Two PhD positions in the Innovative Training Network UBIMOTIF on regulation of ubiquitin signaling by short linear motifs

Within the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 860517, University of Copenhagen is offering two 36-month PhD positions for Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) in in the area of ubiquitin biology, commencing in March or April 2020 or as soon as possible hereafter.

The UBIMOTIF consortium includes 13 research groups and 6 partners from 10 European countries and is a joint training and research program with focus on discovery, characterization and exploitation of short linear motifs in the ubiquitin system.

Visit for more information.

About the host institution and groups
Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research (CPR) promotes basic and applied discovery research on human proteins with medical relevance. The Center is a strong hub for research on genome stability and human disease, comprising modern laboratories and state-of-the-art facilities within protein science. Research in the Mailand and Nilsson Groups aims to understand how signaling via post-translational protein modifications orchestrate cellular responses to DNA damage and mitotic regulation.
We combine systems-wide proteomics- and genomics-based approaches with methods within cell biology, biochemistry and advanced imaging to identify and functionally characterize cellular signalling responses.

We offer a vibrant, ambitious and highly international research environment, as well as access to cutting-edge facilities within protein science, including state-of-the-art proteomics and microscopy platforms.

The principal supervisors are
Professor Niels Mailand, e-mail:
For more information about Mailand group, please visit:

Professor Jakob Nilsson, e-mail:
For more information about Nilsson group, please visit:

About the project/job description
The successful candidates will join a multidisciplinary EU-funded Marie Sklodowska Curie International PhD training network aiming to understand the role of short linear motifs (SLiMs) in the regulation of ubiquitin signaling with a focus on DNA repair and mitotic regulation. The project will integrate SLiM discovery approaches with biochemical and proteomics-based screening approaches to comprehensively uncover novel regulatory principles within ubiquitin signaling.

The PhD projects aim to mechanistically dissect the functions of novel and uncharacterized SLiMs and their role in human genome stability maintenance. For these studies, the successful candidates will have the opportunity to apply a broad range of advanced cell-, biochemistry- and microscopy-based methodologies, as well as cutting-edge proteomics- and CRISPR-Cas9-based approaches.

Your key tasks as a PhD student are

  • Carry through 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 at 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 on the grounds of your project.

Key criteria for assessment of applicants
We are looking for two highly motivated and ambitious candidates with qualifications corresponding to a Master’s degree in the life sciences.

Other important selection criteria are:

  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project.
  • Experience with mammalian cell culture and biochemistry.
  • An open-minded, flexible and enthusiastic personality capable of interacting well within a group.
  • Excellent communication skills and fluency in English.
  • A track record of international mobility.

Special requirements for eligibility
Candidates will be required to meet the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Early Stage Researcher eligibility criteria:

Mobility Rule
Researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Denmark for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status are not taken into account.

The earliest possible recruitment date is 1 March 2020.

Early Stage Researcher (ESR) criteria
ESRs must, at the date of recruitment by the host organisation, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. Full-Time Equivalent Research Experience is measured from the date when the researcher obtained the degree entitling him/her to embark on a doctorate (either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited, even if a doctorate was never started or envisaged).

We welcome applicants of any nationality.

Please note that you will only be considered for the position if you fulfill the eligibility criteria.

Place of employment
The place of employment is at Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen.

We offer

  • The opportunity to conduct cutting-edge research and access to a network of leading researchers in the field.
  • Participation in research-specific, complementary and soft skills training that involve both the academic and industry sectors.
  • Appointment for a period of 36 months.
  • Competitive salary, adjusted for the host country.
  • Mobility allowance and a family allowance (where applicable) as part of the employment package.

Terms of employment
The employment as PhD fellow is full time (37 hours per week) 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 DKK 27,362 / approx. EUR 3.648 (October 2019-level) plus pension.

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

For questions about eligibility and UBIMOTIF contact project manager Lotta Avesson by e-mail:

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).

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.

Application deadline: 3 January 2020, 23.59 p.m. CET.

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.

This project has received funding form the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 860517.

The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences comprises approximately 7800 students, 1550 PhD students and 4400 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.


Jakob Nilsson


Niels Mailand


Ansøgningsfrist: 03-01-2020
Ansættelsesdato: 01-04-2020
Afdeling/Sted: Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research

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