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Online application through this website opens up on 4 January 2016.


Deadline for applications
Applications close at 4 p.m. (Central European Time zone) on 29 February 2016.


Interview visits in Copenhagen
18-19 April 2016


One week after the interview visit


Apply here

The centers are embedded at:

University of Copenhagen (CBMR, CPR, DanStem) or Technical University of Denmark (CFB).

Copenhagen Bioscience PhD programme

The Copenhagen Bioscience PhD programme is a new initiative that offers talented students with a university degree from outside of Denmark an opportunity to launch their careers in the vibrant environment of the Novo Nordisk Foundation research center cluster. Sixteen students will be recruited annually through the programme for enrolment in August the same year. In 2016 the programme will be open for applications from January 4 to February 29.

Students will be selected based on academic achievements, research experience, academic references and interviews. The interviews will take place in Copenhagen on April 18-19, 2016. The Novo Nordisk Foundation will pay for travel and accommodation for selected candidates in association with the interview visit.


The four-year programme is divided into a predoctoral year followed by three years of PhD training at one of the Novo Nordisk Foundation research centers (see below).

The first year of the programme includes short rotations, a common course, common seminars and selection of PhD project. All awardees will have to pass an examination at the end of the first year in order to qualify for the following three years of PhD education.

Salary and tuition fee will be covered by the Novo Nordisk Foundation.


  • A fully completed application form submitted via the Novo Nordisk Foundation’s web-based application system before the deadline (link on the left)
  • The applicant must hold, or anticipate receiving before enrolment, a university degree that would formally qualify them to enter a PhD or equivalent programme in the country where the degree was obtained
  • The programme is open for applicants who have received their university degree outside of Denmark
  • The applicant must provide a minimum of two academic references
  • Proof of English language skills (e.g. TOEFL or GRE scores)


Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research (CBMR)

  • Matthew Gillum - Hormonal control of appetite by the liver
  • Romain Barrès       - Molecular bases of epigenetic inheritance of metabolic dysfunction in humans
  • Filip Knop - The integrative role of the gut in human glucose metabolism - physiologic, pathophysiologic and pharmocologic implications
  • Brice Emanuelli - Exploring the Molecular Mechanisms Controlling Insulin Action and Metabolic Functions
  • Zach Gerhart-Hines - Control of brown adipose tissue metabolism by the body's clock
  • Jonas Thue Treebak - Molecular regulation of nutrient sensing - importance of cellular NAD metabolism
  • Signe Torekov - Potential synergistic effects of GLP-1 analogues and physical exercise on immuno-metabolic health
  • Jens Juul Holst - Translational aspects of obesity and diabetes development and treatment
  • Louise Whiteley* - Media Representation of Metabolic Research and the Relationship between Science and Society
  • Ken Arnold* - Public Engagement with Metabolic Research through Exhibitions: Developing Theoretical and Practical Frameworks for Collection and Display
  • Oluf Pedersen - Role of the gut microbiome for human metabolic health
  • Torben Hansen - The role of the gut-liver axis in development of NAFLD
  • Henrik Vestergaard - Impact of human gut microbiota and gut-brain signaling on visceral adiposity and pre-diabetes
  • Manimozhiyan Arumugam - Systems biology and bioinformatics for studying human microbiome in health and disease
  • Tuomas Kilpeläinen - Interplay between genetic and life style factors in metabolic health
  • Niels Grarup - Role of the human genome in metabolic health and disease
  • Tune Pers - Data-driven identification of molecular risk factors for appetite regulation using single-cell genomics

*Science communication candidates must demonstrate their ability to follow first year graduate courses in bioscience, but there are no fixed course requirements.

Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability (CFB)

  • Irina Borodina – Metabolic engineering of oleaginous yeast for production of fine chemicals
  • Alex Toftgaard Nielsen – Optimizing folding and expression of heterologous proteins in metabolic pathways for production of biochemicals in bacteria
  • Morten Nørholm – Membrane Proteins and Synthetic Biology
  • Michael Krogh Jensen – Synthetic biology tools for evolutionary genome engineering
  • Tilmann Weber – Metabolic Engineering of antibiotics production
  • Morten Sommer – Genome-wide identification of elements controlling phenotypic stability
  • Nikolaus Sonneschein – Omics-data based cell factory design
  • Helene Faustrup Kildegaard – Improved production of difficult-to-express protein therapeutics in CHO cells


Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research (CPR)

  • Niels Mailand – New regulators of the DNA damage response in human cells
  • Jakob Nilsson – Regulation of cell division by protein phosphatases
  • Jeremy Daniel – DNA damage during immune cell development and aging
  • Lars Juhl Jensen – Network biology: large-scale biomedical data and text mining
  • Michael Lund Nielsen – Characterizing post-translational modifications by quantitative proteomics
  • Søren Brunak – Detecting disease comorbidities using healthcare data and systems biology methodology
  • Jesper Olsen – Global analysis of disease signaling pathways by quantitative phosphoproteomics
  • Jiri Lukas – Molecular thresholds of signalling pathways that keep our genomes stable
  • Matthias Mann – Patient stratification by their plasma proteomes
  • Chuna Ram Choudhary – Identifying novel regulatory mechanisms through system-wide analysis of signaling networks


Novo Nordisk Foundation Section for Basic Stem Cell Biology at the Danish Stem Cell Center (BasicStem at DanStem)

  • Anne Grapin-Botton – Single cell choices and community behavior during organogenesis
  • Josh Brickman – Regulating the transition from totipotency to pluripotency
  • Kristian Helin – Targeting epigenetic enzymes in brain tumors
  • Bo Porse – Epigenetic control in normal and malignant hematopoiesis
  • Palle Serup – Integration of Notch Signalling and Lineage Specific Transcription Factors in Organ Patterning
  • Elke Ober – Progenitor cell behaviours in zebrafish liver organogenesis and regeneration
  • Henrik Semb – Cell polarity in organ shape and cellular fate
  • Elisabetta Ferretti – Role of Pbx proteins in lineage choice and mesodermal competence
  • Ole William Petersen – The cellular origin of human breast cancer

For more information about the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center Cluster:

For questions about the application process or general questions about the programme:


For questions about the Novo Nordisk Foundation Research Centers and research topics:

Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research
Hanne Varmark
Senior Research Coordinator
+45 35 33 70 36


Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research
Kateryna Kolkova
Research Coordinator and PhD Coordinator
+45 35 33 36 09


Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability
Susanne Plougheld Winther
Project manager
+45 45 25 80 03


Novo Nordisk Foundation Section for Basic Stem Cell Biology, BasicStem, at the Danish Stem Cell Center, DanStem
Naomi Dayan
Senior Advisor, PhD Coordinator
+45 23 64 90 98