PhD scholarship in Molecular virology: FMDV capsid assembly at DTU Vet. The section for virology strives to increase the current knowledge of new and existing viral pathogens, to bridge both animal and human health and life science and engineering. We collaborate with leading partners, both nationally and internationally, in order to contribute new scientific discoveries, develop innovative tools and services and novel types of interventions.

We conduct virus infection experiments from the molecular level to the disease level within a range of appropriate ‘state of the art’ containment facilities. Selected focus areas include research on the mechanisms underlying virus disease within the natural host animals, on host-pathogen interactions, on virus evolution and adaptation, and on immune-escape mechanisms and vaccine development and activities related to ONE HEALTH – Integrating human and animal health aspects especially activities concerning zoonotic diseases to provide close contact to the area of human medicine.

Responsibilities and tasks

The picornavirus family includes many important animal and human pathogens including foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), poliovirus and human rhinoviruses (causing the “common cold”). Picornavirus particles comprise 60 copies of 4 different proteins (VP1-VP4)) surrounding a single copy of the RNA genome.  The correct assembly of these complex structures is critical for the infectious cycle of the virus. Understanding the processes of virus assembly and disassembly can provide opportunities for interfering in the virus life cycle and hence blocking infection. This project will seek to identify cellular proteins contributing to the assembly and disassembly of virus particles during the virus life cycle and then to explore their role. The work will involve the use of genetically modified viruses, containing epitope tags, to enable the specific capture of viral proteins (and associated cellular proteins) during the steps of virus assembly and breakdown.

Candidates should have a master’s degree in biological sciences or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master’s degree in this area.

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 an internal committee consisting of the head of section Thomas Kledal, the responsible group leader Graham J. Belsham and senior researcher Thomas Bruun Rasmussen.

We offer
We offer an interesting and challenging job in an international environment focusing on education, research, public-sector consultancy 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.

The workplace will be at DTU Vet, Lindholm, 4771 Kalvehave.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor Graham J. Belsham,, +45 3588 7985.

You can read more about DTU Vet on

Please submit your online application no later than 10 August 2015. Applications must be submitted as one pdf filecontaining 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 (an official translation into English)
  • 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.

Deadline: 10 August 2015

Apply for the job at DTU Vet by completing the following form.

Apply online