PhD scholarship in New Vaccine Strategies for Control of Viral Fish Diseases

DTU Veterinærinstituttet
mandag 17 jul 17

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Frist 15. august 2017
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The DTU Veterinary Institute (DTU Vet) invites applications for a PhD position in optimising and testing of an innovative vaccine prototype for protection of sea bass against viral encephalopathy and retinopathy virus (VERV). Sea bass is one of the most important fish species in Mediterranean aquaculture, and prophylaxis against infectious diseases is a key element for a sustainable production. The successful applicant will be based in the Fish Diseases Unit, Department for Diagnostics and Scientific Advice, National Veterinary Institute at the Technical University of Denmark. The PhD project is part of the Horizon2020 project Mediterranean Aquaculture Integrated Development (MedAID) and will involve close collaboration with the research partners in France, Spain, Italy, and Norway.

Responsibilities and tasks
The PhD study will focus on 

  1. Optimising of a vaccine prototype against nodavirus infection based on recombinant VLPs (virus like particles).                  
  2. Characterization of the vaccine induced immune response, protective mechanisms, and safety aspects
  3. Testing of different vaccination strategies, including dose, delivery and adjuvant aspects under laboratory conditions.
  4. Assessment of protection across viral genotype/serotype variation under experimental conditions.
  5. Participate in vaccine testing under field conditions.
The candidate is a motivated scientist with relevant experience from a MSc Study program and possibly from subsequent employments. Ideally, you have a master in molecular biology, veterinary medicine, immunology, or equivalent. Furthermore the ideal candidate has: 
  • Course in Laboratory animal science, EU Function AD (formerly FELASA category B) or ABD (formerly FELASA Category C)
  • Good laboratory skills
  • Good collaboration and communication skills (written and oral English)
  • Structured and analytical working approach
  • Experience with publication of scientific research
Approval and Enrolment  
The scholarships 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 Professor Niels Jørgen Olesen and Professor Niels Lorenzen.

We offer
We offer an interesting and challenging job in an international environment focusing on education, research, scientific advice and innovation, which contribute to enhancing the economy and improving social welfare. We strive for academic excellence, collegial respect and freedom tempered by responsibility. The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is a leading technical university in northern Europe and benchmarks with the best universities in the world.  

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.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor Niels Jørgen Olesen:, +45 3588 6831 or +45 2924 4310.

You can read more about DTU Vet on  

Please submit your online application no later than 15 August 2017. 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 Vet conducts veterinary and medical research, education, scientific advice to public authorities and diagnostic services at the highest level to improve the health and welfare of animals and people in society. The department is national veterinary reference laboratory and is responsible for the laboratory part of the veterinary contingency plan.

DTU Vet plays a central role in creation of the future of veterinary and human medicine through excellence in research, scientific advice, education and diagnostic services. The department achieves this vision by the improvement of an entrepreneurial culture of leadership in basic and strategic research and by incorporating the findings into education, consultancy, and industry partnerships. In collaboration with DTU departments and the veterinary and medical communities, the department will give rise to the next generation of life science oriented engineers.

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 10,600 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.