PhD Fellowship in Microbial Metagenomics of Arctic Food Webs
University of Copenhagen

PhD Fellowship in Microbial Metagenomics of Arctic Food Webs

We are offering a rare PhD fellowship opportunity in studying the microbiomes of Arctic food webs at The GLOBE Institute, the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen in close collaboration with The University of Greenland, Ilisimatusarfik, commencing 1 April 2022.

About the ASI Inuit Microbiology Lab and the CEH

The PhD fellowship will be equally anchored at the ASI Inuit Microbiology Lab, Ilisimatusarfik, Nuuk, Greenland and The Center of Evolutionary Hologenomics (CEH), GLOBE Institute, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

The ASI Lab is a newly established radically interdisciplinary research group at Ilisimatusarfik led by Aviaja Lyberth Hauptmann. The work of the ASI Lab revolves around Inuit foodways, the microbiological connections between human and environment using a culturally appropriate and metagenomics approach. The ASI Lab is currently being established and will in 2022 be comprised of the PI, two PhD students, and an administrative person.

The CEH was recently funded by the Danish National Research Foundation to develop and implement state of the art ‘omics and associated computational techniques, to address the relationship between a host’s genome and the functional and taxonomic makeup of its associated microbial metagenome and consequently the long-term effect on ecological and evolutionary processes in the host. The Centre is embedded within the GLOBE Institute, that is part of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen. The Institute’s main purpose is to address basic scientific questions through interdisciplinary approaches. The institute operates at the intersection of natural sciences, medical sciences and the humanities.


Gastrophagy, the consumption of prey intestines and their content, has been widespread among hunter-gatherers including the Inuit. Despite its potential to transfer large numbers of live microorganisms between prey and predator, there is limited research on the microbial dynamics of gastrophagy.

This PhD project centers around the gut microbiome of Arctic food webs, from plankton through fish and seal and finally to humans. It pursues to understand the dynamics between the gut microbiomes of different levels in the food web. Using high-throughput DNA and RNA sequencing and computational biology the project works with the following hypotheses:

  1. Gastrophagy is a source of intestinal microbial diversity to the predator
  2. Gastrophagy can be a source of health-promoting molecules to the predator
  3. Gastrophagy can be a source of metabolic diversity that aids the predator's digestion

The Gastrophagy project will assess these hypotheses within an Arctic One Health framework that acknowledges the importance of environmental health for human health.
The research will add important pieces to our understanding of where intestinal microbial diversity can come from. While also allowing us to gain new insights into the evolution of zoonoses.
In addition to data-intensive computational biology the project has an applied component, where the PhD student will ferment Arctic fish that are traditionally consumed in Greenland and assess the potential for the development of health-promoting molecules through the fish microbiome.


The student will be co-supervised by a supervisor team consisting of Aviaja Lyberth Hauptmann ( and Anders Johannes Hansen (

Start: 1 April 2022

Duration: 3 years as a PhD student

Job description

Your key tasks as a PhD student at Ilisimatusarfik and GLOBE 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 and ambitious research environments in Greenland and Denmark with potential for international travels as well
  • Obtain experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to the PhD project. The teaching and dissemination efforts will be targeted towards the education sector in Greenland.
  • Teach and disseminate your knowledge with emphasis on dissemination in Greenland.
  • Write a PhD thesis on the grounds of your project.

Key criteria for the assessment of applicants

Applicants must have qualifications corresponding to a master’s degree Biology, Microbiology, Bioinformatics, Biochemistry, Biomedicine or similar (equivalent of the Danish candidate, 3 + 2 years) related to the subject area of the project.
The applicant is expected to be trained in the biological and/or computational sciences with experience in bioinformatics, preferably with shotgun metagenomics.
A familiarity with the Arctic and Indigenous peoples is highly prioritized.
This project must be conducted in such a way that the science is built on an understanding of Indigenous knowledge and world views, and aligns with such views, rather than using Indigenous knowledge to promote the science.
You must be sincerely interested in working with, by, and for Inuit in Greenland.
As an applicant you must be willing to spend 1.5 years in Copenhagen, Denmark, at the GLOBE Institute and 1.5 years in Nuuk, Greenland, at Ilisimatusarfik. This is a non-negotiable requirement but the timing of the stays is flexible.

Place of employment

The GLOBE Institute, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen and Department of Health and Nature, Ilisimatusarfik

Terms of employment

The employment as PhD fellow is full time (37 working hours per week in average) and the position is for 3 years.
It is conditioned upon the applicant’s success­ful enrollment 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 University’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 DKK 27,871 / approx. EUR 3,741 (October 2021-level) plus pension.


Inquiries can be directed to Aviaja Hauptmann, Ilisimatusarfik, at (telephone +1 530 608 9686) or Anders Johannes Hansen (

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.
  4. Publication list (if possible).
  5. Recommendations as desired.

Application deadline: 6 February 2022 23:59 pm 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 above-mentioned 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.

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: 06-02-2022
Employment start: 01-04-2022
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: GLOBE Institute / Ilisimatusarfik

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


All Jobs


Harvard University Academic Positions

Osaka University Academic Opportunities

Purdue University Job Postings for Faculty Positions

Texas Tech University Faculty Openings

Tsinghua University Job Postings

University of Cambridge Job Openings

University of Geneva Faculty Opportunities

University of Hamburg Academic Positions

University of New South Wales Job Openings

University of Nottingham Research Positions

University of Oslo Academic Jobs

University of Saskatchewan Faculty Positions

University of Southampton Research Vacancies

University of Tokyo Current Academic Vacancies

University of Toronto Open Faculty Positions