3-year PhD position in stem cell-based modelling of schizophrenia
Department of Neuroscience,
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
University of Copenhagen
Position: 3-year PhD student position
Application deadline: 24 October 2021, 23.59pm CET
The Department of Neuroscience at University of Copenhagen is looking for a
PhD student to join the Human Neural Development group led by PI Agnete
Kirkeby. The position is scheduled to commence on the 17th of January 2022 or
on a nearby alternative date upon agreement with the chosen candidate. The
position as Postdoc is for 4 years.
The Human Neural Development research team is located at the Department of
Neuroscience at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences of University of
Copenhagen. Our group works to develop stem cell transplantation therapies for
brain disorders such as Parkinson's Disease, dementia and narcolepsy by
producing high-purity cultures of subtype-specific human neural cells in the
lab and testing these in animal models of disease. We further apply advanced
stem cell technologies to study normally inaccessible stages of human brain
development as well as to produce models of human brain diseases in the dish
(i.e. Parkinson's Disease, Schizophrenia and hypothalamic disorders).
We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in a dynamic and highly
international research environment. Our team currently consists of 14 team
members at University of Copenhagen + 4 team members in our sister group at
Lund University, coming from 8 different nationalities. Our research
facilities at University of Copenhagen are located in a new and modern
research building from 2018, and include state-of-the-art laboratories,
pleasant office facilities and access to high-quality core facilities in
transcriptomics, imaging, flow cytometry and proteomics.
To read more about the team:
https: // in.ku.dk/research/kirkeby-lab/
https: // www. stemcellcenter.lu.se/research-groups/kirkeby
We are seeking a highly motivated and ambitious PhD student candidate with a
strong educational background in the field of biotechnology, biomedicine,
biology or medicine and a PhD within the field of stem cell biology and/or
schizophrenia research. The candidate will enter into a consortium research
project aiming to study key protein networks involved in schizophrenia
pathology through the use of complex human stem cell models of excitatory and
inhibitory neurons. The candidate will during the project collaborate with
other partners in the research consortium, including Prof. Kasper Lage of the
Broad Institute and Prof. Thomas Werge from the Sct Hans Hospital of Mental
Health. More information on the research consortium can be found here. The
candidate will apply patient-derived iPSCs, CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing and
complex neural culturing techniques to uncover how mutations in central GWAS-
identified protein networks impact on neuronal function. The purpose of this
work is to understand the link between gene mutations found in GWAS studies of
schizophrenia patients and their mechanistic correlation to neuronal function
and disease pathology.
Your key tasks are:
Performance of an independent research project under supervision.
Responsibility for daily supervision of master students will be possible.
Participation in an active and ambitious research environment with a high
degree of collaborative interactions between team members
The technologies you will apply are:
Culturing and subtype-specific neural differentiation of hiPSCs and hESCs
CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing in hiPSCs and hESCs to target key schizophrenia
Assessment of neuronal subtypes in the dish through qRT-PCR and
Assessment of neuronal function and connectivity through complex mixed
neuronal cultures and micro-electrode array technology
Performing single cell RNA sequencing (10X platform) and working with
bioinformaticians on analysing the data
Key criteria for the assessment of applicants
The following requirements for the candidate will be assessed as key criteria
for the recruitment.
Master's degree related to the subject area of the project e.g.
Biomedicine, Biotechnology, Human Biology, Biology or similar
Fluency in English, written and spoken.
Positively assessed criteria:
Prior experience in pluripotent cell culturing and neural differentiation.
Prior experience in working with neuronal cell cultures and/or brain
Prior experience in performing gene editing
Prior experience in qRT-PCR, ICC and confocal imaging
Prior experience in working with assessment of neuronal connectivity,
synapse formation and neuronal function
Works well in teams and collaborative projects
Well-organized, self-motivated, result-oriented and capable of working
Positive reviews from previous supervisors, collaborators or mentors
Terms of salary, work, and employment
The successful candidate will be offered a full-time position for a total of 3
years as a PhD student. 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 organization. Depending on seniority, the monthly salary begins
around 27,871 DKK /approx. 3,747 EUR (October 2021-level). In addition to
the basic salary, a monthly contribution to a pension fund is added (17.1% of
The position is covered by the “Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff
at the Universities” of June 28, 2013.
Your application must be submitted electronically by clicking ‘Apply now'
below. The application must include the following documents in PDF format:
Motivated letter of application (max. one page)
CV incl. education, experience from previous research projects, previous employments, technical skills, language skills and other skills relevant for the position + contact information of two references.
Master of Science diploma and transcript of records.
For questions about the project and group, please contact the principal
Associate Professor Agnete Kirkeby, Department of Neuroscience, e-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org phone: +45 5168 5353
Application deadline: 24 October 2021, 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
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
The applicant will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of
13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.
You can read about the recruitment process at
https: // employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/
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 . www. ku.dk