Neuroscience Academy Denmark (NAD) will recruit 16 excellent, highly motivated PhD Fellows to join a newly established neuroscience academy and PhD program to be launched the 1st of January 2023. The candidates should be 16 talented students eager to pursue a career in basic or clinical neuroscience research, and with the ambition to excel. NAD is funded by the Danish Lundbeck Foundation and is a nationally concerted effort involving the neuroscience research environments at the medical faculties of Aalborg University, Aarhus University, University of Copenhagen, and The University of Southern Denmark involved in both preclinical and clinical research.
The vision of NAD is to bring training and education in neuroscience in Denmark to the highest international level, to ensure interdisciplinarity, high-quality teaching and training to educate Danish and international PhD students.
The successful applicants will first be hired as research assistants for 1 year. Provided that you obtain a positive assessment by the end of the pre-PhD year, acceptance of your PhD study plan, and enrolment at one of the participating graduate schools (i.e., PhD schools), the candidates will proceed to a 3-year PhD fellowship employment.
During your first year as research assistant (i.e., during the pre-PhD period), you will perform laboratory work and attend courses in neuroscience. You will also be invited for networking and career events. Go to NAD’s website to get familiar with the opportunities (laboratories and potential supervisors) that NAD and neuroscience in Denmarks offer.
3 x lab rotations
During the pre-PhD period, you will take part in a mandatory laboratory rotation program in 3 NAD laboratories (basic and/or clinical). The labs are located at different geographical locations (in Denmark), and you must be prepared to travel to and stay at the different sites in Denmark for 10 weeks at a time. During each lab rotation, you will be included in the research group and be part of its research activities, journal clubs etc. You will be introduced to the labs’ primary research focus areas and techniques. In parallel, you will join neuroscience courses offered by NAD. By the end of each lab rotation, you must prepare a report and presentation of your laboratory experience that you will present to the other NAD fellows. As a NAD Pre-PhD fellow, you will plan your lab rotations together with NAD.
Half-way through your third and final lab rotation, you must have identified your preferred NAD lab/supervisor and NAD co-supervisor that together will match your research interests. Together with your supervisor and co-supervisor, you will formulate a PhD project and a study plan, which will have to be approved by the NAD office. The conditions for proceeding to a 3-year PhD fellowship are 1) a satisfactory completion of the pre-PhD year, where the evaluation criteria are active participation in courses and rotations, approved lab reports and presentations, 2) approval of your PhD research plan by NAD’s Scientific Board, and 3) enrolment at a graduate school at one of the Health Faculties at one of the four participating universities.
The overall aim of the pre-PhD year is to strengthen your knowledge and basic understanding of neuroscience. NAD will offer workshops, seminars, symposia, and high-level courses in all areas of relevance for neuroscience research. You will be introduced to various techniques, methodological approaches, and viewpoints that you may use and combine to create your own PhD research plan.
Once enrolled at the relevant Health Graduate School at one of the participating universities, you will report to your supervisor(s) in the lab(s) where you will do your PhD thesis work.
During the 3 years as PhD Student, you must carry out your PhD research project, be actively involved in your research lab and take courses offered by your graduate school corresponding to 30 ECTS. In addition, NAD will offer several activities and events where you will be expected to participate. Here, you will get the chance to network with other PhD fellows, postdocs, and scientists from the Danish neuroscience environment, take part in NAD’s mentor program and join career events.
Responsibilities and tasks during 3 years as PhD Fellow
Carry out an independent research project under supervision
Complete PhD courses corresponding to 30 ECTS
Participate in active research environments, including a stay at another research institution, preferably abroad
Teaching and knowledge dissemination activities
Write scientific papers aimed at high-impact journals
Write and defend your PhD thesis based on your project
Follow rules of the individual department and graduate school.
You are expected to hold a MSc/MD in, e.g., neuroscience, medicine, molecular biomedicine, biology, biochemistry, pharmacy, engineering, etc.
All interested candidates with a background in neuroscience are encouraged to apply. At the time of entry to the NAD program, it is a prerequisite and an indispensable condition that you must qualify for formal enrolment as a PhD student at any of the graduate schools at the Faculties of Health of the participating Danish universities. To qualify for the program including for employment, you must at the time of application hold a Danish master’s degree, or a master’s degree equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (120 ECTS). Note that for international applicants, we might send your master’s degree to be assessed at the Danish Ministry of Education and Research, where it will be determined whether your degree is equivalent to a Danish master’s degree. Only candidates at the required level will be considered.
To be considered for the NAD program you should:
Have a curious mindset and a genuine and heartfelt interest in neuroscience
Be organized, self-motivated, result-oriented, and capable of working independently
Be a fast learner of new methods and techniques
Possess strong English written and oral communication skills
Be a team player
Terms and conditions
The average weekly working hours are 37 hours per week. The position is a fixed-term position limited to 1 year as a pre-PhD student with an employment at the University of Copenhagen at the level of a research assistant + 3 years as a PhD Student enrolled with one of NAD’s listed research laboratories. All students will start the pre-PhD-year 1 January 2023.
The applicant must meet the enrolment criteria of the graduate schools of the Danish Universities by the time of submitting this application. This will be screened by NAD’s Executive Office. The PhD study must be completed in accordance with The Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme (2013) and each university’s rules on achieving the degree.
Salary, pension and terms of employment are in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Taxation and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.
The following must be uploaded to your application:
A pitch of yourself as a future NAD fellow (600 characters)
A cover letter explaining your motivation and suitability for the NAD program (2400 characters)
CV (2 pages) clearly stating your educational background, experience, techniques, language skills and other skills or experiences relevant for this position
Bachelor and master diploma as well as transcripts of records in original language, including an authorized English transcription if issued in another language than Danish or English (1 PDF)
Publication list (if any)
English language proficiency test, if relevant
Names + e-mail addresses of 1-2 referees. You must obtain their consent to give reference before submitting your application
Indicate the NAD research column you are most interested in, and a brief explanation (1500 characters) of your motivation for this field. Also indicate a second choice. See NAD’s seven research columns here: (https://neuroscienceacademydenmark.dk/nad-research-columns-2022/) Do NOT include this information in any other document in your application.
List up to 3 scientific papers that you find especially noteworthy and interesting. Explain why you have chosen these papers and why you find them interesting (1500 characters). These papers do not have to relate to the research column you have chosen above. Do not include the papers in your application – only citations that clearly identify the papers.
Candidates will be recruited both nationally and internationally aiming for diversity in gender, nationality, prior association to different Danish universities, education, and research lab interests. The main goal of the selection process is to identify candidates that are exceptionally motivated and with the potential to succeed in neuroscience research.
The selection committee aims to shortlist 32 applicants, who will then be invited for interviews. After all interviews, the selection committee will recommend the 16 best-qualified candidates to the NAD Governing Board, which will render the final decision.
Application deadline is 22 August 2022
Only fully filled online applications including all enclosures will be considered.