03 Fully Funded PhD Fellowships in Comparative Pediatrics and Nutrition – Denmark

Applications are required for 03 Fully Funded PhD Fellowships in Comparative Pediatics and Nutrition by the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (IVH), Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at University of Copenhagen for a period of three years.

Highly specialized animal models in piglets are used in the Section of Comparative Pediatrics and Nutrition to investigate treatments (Nutrition and Bacterial interventions) helping to improve the health of newborn animals and infants. The project will also includes infant studies at hospitals as well as basic biochemical studies using isolated cells.
Disease problems are very common just after birth for both infants and animals.The problems are highest when birth occurs prematurely (~10% of all infants born) and especially when organs are immature, not able to tolerate life after birth. These newborns often develop defects related to an immature gastrointestinal tract, reduced immunity and delayed brain development. Optimal provision of nutrition and controlling the bacterial colonization, at such stages, help to adapt the immature organs and prevent serious diseases. Even then, there are many questions regarding the optimal feeding pattern (fast or slow feeding with mother’s milk, formula or supplements) and the ways to control microbiota (e.g. pro-, pre- and antibiotic interventions).
The successful PhD Scholars will be part of ongoing research projects in the section (for examples see www.NEOMUNE.ku.dk). The projects investigate if specific bioactive milk components, including lipids, oligosaccharides and proteins, or bacterial interventions improve gastrointestinal health, immunity and brain development after birth. Studies using animals, preterm pigs, will be a main component in all 03 PhD projects, though there will be cellular or human studies modules included. Study interventions usually run for up to 30 days until the sampled pigs are euthanized for tissue sampling. Various in vivo tests will be performed during the study period  and samples are fed parenteral and enteral nutrition. Many biochemical tissue and blood analyses will be performed. With help from our research team, the PhD Scholars are expected to be responsible for running the animal experiments, perform laboratory analyses, data analyses and statistical analyses with publishing results in international peer reviewed journals. Great flexibility in working hours (day/night time) and sometimes during weekends is required for both the experimental animal work and laboratory analyses are labour-intensive. The research team include scholars with various background education, e.g. Veterinary, Medical, Food Science and Nutrition, or Molecular Biology. For these Fully Funded PhD positions, we need PhD students with different educational backgrounds. We frequently work across different laboratories in Denmark as well as other countries.
The successful applicants are required to have:
  • MD, DVM or other similar clinically-relevant training, or an MSc relevant to our current work
  • High motivation and work flexibility
  • Experience with translational research with animals (preferably pigs) in related fields
  • Experience with related clinical research in infants/children
  • Experience in nutrition and food/feed science
  • Competence in gastroenterology, immunology, microbiology, pathology and/or neurology
  • Laboratory analytical skills, potentially including proteomics, transcriptomics, epigenetics and/or metabolomics
  • Good communication skills both oral and written, including English usage
  • Good collaborating skills are essential
  • Research experience, preferably involving data statistics and lead publications


  • Monthly salary begins around DKK 26,754 (approx. 3.591 EUR) plus pension
  • Very important research topic, aiming to improve the health of newborn individuals, especially those born compromised with defects
  • Scientific environment with highly dedicated colleagues from wide academic backgrounds
  • International work atmosphere with a large proportion of non-Danish co-workers
  • Research that makes a difference for basic and applied pediatrics of infants and animals

For further information about the position please contact Associate professor, Stine Bering, email sbs@sund.ku.dk


Publish Date:
Institute Name: University of Copenhagen
Degree/Course: PhD
Deadline: September 02, 2018
Country: Denmark
Course Start:
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