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Copenhagen Bioscience PhD Programme

Copenhagen Bioscience PhD Programme

The Copenhagen Bioscience PhD programme recruits up to 16 motivated international students annually to launch their careers in the vibrant scientific environment of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Research Centers in Copenhagen. For enrolment in September 2019, applications will be open from 1 October 2018 until 6 January 2019.

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.

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.

For more information about the pre-doctoral year and courses, see the programme website.

Copenhagen Bioscience PhD Programme

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. See the programme website and Center websites (links above) for more information.

Potential supervisors and projects are listed on the programme website: POTENTIAL SUPERVISORS


Applicants must fulfill the following criteria:

  • 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).

More Information

Visit the programme website and application webpage for more information about the programme and applications.

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