mardi 16 décembre 2014

PhD fellowship

PhD fellowship on the Refinement of Humane endpoints of long-term studies: Using murine species-specific behaviours to assess reduced welfare in the home cage of mice and rat models at the LIFEPHARM Centre.
Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen is offering 1 PhD fellowship commencing April 1st 2015 or soon thereafter. The application deadline is 31 January 2015.

The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences and Novo Nordisk A/S established a research centre in 2010 - The LIFEPHARM Centre ( - with a total budget of DKK 78 mill covering activities until the end of 2018.

The present position is part of the Centre´s activities. The purpose of the research centre is to strengthen the research in experimental pharmacology and toxicology and to increase the output of candidates and PhDs with a strong in vivo pharmacological profile.

It is expected that the future PhD fellows will be enrolled in the Graduate Programme for In Vivo Pharmacology and Experimental Animals (IVP) at SUND and participate actively in this network. The IVP Graduate Programme was established in 2006 as a collaboration between the Faculties of Life Sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Health Sciences at the University of Copenhagen, University of Aarhus, and industrial partners; Novo Nordisk A/S, LEO Pharma and H. Lundbeck A/S.

For more information on LIFEPHARM or IVP please contact:
Professor Jens Lykkesfeldt
Director of LIFEPHARM
Head of IVP
Phone: (+45) 35 33 31 63)

Project description:
The objective of the proposed study is to establish a test battery consisting of non-invasive, home cage-linked, natural behaviour-based and highly sensitive tests, which can be used routinely for assessing discomfort, stress and low-grade pain in laboratory mice and rats in long-term studies in animal models for late complications in diabetes and hemophilia. The hypothesis is that most experimentally induced discomfort during animal experimentation will affect natural behaviours such as nest building in mice, hoarding in rats, burrowing in both species, interaction with a known handler in rats and negative sucrose contrast in mice and rats (i.e. enhanced sensitivity to reward loss). A test battery based on these behaviours will be validated to run as routine procedures in the home cages of group-housed rats and mice. For hoarding and burrowing, relevant devices will be designed, incorporated and validated; nest building, sucrose negative contrast and human approach tests will be modified to run in home cages. Perspective: Combining these tests to an assessment tool will provide a refinement in long-term rodent studies, improving both animal welfare and experimental outcome since e.g. pain in diabetic neuropathy and discomfort due to nephropathy will be evident sooner than by standard observations due to the reduced/impaired performance of natural behaviours

Principal supervisor
Assoc. Prof Dorte Bratbo Sørensen 
Direct Phone: (+45) 35 33 27 24
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Section of Experimental Animal Models
University of Copenhagen


Jan Lund Ottesen Laboratory Animal Science, Novo Nordisk A/S

Anna Olsson, Laboratory Animal Science, Institute for Molecular and Cell Biology (IBMC), Portugal

Required qualifications
  • MSc in biological science, veterinary medicine or other equivalent degree with a special interest in topics such as animal behaviour and animal welfare, animal research and In vivo pharmacology
  • High motivation and an ability to work independently
  • Excellent communication skills in English, both written and spoken.

Preferred qualifications
  • Education and training in Laboratory Animal Science on FELASA Category C or equivalent training.
  • Knowledge and practical experience with Animal behavioural testing including handling of laboratory rodents
  • Experience with Animal welfare assessment

General Job description

Your key tasks as a PhD fellow at SUND are to:

  • Manage and carry through your research project
  • Take relevant PhD courses
  • Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
  • Participate in international congresses
  • Spend a period at a research institution abroad
  • Teach and disseminate your research
Part of the PhD project will potentially be performed in the Animal Unit at Novo Nordisk in Denmark.

We offer
  • The opportunity to work in a well-equipped, highly innovative and scientifically stimulating environment.
  • Excellent training opportunities.

Key criteria for the assessment of candidates
  • The grade point average achieved
  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD programme
  • Previous publications
  • Relevant work experience
  • Other professional activities
  • Language skills
The successful candidate is also required to be enterprising and to possess good interpersonal skills.

Formal requirements
The position is available for a 3-year period for applicants holding a relevant master´s degree.

It is a prerequisite that the PhD candidate is enrolled as PhD student at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen according to the rules stipulated in "Bekendtgørelse nr. 18 af 14. januar 2008 om ph.d.-graden."

Terms of employment
Salary and other terms and conditions of appointment are set in accordance with the Agreement between the Ministry of Finance and AC (Danish Confederation of Professional Associations) or other relevant professional organisations. The position is covered by the Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities (2007).

For further information contact Dorte Bratbo Sørensen,     

Foreign applicants may find the following links useful: (International Staff Mobility) and

Application Procedure

Applications - in English - must include all the following:

  • 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 detailed transcripts of records.
  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications (if any), peer reviewed and other.
  • Personal recommendations.
  • A maximum of 3 relevant scientific works which the applicant wishes to have included in the assessment.

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

The University of Copenhagen encourages all interested in this post to apply.

Please submit the application with the required attachments by clicking on "Apply online". Only online applications will be accepted. The closing date for applications is 23.59 pm, 31 January 2015.

Apply online

The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences comprises approximately 5000 students, 1000 PhD students and 1800 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.

Founded in 1479, the University of Copenhagen is the oldest university in Denmark. With 37,000 students and 9,000 employees, it is among the largest universities in Scandinavia and one of the highest ranking in Europe. The University consists of six faculties, which cover Health and Medical Sciences, Humanities, Law, Science, Social Sciences and Theology.
Deadline: 31-01-2015

Employer: The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen