PhD scholarship in Molecular and Cellular Toxicology

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The Technical University of Denmark

The National Food Institute at the Technical University of Denmark invites applications for a 3-year PhD candidature starting early 2019. The project is part of a larger initiative to improve risk assessment of chemicals and thereby better safeguard human health.

The project will have focus on characterizing mechanisms behind human adverse effects of early life exposure to fluorinated chemicals.

The successful candidate will be part of the Research Group for Molecular and Reproductive Toxicology based at the National Food Institute. The research group uses a broad spectrum of approaches in their research activities, including in vitro assays, in silico modelling and in vivo rat studies, alongside work concerning science-based advice to regulatory authorities on chemical substances.

Fluorinated chemicals can affect human health. To protect against such harmful effects, we need improved risk assessment tools. We foresee that human-based cell studies of fluorinated chemicals together with human exposure data will increasingly replace animal studies in future toxicology. The aim of this PhD project is to obtain new mechanistic knowledge about how adverse effects of fluorinated chemicals arise in order to improve risk assessment. Using various approaches such as human induced pluripotent stem cells (hIPS), in vitro cell lines and high-content imaging systems, the adverse effects of fluorinated chemicals on developmental reproductive toxicity and lipid metabolism will be characterized.

Responsibilities and tasks
The PhD student is expected to:

  • Carry out independent research under the guidance of the supervisors
  • Have previous experience with laboratory research relevant for the project as stipulated below (desirable qualifications)
  • Write scientific articles and present his/her work at institutional, national and international meetings
  • Complete courses required for completion of the PhD program at DTU
  • Undertake a research placement for 2-3 months abroad

Candidates should have a master’s degree in life sciences or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master’s degree in life sciences.

Additional qualifications:

  • Excellent communication and organization skills
  • Strong English skills, both verbal and written
  • Self-reliant, structured and independent, yet confident to ask when in doubt and work well in teams.


  • Experience with cell culture and cellular/biological studies, e.g. stem cells, 3D cell cultures
  • Experience in the fields endocrinology, physiology or toxicology
  • Molecular biology techniques, e.g. fluorescence imaging techniques
  • Basic knowledge about principles such as ‘chemical safety’, ‘predictive toxicology’, ‘effect biomarkers’
  • Experience with software such as Microsoft Office, GraphPad Prism (or similar statistics tools e.g. R), Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by a panel consisting of the supervisors Anne Marie Vinggaard, Anna Kjerstine Rosenmai, and Terje Svingen as well as Head of Division Anette Schnipper

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed with the relevant union.

The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from professor Anne Marie Vinggaard, +45 35887549 or from group leader Terje Svingen, +45 9351 8880.

You can read more about the department at

Please submit your online application no later than 30 November 2018 (local time).

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link “Apply online”, fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)
  • List of 2-3 references that may be contacted by the assessment panel during the interview process.

Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master’s degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

The National Food Institute works within six technical focus areas: Biotechnology, nutrition, food quality, food safety, food technology and environment & human health. Activities cover a wide range of food products throughout the entire food chain from farm to table, comprising both research activities and research-based consulting and teaching.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies.

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