Early Stage Researcher Position in Targeted Delivery of Therapeutics for Progressive Multiple Sclerosis - Denmark

Closing Date
2 Aug 2019
University of Southern Denmark

An Early Stage Researcher scholarship is available in the laboratory of Professor Trevor Owens, situated at Neurobiology Research, Department of Molecular Medicine, University of Southern Denmark. The position is to be filled by October 1, 2019 or soon thereafter. Application deadline: August 2, 2019.

PMSMatTrain is a four-year project, funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 Programme (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2018) under the Marie Sk?odowska-Curie Initial Training Network and Grant Agreement No. 813263. The project focuses on gaining a comprehensive understanding of the progressive phase of multiple sclerosis (PMS) from basics to translation, fully supported by eight beneficiaries (six research institutions and two SMEs). This multidisciplinary network will educate and train 15 Early Stage Researchers in device design, biomaterials, materials science, stem cell biology, in vitroex vivo and in vivo models of multiple sclerosis, molecular biology, in silicomodelling of CSF flow, material functionalisation strategies and device validation.

Programme fellows will experience both public and private sector research & development training and will be best placed to secure employment as high calibre, innovative and well-trained graduates. 

Duties and Responsibilities:

The successful candidate will be a fellow of the PMSMatTrain Network, whose research will develop a multi-modal functionalised hydrogel to modulate inflammation, re-myelination and neuroprotection, and assess the bioactivity and efficacy (myelination-boosting potential) of the released compounds on 3D ex vivo cortical brain slices cultures and using mixed brain cell cultures.

In collaboration with other consortium researchers, the fellow at SDU will investigate the efficacy of this platform in different in vivo models of multiple sclerosis, identify candidate biomarkers of re-myelination and repair, and develop protocols for the scale up of the optimised device in collaboration with research fellows in the private sector.

The successful candidate will:

  • Register for PhD enrolment at the Faculty of Health Sciences, SDU. Enrolment is a prerequisite for the employment.
  • Participate in training events for researchers and Principal Investigators involved in the programme.
  • Liaise and report to the Project Manager, which includes contributing to periodic scientific reports.
  • Contribute to the reporting of project milestones and deliverables in accordance with EU deadlines.
  • Promote and disseminate results from the programme, which includes contributing to newsletters and participating in outreach events.

Qualifications: Essential

  • Education in neurobiology, immunology, biomedicine, and similar areas.
  • Less than 4 years' full time-equivalent research experience and has not yet been awarded a doctoral degree (PhD)
  • Resided less than 12 months in Denmark in the last 3 years.
  • Excellent communication and organisation skills
  • Fluent in spoken and written English
  • Excellent writing and presentation skills
  • Flexibility and ability to work in a team environment
  • Availability to travel nationally and internationally two to three times a year

Qualifications: Desirable

  • Experience with in vivo research
  • Experience with outreach events
  • A keen interest in pursuing translational research in multiple sclerosis.

The position holder will develop and optimize new technology for controlled and targeted delivery of therapeutic molecules directly to brain cortical tissue. Candidate anti-inflammatory agents and molecules that promote repair and protect neurons will be delivered to animal models of chronic and progressive neuroinflammation, including using functional hyaluronan-based scaffolds. The fellow will make use of advanced histological, cell-sorting, molecular and bioimaging techniques to elucidate the cellular mechanisms underlying neuroprotection.

For further information please contact Professor Trevor Owens, tel.: +45 6550 3951, e-mail: towens@health.sdu.dk 

Application, salary etc. 

Employment as a PhD student is for three years. Employment stops automatically at the end of the period. The holder of the scholarship is not allowed to have other paid employment during the three-year period.


The remuneration will be in line with the European Commission rules for Marie Sk?odowska-Curie grant holders (Early-Stage Researchers, Initial Training Network). http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants /data/ref/h2020/wp/2018-2020/main/h2020-wp1820-msca_en.pdf.The successful candidate will be enrolled at SDU in accordance with faculty regulations and the Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities (PhD order). 

We welcome applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background. 

Application must be made in the form of a Declaration of Interest including the following: 

• A letter stating your specific interest, motivation and qualifications for the project in question (max. two pages) (please attach this under box "Application form") 
• Detailed CV using the Europass template https://europass.cedefop.europa.eu/editors/en/cv/compose, including personal contact information 
• Copies of diplomas, Bachelor as well as Master’s degree, including transcript of notes/grades 
• At least two signed reference letters. Should your referees wish to send their letters directly to us, please have them use e-mail, mentioning your name and the title of the position in the subject line. And please note that these also need to reach us before deadline. 

Shortlisted candidates may be asked to provide a research proposal/description of approach to the above project (max one page excluding references).

Further information about the PhD-study can be found at https://www.sdu.dk/en/forskning/phd/phd_skoler/phdskolensundhedsvidenskab

Applications must be submitted electronically using the link "Apply online". Attached files must be in Adobe PDF or Word format. Each box can only contain a single file of max. 10 Mb. 

Incomplete applications and applications received after the deadline will neither be considered nor evaluated. This also applies to reference letters. 

Click here for more details about the position and how to apply.