PhD Fellow in Nutrition, Health and Wellbeing
University of Copenhagen Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports

PhD Fellow in Nutrition, Health and Wellbeing Among Children in Denmark with Underweight

Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen is offering a PhD scholarship about underweight among children in Denmark commencing 01.11.2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.          

Description of the scientific environment

The PhD student will be employed in the Paediatric and International Nutrition section at Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, which is a leading research group within children's nutrition and health  The student will also spend up to 9 months in Section of Epidemiology, Department of Public Health (IFSV) and some months at the National Institute of Public Health at University of Southern Denmark in Copenhagen, working with the different databases.

Project description

Childhood underweight, as indicated by low body mass index (BMI) for age and sex, is prevalent in Denmark. Despite the U-shaped associations between BMI and morbidity in adults and the well-known negative health impacts of underweight among children in low-income countries, underweight in children is largely overlooked in high-income countries, due to an unequivocal focus on overweight. In this project the PhD student will work with three different datasets: The Danish National Birth Cohort (, the OPUS School Meal Study, and the national register: Children's Database [Den Nationale Børnedatabase]. The aim of this PhD project is to: 1) investigate the sociodemographic characteristics and childhood development of underweight among children in Denmark, 2) compare the nutritional status, physical activity, body composition, growth, bone health and cardiometabolic health of children with underweight and normalweight and 3) examine if underweight is associated with increased risk of eating disorders and other indicators of poor mental health and wellbeing in school-aged children. We anticipate that that the results will help define and promote a healthy weight in childhood by elucidating whether underweight constitutes a health problem in Denmark and by showing whether there are subgroups or characteristics of underweight that need special attention.

Principal supervisor is Associate Professor Camilla T. Damsgaard, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports. E-mail, Direct Phone: +45 35 33 22 21.
Co-supervisor is Associate Professor Katrine Strandberg-Larsen, Department of Public Health. 

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
  • To stay at an external research institution for a few months
  • Work for the department

Formal requirements

Applicants should hold an MSc degree in nutrition, public health, medicine or other relevant field with good results and good English skills. In order to work with the datasets good Danish language skills is an advantage. As criteria for the assessment of your qualifications emphasis will also be laid on previous publications (if any), strong skills in data analysis and statistics 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.

Salary range starts at DKK 27,588.59 per month incl. PhD supplement (1 April 2021 level).

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)
  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications (if any)
  • 1-3 reference letters (if any) or named reference persons

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 Sunday 1th of August 2021, 23:59 GMT +2.

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 Camilla T. Damsgaard, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports.

E-mail, Direct Phone: +45 35 33 22 21.

General information about PhD programmes at SCIENCE is available 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.


Application deadline: 01-08-2021
Employment start: 01-11-2021
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: NEXS

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Medicinoxy


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