PhD Fellowship in Neurodevelopmental Disorders

University of Copenhagen


PhD fellowship in Neurodevelopmental disorders at Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences

We are offering a PhD fellowship in Neurodevelopmental disorders commencing September 1st 2021 or as soon as possible hereafter.

Our group and research

Our group consists currently of 2 Postdocs, 3 PhD Students, 1 Technician, 1 Research Assistant, 1 Grant Manager and several Master and Bachelor students. We are a multi-cultural team, focusing on on modelling and understanding neurodegenerative diseases using human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC). We have recently generated several iPSC models for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) & Epilepsy from patient material and via CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing. Our current research is focused on brain cell type specific phenotypes in AD and FTD to gain mechanistic insights into the diseases. Our group has for example previously shown that FTD3 can be recapitulated in iPSC derived neurons and delivered new insights into neuronal disease phenotypes including metabolic defects. Our AD models display characteristic pathological hallmarks and have contributed to decipher cause and consequences in the disease pathology contributing to the identification of novel intervention points at the early disease stages. Our collaboration with Martin Røssel Larsen and Madelaine Lancaster, relevant for this job posting, will enable the group to develop platforms for air-liquid interphase cerebral organoids and their functional assessment through mechanistic studies including state of the art multielectrode assays. Additionally, we collaborate extensively not only with local Danish scientists based at the university and industry (Lundbeck, Novo Nordisk and Bioneer A/S), but also internationally with researchers based in the USA, Brazil, India, Australia, UK, Sweden and Germany. Our group has a strong emphasis on collaborating with experts within the field and hosting international students and researchers for training in iPSC disease modelling. The long term aims of the research in Dr. Freude’s lab is to translate the in vitro results into identification of druggable targets.

Project description

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) can be differentiated into brain organoids (BOs). When cultured under favourable conditions the BOs can mimic the complexity of initial human brain development as well as phenotypes of different brain diseases. Brain development is affected by extrinsic and intrinsic signals, including metabolites and functional cellular regulators, resulting in significant changes over time in the proteome including post-translational modifications (PTMs). Perturbation of these regulatory mechanisms during brain development leads to malfunctions, ultimately paving the way for devastating neurological diseases. In the present project we will develop BOs from iPSCs including iPSCs derived from healthy individuals and patients suffering schizophrenia to characterize the cellular signalling processes underlying early brain development in healthy and diseased conditions. We will focus on the molecular processes controlling release of neurotransmitters between mature neurons. In addition, BOs representing schizophrenia will be developed for mapping the causative disease-related pathways and to identify key pathological mechanisms. The project will use technologies such as proteomics, PTMomics, metabolomics, transcriptomics, imaging, electrophysiology and bioinformatics.

Principal supervisor is Associate Professor Kristine Freude,

Start:                  September 1st 2021

Duration:          3 years as a PhD student

Job description

Your key tasks as a PhD student at SUND are:

  • Carry through 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 should hold an MSc degree in biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology or medicine, and should be fluent in both spoken and written English.

Place of employment

The place of employment is at Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Frederiksberg Campus, Section for Pathobiological Sciences, FG Freude, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment. Our research facilities include modern laboratories and a vibrant scientific community

Information about the Research group led by Kristine Freude can be found at:

Terms of employment

The employment as PhD fellow is full time and for 3 years.

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. Depending on seniority, the monthly salary begins around 26.755 DKK /approx. 3.567 EUR (April 2018-level) plus pension.


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:

Application procedure

Your application must be submitted electronically by clicking ‘Apply now’ below. The application must include the following documents in PDF format: 

1. Motivated letter of application (max. one page)

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

3. Master of Science diploma and transcript of records. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor will do

4. Publication list (if possible)

Application deadline: 31 May 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

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 June/July 2021

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. 


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.


Application deadline: 31-05-2021
Employment start: 01-09-2021
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences

In your application, please refer to


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