogens of potential importance for pig production and breeding.

Principal supervisor is Professor Merete Fredholm, Department of Veterinary and Animal Science, E-mail, Direct Phone: 20133395.


Start:                  1 February 2020
Duration:          3 years as a PhD student


Job description
Your key tasks as a PhD student at SUND are:

  • Carry out an independent research project under supervision 
  • Complete PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS points
  • Participate in active research environments including a stay in another research team
  • Obtain experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project
  • Teach and disseminate your knowledge
  • Write a PhD thesis based on 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. M.Sc., DVM

Other important criteria are:

  • The grade point average achieved
  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project, for instance
    • Knowledge of genetics and genomics
    • Statistics
    • Basic competences in linux, python, R or similar
  • Previous publications
  • Relevant work experience
  • Curious mind-set with a strong interest in animal genetics
  • Language skills


Place of employment

The place of employment is at 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 state of the art equipment.


Terms of employment
The employment as PhD fellow is full time and for 3 years.

It 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 begins around 26.755 DKK /approx. 3.567 EUR (April 2018-level) plus pension.


For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact the principal supervisor.

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


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. Master of Science diploma and transcript of records. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor will do

4. Publication list (if possible)


Application deadline:  15 November 2019, 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 can read about the recruitment process at

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 in week 48-49


The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences comprises approximately 7500 students, 1500 PhD students and 3200 employees. The Faculty advances the field of health sciences through its core activities: research, teaching, knowledge sharing and communication. With basic research fields ranging from molecular studies to studies of society, the Faculty contributes to a healthy future through its graduates, research findings and inventions benefitting patients and the community. 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.


Ansøgningsfrist: 15-11-2019
Ansættelsesdato: 01-02-2020
Arbejdstid: Fuldtid
Afdeling/Sted: Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences

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