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PhD fellowship in Biology of phage and antibiotic resistance in Staphylococcus aureus

University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Job Information

University of Copenhagen

Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences

Research Field
Biological sciences

Researcher Profile
First Stage Researcher (R1)


Application Deadline
4 Feb 2024 – 23:59 (Europe/Copenhagen)

Type of Contract

Job Status

Hours Per Week

Offer Starting Date
1 May 2024

Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?
Not funded by an EU programme

Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?

Offer Description
A PhD fellowship in “Biology of phage and antibiotic resistance in Staphylococcus aureus” commencing 1 May 2024 or as soon as possible hereafter. The PhD is part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Doctoral Network “Cell Envelope Anti-bacterials” (CLEAR)

The CLEAR Doctoral Network

The advent of penicillin marked the inception of the antibiotic era, rescuing millions from life-threatening bacterial infections like tuberculosis and pneumonia. Antibiotics not only revolutionized healthcare by enabling advanced medical interventions such as organ transplants and cancer treatments but also laid the foundation for significant progress. Unfortunately, the global surge in drug-resistant bacteria poses a serious threat to these advancements, rendering antibiotics ineffective. The consequences of antibiotic resistance are already severe, causing a minimum of 1.2 million annual deaths worldwide. To address this pressing issue, the EU-funded Doctoral Network, known as “Cell Envelope Anti-bacterials” (CLEAR), aims to train ten Ph.D. students to become exceptional researchers in the realm of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The projects within CLEAR are intricately woven into a collaborative academic-industrial framework, dedicated to developing innovative leads and alternative strategies to combat drug-resistant bacterial pathogens. Detailed information about the project can be found at https://clear.ku.dk/.

The project

Phages, viruses that target and eliminate bacteria, are being explored as an alternative treatment for bacterial infections caused by antibiotic-resistant pathogens. However, the emergence of phage-resistant bacteria raises questions about its impact on antibiotic susceptibility. This research project focuses on investigating the connections between bacterial resistance to phages and antibiotics in the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus, with a particular emphasis on anti-phage systems like CRISPR-Cas. The study will also assess how subtle alterations in bacterial gene expression influence phage and antibiotic tolerance, especially in conditions resembling in vivo environments. Utilizing various microbiological, genetic, and biochemical techniques, including genome and RNA sequencing, alongside cutting-edge tools for phage investigation, the project aims to deepen the understanding of phage-bacterium interactions. Additionally, the research involves two research stays in partner laboratories to broaden the scope of investigation. The ultimate objective is to leverage insights into these interactions for developing novel therapeutic solutions that address the challenge posed by antibiotic-resistant pathogens

The Group

The Ingmer group has for many years studied Staphylococcus aureus with focus on antibiotic resistance development, cell-to-cell communication, and alternative approaches to eradicating antibiotic resistant pathogens including phages. They enjoy research in an open and including atmosphere with interests covering quorum sensing control of virulence and susceptibility to phages, phage mediated transduction and impact of antibiotic resistance on phage susceptibility. More information can be found at:


The institution

The Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (IVH: https://ivh.ku.dk/english/ ) is organized in 8 sections focusing on food safety, antibiotic resistance, animal welfare, immune system, and lifestyle diseases. The cross-disciplinary research is dedicated to finding solutions to important societal challenges in a highly collaborative atmosphere, supported by state-of-the-art Core Facilities and administrative services.

Principal supervisor is Professor Hanne Inger, [email protected]

Start:            1 May 2024

Duration:      3 years as a PhD student

Required qualifications

  • Master degree in life sciences. Please note that your master’s degree must be equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (two years 120 ECTS/2 FTE MSc + 180 ECTS/3 FTE BSc).
  • Enthusiasm for research
  • Excellent English skills, written and spoken,
  • Collaborative, interactive mindset but capable of working independently,
  • Experience in molecular microbiology and phages will be an advantage

In addition, applicants will also be required to meet the MSCA Doctoral Network eligibility criteria, notably:

  • You must not have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Denmark for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before the start of your employment at UCPH. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account.
  • You must not be in possession of a doctoral degree when starting your employment at UCPH.

Applicants will only be considered for the position if they fulfill both of the above eligibility criteria.

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. It is funded by Horizon Europe and will start 1 May 2024 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 to the Graduate School of Health and Medical Sciences.

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 requirements from the European Commission related to the MSCA programme and 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 28,300

DKK/roughly 3,770 EUR (taxable) plus pension (April 2022 level). In addition, a mobility allowance (gross amount 600 EUR per month from the EU to UCPH) and (if eligible) also a family allowance (gross amount 660 EUR per month from the EU to UCPH).

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. We encourage you to read more in the assessment database: https://ufm.dk/en/education/recognition-and-transparency/find-assessmen… . 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 possible)

Application deadline:  Sunday 4 February 2024, 23.59pm CET

University of Copenhagen reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the above mentioned 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 find information about the recruitment process at: http://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/

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 10 and 11

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.
Research FieldBiological sciences » BiologyEducation LevelMaster Degree or equivalent
Additional Information
Work Location(s)
Number of offers available1Company/InstituteUniversity of Copenhagen, Department of Veterinary and Animal SciencesCountryDenmarkGeofield

Where to apply



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Last modified: January 20, 2024