PhD Fellowship in Design and Synthesis of Peptide-based Antimicrobials
University of Copenhagen Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology

PhD fellowship in Design and Synthesis of Peptide-based Antimicrobials at Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences (SUND)
University of Copenhagen

We are offering a three-year PhD fellowship in Design and Synthesis of Peptide-based Antimicrobials. The PhD fellowship is financed by the Norwegian Research council. The fellowship is available from 1 February 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Project description

The PhD project is entitled 'Exploration of peptides derived from bacterial toxin-antitoxin systems as potential antibiotics'. The project involves design and synthesis of analogues of recently identified hit compounds derived from the toxin part of bacterial toxin-antitoxin systems. Focus will be on modifications that improve bacterial uptake, while minimizing toxicity toward mammalian cells. Also, incorporation of unnatural residues will be explored as a means of increasing stability toward enzymatic degradation to improve bioavailability in vivo. The biological evaluation of the target compounds will be performed by collaborators in Norway and/or outsourced to external providers.

Experience in preparative organic synthesis and chromatographic methods is desired. A candidate with experience within peptide chemistry (e.g. manual and automated solid-phase synthesis) and relevant analytical methods (NMR, HPLC and MALDI-TOF) is preferred.

Principal supervisor

Associate Professor Henrik Franzyk, Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology
E-mail:, direct phone: +45 3533 6255

Our group and research

The work will be closely integrated with related projects in a research group, focusing on discovery and improvement of therapeutics for infectious diseases and cancer. The applicant is expected to possess an outgoing interdisciplinary approach toward collaboration with researchers with a joint focus of research. Currently, the research group comprise both postdocs, PhD students and MSc students and a lab technician.

Our department

The Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology ( delivers drug-related research and research-based teaching within a wide range of drug-related disciplines, spanning the molecular, cellular, and pharmacological levels.

Job description

Your key tasks as a PhD fellow at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences are to:

  • 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 institution, preferably abroad
  • Obtain experience with teaching and other types of dissemination related to your PhD project
  • Participate in the undergraduate teaching of students in pharmaceutical sciences
  • Participate in national and international conferences and scientific meetings
  • Write a PhD thesis on the grounds of your research project

Required qualifications

As an applicant you must have:

  • qualifications corresponding to a master’s degree in Organic Chemistry,  Medicinal Chemistry or related areas prior to the starting date. The master’s degree must be equivalent to a Danish master’s degree.
  • Fluency in English and excellent communication skills

Preferred qualifications

  • Experience in peptide and/or solid-phase chemistry
  • Experience in preparative organic synthesis
  • Experience with analytical methods: NMR, HPLC and MALDI-TOF

Key criteria for the assessment of applicants

  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
  • Relevant work experience
  • Publications
  • The grade point average achieved
  • Other professional activities
  • Language skills
  • The successful applicant is also required to be enterprising and to possess good interpersonal skills

Terms of employment

The employment as PhD fellow is full time and for 3 years and is to commence on 1 February 2022 or as soon as possible hereafter.

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 to the Graduate School of Health and Medical Sciences.

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.

The PhD student is expected to be affiliated to the graduate programme in pharmaceutical sciences, Drug Research Academy.

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 DKK 27,800 (approx. 3,700 EUR) (taxable) plus pension (October 2021 level).

Application procedure

Your application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking “Apply now” below and must include the following documents in PDF format:

  • Motivated letter of application (max. one page)
  • CV incl. education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  • Certified copy of original Master of Science diploma and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in other 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.
    As a prerequisite for a PhD fellowship employment, your master’s degree must be equivalent to a Danish master’s degree. We encourage you to read more in the assessment database: Please note that we might ask you to obtain an assessment of your education performed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science.
    Applicants with a Master´s degree from abroad should also enclose a short description of the grading scale used
  • Publication list (if possible)
  • Other information to consider: References and recommendations (if possible)

The deadline for applications is 15 October, 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 authorised 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.

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 week 45-46.

u can read about the recruitment process at


For further information, applicants may contact the principal supervisor Associate Professor Henrik Franzyk, e-mail:, direct phone: +45 3533 6255, or PhD coordinator Marianne W. Jørgensen, e-mail:, direct phone: +45 3533 6449.

For more information on working and living in Denmark visit (International staff mobility) and

The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences comprises approximately 8000 students, 1790 PhD students and 5100 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.


Henrik Franzyk


Marianne Wieslander Jørgensen


Application deadline: 15-10-2021
Employment start: 01-02-2022
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology

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


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