Novo Nordisk Foundation

Four-year PhD studentship in the Copenhagen Bioscience PhD Programme

Novo Nordisk Foundation, Copenhagen Bioscience PhD Programme

Copenhagen, Denmark

The Copenhagen Bioscience PhD programme is recruiting 16 motivated students from around the world to join a fully funded four year PhD programme, in an international scientific environment at one of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Research Centers. Positions starting September 2020.

Selection is based on academic achievements, research experience, academic references and interviews. An interview visit comprising panel interviews, one-on-one meetings with potential supervisors, and tours of the four Novo Nordisk Foundation Research Centers, will take place in Copenhagen in March 2019. The Novo Nordisk Foundation will pay for travel and accommodation for selected applicants in association with the interview visit.

Salary and tuition fee are fully covered by the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

The application deadline is: 9 January 2020.

Programme Outline

The four-year programme is divided into a pre-doctoral year followed by three years of PhD training at one of the four Novo Nordisk Foundation Research Centers embedded at the University of Copenhagen or the Technical University of Denmark:

  • Center for Stem Cell Biology (DanStem)
  • Center for Protein Research (CPR)
  • Center for Biosustainability (CFB)
  • Center for Basic Metabolic Research (CBMR)

The pre-doctoral year includes short rotation projects, choice of a lab for the long-term (PhD) project, and common research-based courses. Approximately 15% of time during the pre-doctoral year is spent on courses, and the rest of the time on research. Awardees must pass an assessment at the end of the pre-doctoral year to qualify for the following three years of PhD education.

Supervisors and Research Areas

Applicants pre-select one of the four Novo Nordisk Foundation Research Centers in their application. Each Center conducts research in several connected research areas in biotechnology or biomedicine. CBMR investigates how the interaction between genes and environment affects human metabolism, CFB promotes a sustainable biobased chemical industry using specifically designed cell cultures (cell factories) to produce chemicals and pharmaceuticals, CPR works on integrative protein technologies, and DanStem investigates stem cell differentiation and the role of cancer stem cells in different types of cancer.

Potential supervisors and projects are listed on the programme website (


The Copenhagen Bioscience PhD programme is designed for international talents to come to Denmark and start their research careers at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Research Centers.

Applicants must fulfill the following:

  • Submit a fully completed application form before the deadline via the Novo Nordisk Foundation web-based application system.
  • Provide a minimum of two academic references.
  • Hold, or anticipate receiving before enrolment, a university degree that formally qualifies the applicant to enter a PhD or equivalent programme in the country where the degree was obtained.
  • Hold, or anticipate receiving before enrolment, a university degree from outside of Denmark.
  • The programme is also open for applicants with a Danish degree who can document at least 12 months of full-time research experience from outside Denmark, confirmed by at least one of the academic references.
  • Provide proof of English language skills (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, GRE scores).

Please apply via recruiter’s website.