PhD Fellow in Nutrition

University of Copenhagen Department of Nutrition Exercise and Sports


PhD Fellow in Nutrition

Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen is offering a PhD scholarship in the section for Obesity Research commencing 01.05.2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Description of the scientific environment

The unit for obesity research undertakes basic and clinical research to investigate how appetite and energy metabolism is regulated, with the ultimate goal to improve our ability to prevent and treat obesity and related diseases, such as type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The research group investigates the effects of diets, physical activity pattern, sleep, stress, gastric bypass, gut microbiota, genetics and medicines on energy balance in individuals who are normal-weight, overweight or obese with/without metabolic complications both in short-term and long-term intervention studies as well as observational studies  (Link: . 

Project description

The project includes investigating the effect of maternal diet and weight gain during pregnancy on child growth and development and markers of metabolic disturbances collected during the completion of the APPROACH RCT and the ongoing APPROACH cohort study. The intervention part of APPROACH was a randomized controlled trial including 279 women (pre-pregnancy BMI 28-45 kg/m2) where 209 completed the intervention. The PhD includes analyses of already collected material from the planned and completed assessments at ages 0, 6, 18 and 36 months and completion of the ongoing 5-year assessment. Active participation in child examinations, collection of material and potential laboratory work is to be expected. The primary aim of this study is to investigate the effect of a high vs. moderate protein consumption on the fat accumulation, by using circumference and skinfold measures as proxy markers, until the age of five years. The secondary aims are to investigate the effect of glucose metabolism and visceral fat during pregnancy on development of overweight and obesity, and signs of metabolic diseases among the offspring, until the age of five years. There will be possibility of including data on foetal ultra-sonographic measurements collected during the pregnancies to predict birth weight. The PhD-student should statistically examine data and disseminate results where appropriate. Therefore, previous experience and qualifications within data handling and analysis is of importance when evaluating qualifications for this PhD-position.

Principal supervisor is Associate Professor Nina Geiker, Dept. of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen, E-mail:, Direct Phone: 3532 4060.

Job description

The position is available for a 3-year period and your key tasks as a PhD student at SCIENCE are:

  • To manage and carry through your research project
  • Attend PhD courses
  • Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
  • Teach and disseminate your research (potential medical responsible if MD)
  • To stay at an external research institution for a few months, preferably abroad
  • Work for the department

Key criteria for the assessment of candidates:

  • A master’s degree preferably related to nutrition or medical doctor with nutritional and foetal/child interest and experience
  • Data handling and statistical analysis
  • Previous publications
  • The grade point average achieved
  • Fluency in English, both written and spoken.
  • Fluency in Danish (Scandinavian), both written and spoken.

Formal requirements

Applicants should hold an MSc degree in Nutrition (or related) or be a medical doctor with nutritional and foetal/child interest with good results and good English skills. As criteria for the assessment of your qualifications, emphasis will also be laid on previous publications (if any) and relevant work experience.

Terms of employment

The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.
Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.
The starting salary is currently at a minimum DKK 331,125 (approx. €43,750) including annual supplement (+ pension at a minimum DKK 53,811). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible

Application Procedure

The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include

  • Cover Letter, stating which PhD project you are applying for and detailing your motivation and background for applying for the specific PhD project
  • CV
  • Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc)
  • Acceptance Letter for the relevant MSc Programme at SCIENCE, if any
  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications (if any)
  • 1-3 reference letters (if any) including full contact details (Name, address, telephone & email) 

Reference letters must be uploaded by the applicant him/herself. The recruiting person must NOT  obtain reference letters which content is not known to the applicant him/herself. This is against Danish law.

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

The deadline for applications is Wednesday 10 March 2021, 23:59 GMT + 1.

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee. Afterwards an assessment committee will be appointed to evaluate the selected applications. The applicants will be notified of the composition of the committee and the final selection of a successful candidate will be made by the Head of Department, based on the recommendations of the assessment committee and the interview committee.

The main criterion for selection will be the research potential of the applicant and the above mentioned skills. The successful candidate will then be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD school of Science.

You can read more about the recruitment process at


For specific information about the PhD scholarship, please contact the principal supervisor Associate Professor Nina Geiker, Dept. of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen, E-mail:  Direct Phone: 3532 4060.

General information about PhD programmes at SCIENCE is avilable at: 


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.


Nina Rica Wium Geiker


Application deadline: 10-03-2021
Employment start: 01-05-2021
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Department of Nutrition Exercise and Sports
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