Postdoc in the Neurobiology of Appetite and Motor Control University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Denmark

Postdoc in the Neurobiology of Appetite and Motor Control

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 may be found at


The postdoc position is in the Metabolism and Molecular Pharmacology Group headed by Associate Professor Christoffer Clemmensen. The research group investigates how neuroendocrine signals are involved in coordinating appetite, food-motivated behavior, and body weight, and aims at transforming molecular and physiological insights into innovative therapeutic strategies that can correct obesity and metabolic diseases (Clemmensen et al., 2019 Nature Reviews Endocrinology). The postdoc project is centred on a close collaboration with Professor Ole Kiehn, who is a world-leading expert in the motor control. You may read more about the Clemmensen Group here and the Kiehn Group here


Project description

The maintenance of mammalian energy homeostasis is highly dependent on coordinated and context-related locomotion. In times of food scarcity, internal metabolic cues are vital to ensure appropriate behaviour for survival and thus locomotor activities must be prioritized between foraging for food, reproduction, and escape from predators. Despite locomotion and eating are so obviously intertwined and both essential behaviours for survival, the mechanisms by which specific motor programs are engaged to maintain energy homeostasis are not well understood. Two distinct MLR-related nuclei responsible for divergent but context-dependent locomotor behaviours were recently characterized by the Kiehn Lab (Co-PI) (Caggioano et al., 2018 Nature). Here we offer a collaborative postdoctoral project that aims to evaluate how metabolic status adjusts locomotor programs towards context-dependent movements. Thus, a central objective of the project is to characterize physiological and molecular links between energy homeostasis and locomotion. To this end, the candidate will utilize a series of modern methods to study the neurobiology of movements and the neurobiology of energy homeostasis in rodents, including chemogenetics, optogenetics, in vivo electrophysiology and genetically driven trans-synaptic tracing. The postdoctoral fellow will benefit from the diverse and complementary expertise of the Clemmensen Lab (CBMR, UCPH) and the Kiehn Lab (Dept. Neuroscience, UCPH) as well as the outstanding research environment at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, UCPH.



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

  • Outstanding scientific track-record and strong publications in rodent neurobiology is a requirement

  • Experience with generating and working with transgenic mice is a requirement

  • Experience with in vivo mouse behaviour including chemogenetics, optogenetics and electrophysiology is required

  • Basic understanding of appetite regulation and/or systems neuroscience is a requirement

  • Strong communication skills, dedication and a collaborative disposition 


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 13 June 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 Associate Professor Christoffer Clemmensen 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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