PhD fellowship in patho-morphological characterization of the intestinal/microbiome interaction in robust/non-robust piglets concerning post-weaning diarrhea

Copenhagen University
January 29, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:fixed-term position
Working Time:Negotigation
Working type:N/A
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We are offering a PhD fellowship in characterization of the pathological phenotypic features of the intestinal/microbiome interaction of robust and non-robust piglets concerning post-weaning diarrhea commencing 1 May 2023, or as soon as possible thereafter.

Our group and research

Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences provides skilled candidates and contributes to solutions to important challenges in society such as antibiotic resistance, food safety and lifestyle diseases. We develop animal models that are used to improve animal welfare as well as treat and prevent diseases in both animals and humans. The department comprise eight sections covering a wide spectrum of disciplines supporting veterinary- and animal sciences. The research group of veterinary pathology and anatomy is part of the section of Pathobiology. Its activities focus on the development of models for human and veterinary diseases in mammals together with the development of new diagnostic methods. This includes animal infectious diseases and welfare related lesions as well as laboratory related aspects.

Project description

The PhD fellowship is part of the research project PIG-PARADIGM funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The project is a large collaboration between University of Copenhagen (DK), Aarhus University (DK), Wageningen University (NL), and University of California, Davis (USA). The project consists of four different research pillars, i.e. host, microbiome, nutrition, and data integration. The main focus of the PIG-PARADIGM project is to obtain fundamental knowledge on what defines the healthy and robust intestine of pigs, in order to reduce the incidence of post-weaning diarrhea, and thereby reducing the need for antibiotic treatment and preventing spread of antimicrobial resistance both within the production system and in humans. Our PhD fellowship is placed within the host pillar of the project.

The aim of the PhD project is to create a pathological characterization of the interaction between the intestinal barrier and the microbiome in order to distinguish the robust and the non-robust (susceptible) pigs with regard to post-weaning diarrhea. Based on a series of necropsies from a longitudinal case-control study, an evaluation of the intestinal barrier will be carried out focusing on pathological manifestations and in-situ identification of pathological agents (primarily bacteria and viruses) by means of several histochemical techniques, and development and evaluation of specific markers within the fields of immunohistochemistry and in-situ hybridization. Moreover, the intestinal immunological cellular response will be evaluated, and tools for quantitative evaluation of the cellular response including the application of automated computer techniques (AI), will be sought out. Apart from the pigs enrolled in the case-control study, pigs that die on the farm within the study period, will be necropsied and enrolled in the study if found appropriate.

The project will be carried out in close collaboration with several other fields of expertise, including geneticists, veterinary clinicians and microbiologists.

Principal Supervisor is Professor Henrik Elvang Jensen, Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, [email protected], Direct phone +4551360373

Start: 1 May 2023

Duration: 3 years as a PhD Fellow

Job description

Your key tasks as a PhD Fellow at SUND are:

  • Carrying through an independent research project under supervision
  • Completing PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approximately 30 ECTS points
  • Participating in active research environments including a stay at another research team
  • Obtaining experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD
  • Writing a PhD thesis on the grounds of your project
  • Key criteria for the assessment of applicants

    Applicants must have qualifications corresponding to a master's degree in Veterinary Medicine. Please note that your master's degree must be equivalent to a Danish master's degree (two years). In considering applications for the PhD fellowship, the main emphasis will be on the applicant's experience within the field of veterinary pathology and histology. Experience with different in-situ techniques, probe development and application of automated computerized software for quantitative assessment of histological sections is an advantage, but not a requirement.

    Other important criteria are:

  • The grade point average achieved
  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD Project
  • Previous publications
  • Relevant work experience
  • Other professional activities
  • A strong interest in veterinary pathology and the field of antimicrobial resistance
  • Language skills
  • Place of employment

    The place of employment is at the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in a dynamic and international research environment. Our research facilities include modern laboratories with access to state-of-the-art equipment to successfully complete the PhD tasks.

    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. The start date is 1 May 2023, or as soon as possible thereafter.

    The employment is conditioned upon the applicant's successful enrolment as a PhD Fellow 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 Taxation and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. Depending on seniority, the monthly salary starts at approximately 27,800 DKK/Roughly 3,700 EUR (October 2021 level) plus pension.


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

    General information about PhD studies at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences is available at the Graduate School's website: https: //

    Application procedure

    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, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  • 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: // Please note that we might ask you to obtain an assessment of your education performed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science
  • Publication list (if possible)
  • Application deadline: Sun day 29 January 2023, 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 find information about the recruitment process at: https: //

    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 7 and 8.

    The University of Copenhagen wish to reflect the diversity of society and encourage all qualified candidates to apply regardless of personal background.

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