Postdoc in Integrative Metabolism and Environmental Influences University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Denmark

Postdoc in Integrative Metabolism and Environmental Influences


Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

University of Copenhagen


The University of Copenhagen is seeking a highly motivated and talented postdoctoral fellow to commence 1 October 2019 at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.


The postdoctoral fellowship is part of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research International Postdoctoral Program


The postdoctoral fellow will receive a competitive package including salary and running costs for three years, and be part of an international scientific collaboration at the Maersk Tower


Job description

The fellowship is aimed at early career researchers with a basic science background or clinicians who aspire to a career in academic medicine. We are particularly interested in candidates who are familiar with integrative research approaches within the broad area of basic metabolic research with an application towards human pathophysiology. The Center’s vision is to strengthen interdisciplinary research that transforms the basic understanding of mechanisms involved in metabolic health and disease, and to accelerate this knowledge toward new prevention and treatment strategies. Information about the Center can be found at


The postdoc position is in the Circadian Biology Group headed by Executive Director, Professor Juleen R. Zierath. The research group investigates the interactions between intrinsic biological rhythms and external perturbations such as exercise, nutrient availability and temperature to identify potent translational strategies for prevention and treatment of metabolic disease. You can read more about the Zierath Group at


Project description

Many biological processes are characterized by daily variations that are controlled by the circadian clock. The central clock, located in the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus and entrained by light as an external zeitgeber (time-giver), contributes to synchronize peripheral clocks in nearly all cells of the body. Physical exercise is beneficial for skeletal muscle metabolism and systemic energy homeostasis and alters the expression of target genes involved in glucose metabolism, lipid metabolism and mitochondrial biogenesis. Overall, exercise is widely recognized as a beneficial therapeutic strategy for human health through the remodelling of specific metabolic signalling pathways. Nevertheless, the most effective time of day to achieve beneficial effects on health remains unknown. This project is designed to test the hypothesis that exercise acts as a zeitgeber for molecular clocks in peripheral tissues and controls the expression of metabolic genes involved in substrate metabolism. We have identified specific exercise-responsive transcription factors that orchestrate metabolism in skeletal muscle in a time-of-day-dependent manner. This postdoctoral fellowship will be focused on determining molecular mechanisms controlling time-of-day-dependent reprogramming of circadian metabolic pathways. The project will be performed in collaboration with Professor Juleen R. Zierath and Associate Professor Jonas Thue Treebak. They perform systematic and integrated studies of in vivo physiology, cellular biology, functional genomics in genetically modified organisms, and targeted exercise therapy. They possess in-house technical expertise in animal handling and state-of-the-art technologies within cellular biology, molecular biology, and biochemistry required for completion of this project. This teamwork and collective know-how between the two supervisors will ensure feasibility.



We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic scientist with the following competencies and qualifications:

  • PhD in Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Molecular Biomedicine, or related sciences

  • Highly motivated and an excellent team player

  • Excellent scientific track record in relation to career stage

  • Knowledge on rodent physiology; particularly in regard to in vivo and ex vivo metabolic studies using transgenic and knockout mouse models

  • Profound knowledge on skeletal muscle biology

  • Experience with gain- or loss-of-function models in cells in culture (i.e., cell lines and/or primary cells)

  • Knowledge in proper experimental planning, power calculations, and statistical evaluation of experimental data

  • Excellent English communication skills, both written and oral 


The applicant must hold a PhD within a relevant discipline such as medicine, biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, bioinformatics, pharmacy or medical engineering. The PhD degree must preferably be awarded from a university outside of Denmark. The program is also open for applicants with a Danish PhD degree who can document at least 12 months full-time research experience from outside Denmark.


You are not eligible to apply for the program if you have been employed in a postdoctoral position for more than one year at the University of Copenhagen prior to the commencement of the fellowship.



Selection of postdoctoral fellows is based on academic achievements, research experience and interviews. A mandatory interview visit for the shortlisted applicants comprises interviews with PI and co-PI and a tour of the Center facilities, and will take place in Copenhagen on June 13, 2019. The Center will pay for travel and accommodation for selected applicants in association with the interview visit.


The University of Copenhagen International Staff Mobility office offers support and assistance to all international researchers on all issues related to moving to and settling in Denmark. Read more at and


The applicant must fulfil the following criteria:

  • A strong CV, having published in high-impact journals and presented at international meetings

  • An enthusiastic interest in basic metabolic research

  • The ability to manage your own academic research and associated activities

  • The ability to contribute ideas for new research projects

  • Evidence of excellent interpersonal skills and leadership, with the ability to communicate research ideas and results in a clear and logical way and the ability to confidently and effectively interact with colleagues and the broader research community 

Terms of employment

The employment as postdoc is a full time position for 3 years. Starting date is 1 October 2019.  


Salary, pension and terms of employment will be in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and AC (Danish Confederation of Professional Associations). Depending on qualifications, a supplement may be negotiated.


Non-Danish and Danish applicants may be eligible for tax reductions, if they hold a PhD degree and have not lived in Denmark the last 10 years.



For further information about the position, please contact Executive Director, Professor Juleen R. Zierath at Questions regarding the CBMR International Postdoctoral Program must be directed to For questions regarding the recruitment procedure, please contact SUND HR CBMR at


Application procedure

Your online application must be submitted in English by clicking ‘Apply now’ below. Furthermore, your application must include the following documents/attachments – all in PDF format:

  • Cover letter expressing the motivation and previous research experience of the applicant (max 1 page)

  • Curriculum vitae

  • Copy of the PhD degree certificate and the Master degree certificate. In case the PhD has not yet been completed, a written statement from the supervisor is acceptable

  • List of publications

  • References (name and contact details of at least two references) 

Application deadline: 22 April 2019 at 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 authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the hiring committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether an unbiased assessor has passed their application for assessment. 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 diversity of society and welcome applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.  

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


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