PhD fellowship in BonePainII - Pain in Rare Bone Disorders

University of Copenhagen


PhD fellowship in BonePainII - Pain in Rare Bone Disorders at the Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology,

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen  


A 3-year PhD fellowship is available at the Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen with an expected start June 1, 2019 or as soon as possible hereafter.  


The fellowship is part of the European Training Network BonePainII (, which is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 814244.  


About BonePainII  

BonePainII is a European Innovative Training Network to promote frontline research, innovation and education within bone pain. Millions in Europe and beyond suffer from bone pain, which is a debilitating complication of many musculoskeletal disorders such as arthritis and bone metastasis. The BonePainII network has participants from 6 European countries and encompasses 8 academic groups and 4 industries all committed to creating an outstanding PhD training program for 15 early stage researchers to elucidate the mechanisms of bone pain and develop new medicines.  


About your project  

The aim of the project is to identify molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying pain in rare bone disorders.


An important, but neglected aspect of bone pain is the pain of rare bone disorders. This project will focus on fibrous dysplasia, a rare bone disorder where constitutively active cAMP in bone marrow stromal cells leads to a disorganised and structurally vulnerable fibrous-osseous tissue in one or many bones and the patients often suffer from debilitating bone pain.


For this project you will 1) validate a genetically engineered mouse model of fibrous dysplasia as an appropriate model of pain in fibrous dysplasia 2) investigate whether fibrous dysplasia bone cells activate or sensitize sensory neurons 3) identify transcriptome changes in sensory neurons during fibrous dysplasia pain.  

This project will provide a platform for the future development and evaluation of new therapeutic options for fibrous dysplasia bone pain.  


Principal supervisor is Associate Professor Anne-Marie Heegaard, Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology ( E-mail: Direct Phone: +45 35 33 63 22.  


Eligibility criteria  

- You must not have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Denmark for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to your recruitment - unless as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention1.  


- You must be an Early Stage Researcher (ESR): at time of recruitment you must be in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent research experience)2 of your research career and must not have been awarded a doctoral degree.  


General job description  

Your key tasks as a PhD fellow are to:

  • Manage and carry through your research project under supervision  

  • Participate in the BonePainII training and network activities  

  • Complete PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS points  

  • Participate in national and international conferences and scientific meetings  

  • Research stay at an external research laboratory within the BonePainII network  

  • Obtain experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project  

  • Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis  

Key criteria for the assessment of applicants  

The successful candidate must hold a relevant Master’s degree (at the time of employment). Experience  

with in vivo models, behavioral tests, bone biology or chronic pain research will be an advantage. Passed course in Laboratory Animal Science EU Function ABD (formerly FELASA Category) or equivalent.  


Other important criteria are:  

  • Relevant skills and knowledge

  • Previous publications      

  • Relevant work experience  

  • The grades achieved during bachelor/master studies  

  • Other professional activities  

  • Solid level of English and good general communication skills  

  • The candidate’s motivation letter  

Terms of employment  

The employment as PhD fellow is full time and for 3 years. Starting date is June 1, 2019 or after agreement  

It is conditioned upon the candidate’s successful enrolment in the PhD school at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen.  


The PhD study must be completed in accordance with The Ministerial Order on the PhD programme (2013) and the University’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, and according to the rules and regulations laid down by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action European Training Network.  



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

General information about PhD programs 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:  


- Cover letter detailing the motivation for applying (max one page)  

- CV incl. education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position  

- Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc)  

- Publication list (if possible)  

- 2 letters of recommendation  


For those applicants whose principal language of instruction during their BSc/MSc was not English it will a be an advantage if they enclose IELTS or TOEFL test scores or equivalent proof of English skills, however it will be at the discretion of the supervisors during the interviews to evaluate the English skills.


Application deadline: March 15, 2019, 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 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.  

Relevant short-listed candidates will be invited for an interview (e.g. via Skype) with the hiring committee consisting of the principal supervisor and the BonePainII co-supervisor.  


In case of highly qualified, but unsuccessful applications, applicants might have the choice of having their application forwarded to another suitable BonePainII network member for consideration.  


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.  

Interviews are expected to be held in April 2019.  


[1] 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol 

[2] This is measured from the date when a researcher obtained the degree which would formally entitle him or 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, irrespective of whether or not a doctorate is or was ever envisaged. 


In your application, please refer to


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