PhD fellowship Metabolic Signaling

Copenhagen University


October 20, 2021


Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research University of Copenhagen

We are offering a PhD fellowship in “Protein kinase signaling in control of metabolic homeostasis” commencing March 1, 2022, or after agreement.

Our group and research The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research's vision is to strengthen interdisciplinary research that transforms our basic understanding of the mechanisms that underlie metabolic health and disease, and to accelerate this knowledge toward new prevention and treatment strategies. We were established in 2010 and in 2017, we moved into new laboratories, offices and meeting rooms in the Maersk Tower www.

The Center has around 260 employees who work in an international, highly collaborative research environment across a range of biomedical disciplines. You can read more about us here: www.

The Group We investigate key molecular signaling mechanisms that control energy metabolism and glucose homeostasis associated with exercise, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. We take the state of art and integrated biochemical, genetic, and physiological approaches in collaboration with internationally renowned institutes/investigators. See our group page and our key recent discoveries and publications: www. metabolite-sensing/sakamoto-group.

Project description The overarching aim of the PhD project is to investigate the role that salt inducible kinase (SIK) plays in regulation of metabolic homeostasis. SIK is one of the family members closely related to AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and has emerged as a key regulator of metabolism and inflammation. The project will apply state-of-art molecular biology tools, biochemical assays and genetic preclinical models. The successful candidate is expected to identify novel role and/or regulatory mechanism by which SIK controls peripheral (e.g. liver) and whole-body metabolic processes/homeostasis, and also test the effects of small-molecule SIK modulators on metabolic health.

Principal supervisor is Professor Kei Sakamoto (

Start: March 1, 2022

Duration: 3 years as a PhD Fellow

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 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 the assessment of applicants Applicants must have qualifications corresponding to a Master's degree related to the subject area of the project e.g. molecular biology, biochemistry, cell signaling and preclinical metabolic physiology.

    Other important criteria are:

  • Strong theoretical background and track record (MSc studies/internships) in biochemistry, molecular biology, cell signaling and glucose metabolism
  • Hands-on experience in performing cell culture experiments (e.g. DNA transfection, stable cell line generation) and assays related to protein kinase signaling (e.g. Western blotting, in vitro kinase assay)
  • Hands-on experience in conducting or assisting preclinical studies on glucose metabolism
  • Ability to manage and analyze complex data sets
  • Curious mind-set with strong self-motivation to develop new knowledge/treatment for complex metabolic diseases in human
  • Strong organizational (sample/reagent, data) and time management skills
  • Ability to work independently and work as a team player
  • Experience with and flair for working in an international environment
  • Written and spoken English language skills
  • Place of employment The place of employment is the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, Maersk Tower, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen.

    Terms of employment The employment as PhD Fellow is full time (37 working hours) and for 3 years. The starting date is March 1, 2022, or after agreement.

    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.

    Questions 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: https: //

    Application procedure Your application can 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
  • Publication list (if possible)
  • 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: // transparency/find-assessments/assessment-database. Please note that we might ask you to obtain an assessment of your education performed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science.'

    Application deadline: 20 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 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 https: //

    The applicant will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.

    University of Copenhagen wish to reflect the diversity of society and welcome applications from all qualified candidates regardless of age, disability, gender, nationality, race, religion or sexual orientation. Appointment will be based on merit alone .

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