Postdoctoral Position in Chemistry

University of Copenhagen


Postdoctoral Position in Chemistry

PhD Project in non-equilibrium assemblies of biomolecules

Department of Chemistry
Faculty of SCIENCE

University of Copenhagen


The section of Biological Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry invites applicants for a PhD fellowship in non-equilibrium assemblies of biomolecules. The project is part of the project Recreating dynamic behaviors of life through systems chemistry, which is financed by Novo Nordisk Foundation.  

Start date is expected to be 1 September 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The project

This project focuses on using activation/deactivation reaction cycles to create non-equilibrium assemblies of lipids, peptides, and oligonucleotides.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for candidates within the field(s) of biomolecular chemistry. Applicants can have a background in the organic synthesis/chemical modification of small biomolecules or the construction/characterization of biomolecular assemblies.  Experience in nucleic acid chemistry or HPLC-MS techniques is a valuable asset. Good spoken and written English are also required to formulate research reports and manuscripts.

   Specifically, the candidate will work on:

  1. Construct chemically fueled non-equilibrium assemblies by coupling activation/deactivation reaction cycles to molecular assemblies.
  2. Analyze the compositional change of the reaction cycles with time with HPLC-MS and characterize the higher-ordered non-equilibrium assemblies with suitable biophysical techniques.
  3. Collaborate with researchers in computational chemistry to build kinetic models.

The duties will include research as well as teaching.


Our group and research- and what do we offer?

The group is a part of the section of biological chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. We are located in Copenhagen.

We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in a dynamic and international research environment. Our research facilities include modern laboratories including the facility for biomolecular synthesis/analysis and biophysical characterisation techniques. The principal supervisor will be Professor Morten Jannik Bjerrum, email: The co-supervisor will be Dr. Junjun Tan, email:


Qualifications needed for the regular PhD programme
To be eligible for the regular PhD programme, you must have completed a degree programme, equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (180 ECTS/3 FTE BSc + 120 ECTS/2 FTE MSc) related to the subject area of the project, e.g. chemistry. For information of eligibility of completed programmes, see General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database.


Terms of employment in the regular programme
Employment as PhD fellow is full time and for maximum 3 years.

Employment is conditional upon your successful enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD School at the Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Taxation and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.


Responsibilities and tasks in the PhD programmes

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision
  • Complete PhD courses corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS / ½ FTE
  • Participate in active research environments, including a stay at another research institution, preferably abroad
  • Teaching and knowledge dissemination activities
  • Write scientific papers aimed at high-impact journals
  • Write and defend a PhD thesis on the basis of your project


We are looking for the following qualifications:

  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
  • Relevant publications
  • Relevant work experience
  • Other relevant professional activities
  • Curious mind-set with a strong interest in biomolecular chemistry
  • Good language skills



Application and Assessment Procedure

 Your application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include

  1. Motivated letter of application (max. one page)
  2. Project description- description of current research project and future research plans
  3. Curriculum vitae including information about your education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant to the position
  4. Original diplomas for Master of Science and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in another 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.
  5. Publication list (if possible)
  6. Reference letters (if available)

Application deadline:

The deadline for applications is the 20 April, 2024, 23:59 GMT +2.

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 deadline, a number of applicants will be selected for academic assessment by an unbiased expert assessor. You are notified, whether you will be passed for assessment.

The assessor will assess the qualifications and experience of the shortlisted applicants with respect to the above-mentioned research area, techniques, skills and other requirements. The assessor will conclude whether each applicant is qualified and, if so, for which of the two models. The assessed applicants will have the opportunity to comment on their assessment. You can read about the recruitment process at

Interviews with selected candidates are expected to be held in June, 2024.


For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact Dr. Junjun Tan at the the section of biological chemistry. Email address:

General information about PhD study at the Faculty of SCIENCE is available at the PhD School’s website:

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.


Junjun Tan


Application deadline: 20-04-2024
Department/Location: Kemisk Institut
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