PhD scholarship in Structural and Computational Biology

DTU Chemistry
Tuesday 20 Feb 18

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Apply no later than 19 March 2018
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A 3-year PhD scholarship in Structural and Computational Biology is available at Department of Chemistry, Technical University of Denmark. The position will be available from the 15th of April 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Responsibilities and tasks
The project focuses on obtaining a molecular understanding of the freeze-drying (lyophilization) process of protein formulations. The challenge with these freeze-dried formulations is that proteins are exposed to an environment far from physiological conditions. The lyophilization is a complex process that generates stress to the structural integrity of proteins. This stress is caused by for instance changes in the physicochemical properties of the solution during the freeze-drying process (e.g. increased ionic strength, change in pH). One approach to increase protein stability during the lyophilization process is the addition of additives or excipients, but their effect on the protein structure is not fully understood on the molecular level. The current PhD project focuses on the molecular modelling of the freeze-drying process using computer simulation techniques. This study will be supported by experimental results from lyophilization of protein formulations and their characterization by advanced scattering techniques to identify microstructures. It is the interplay between the different disciplines that will provide the necessary molecular understanding to unravelling the role of excipients and water content on protein stability.

Candidates should have a master's degree in engineering or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master's degree in engineering.
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.
Applicants should hold a Master of Science degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical Science, Chemical Engineering or an equivalent background that provides a strong basis of computational techniques and structural biology knowledge. The applicant should have a strong interest in working in a cross-disciplinary environment and should have very good collaboration skills. Strong communication skills and a strong academic record is an advantage.

Fluent communication in written and spoken English is essential. 

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Associate Professors Günther H.J. Peters, mail: and Pernille Harris, mail:

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 an academic freedom tempered by responsibility.
Salary and appointment terms
The salary and appointment terms are consistent with the current rules for PhD degree students. The period of employment is 3 years.

The major workplace will be at DTU Chemistry. According to the interdisciplinary nature of the project, prolonged external stays are planned at the Technical University of Munich in collaboration with the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.
Further information
Further information may be obtained from Associate Professors Günther H.J. Peters, mail: and Pernille Harris, mail:

You can read more about the Department of Chemistry on

Please submit your online application no later than 19 March 2018.

A 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)

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.
DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 11,000 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.