Find available positions on the KU Jobportal (search for 'neuro')
Join the Department of Neuroscience
The Department of Neuroscience offers excellent opportunities for highly motivated and talented master students, PhD students and postdocs to participate in neuroscience research.
Please take time to look through the descriptions of our research groups to find the area of research that best correlates with your scientific interest and background.
You are welcome to send an unsolicited application including a letter of interest, CV and letter of references directly to one of our research group leaders.
Scientists who wish to establish a research group hosted by the Department and financed by a group leader research grant covering the applicant’s own salary (Lundbeck Foundation Fellowships, Independent Research Fund Denmark’s Sapere Aude program, ERC Starting grants, Novo Foundation Hallas Møller grants etc.) will need the support by one of the group leaders in the department and by the Head of Department. The Head of Department will forward the CV and application outline to the leadership team to obtain comments. The Head of Department might seek input from additional group leaders, or scientists outside the Department. To allow enough time to establish the suitability for the Department, the applicant must approach the Head of Department at least one month prior to the application deadline with both a CV and a draft application. It is the Department’s experience that having a mentor within the Department increases the success rate - this is especially true for foreign applicants. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to seek the active mentorship of existing group leaders early in the process.
To receive the endorsement of the Department, the applicant needs to demonstrate all of the following points:
- a strong application that has a good chance of getting funded (include information about mentorships),
- a strong interest in joining the department on those terms which follow from the application itself (this might be established by signing a ‘letter of intent’, or similar); it is understood that the Department’s abilities to further support the applicant as part of a post-award negotiation are currently very limited,
- a strong synergy with the Department in terms of research and teaching.
Support for applications may be declined by the Head of Department if
- the above terms are not convincingly established (for instance if the application is deemed unlikely to succeed),
- the applicant’s research or teaching profile does not fit the Departmental strategy,
- affiliation of the applicant will require resources (space/equipment), which are not available in the Department, and for which there is no funding,
- the Head of Department decides to prioritize other competing applications.
We encourage talented and enthusiastic young researchers to pursue a graduate degree (PhD) at the Department of Neuroscience.
We invite you to take contact to the laboratory in which you aim to conduct your thesis work and pursue funding opportunities together with the head of the laboratory group. See full list of researchers at the Department of Neuroscience.
To learn about the requirements for the PhD degree at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, visit the PhD School’s website.
All graduate students at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences are required to enroll in a graduate program. We encourage the PhD students at Department of Neuroscience to enroll in the graduate program in neuroscience, NeuroGrad. To learn about the requirements and activities of NeuroGrad, visit our website.
We invite highly motivated, dedicated and skilled students to contact us for an interview. We have long-term experience with supervision of bachelor and Master’s students with different backgrounds (human biology, medicine, molecular biomedicine, biology, biochemistry). Competent and committed supervision has our highest priority and projects are designed to full-fill the criteria of the individual study.
We value scientific excellence, creativity, knowledge sharing, helpfulness and dedication in our laboratories. We offer a dynamic and international research environment involving a large network of collaborators around the world.
Bachelor and Master’s projects are available in the following areas:
Neurons transport many proteins from the cell body to the axon terminals, sometimes across a distance of more than 1 meter, to maintain the presynaptic machinery that underlies neurotransmitter recycling and release. This fascinating process is called axonal transport. To provide energy, mitochondria are also transported to the release sites. Other organelles such as lysosomes also undergo axonal transport, which is vital for clearing the axon for worn-out and potentially toxic components. Disturbed axonal transport is linked to neurodegeneration such as Alzheimer's disease and peripheral neuropathy.
If you are interested in studying how axonal transport is accomplished and regulated using advanced genetic and cell biological methods, please contact Ole Kjaerulff.
In the Lauritzen lab we work on a range of projects all related to the brain physiology and blood vasculature. Our focus is how the brain is kept healthy with aging and in disease. We have many years of experience in in vivo physiology in mice using basic electrophysiological and laser-optic techniques, transgenic mice, and 2-photon microscopy. If you have some time to invest you can get experience with microsurgery and live imaging of brain cells and vessels through cranial windows.
Are you interested in knowing how neurotransmitters are released by vesicular exocytosis within one millisecond of the arrival of an action potential? Are you interested in using patch-clamp and advanced fluorescence techniques to study neurotransmitter release in real time? Do you want to know how this machine is working – and how it is regulated, for instance during learning? Do you want to know how mutation or other insults to the release machinery lead to diseases such as epilepsy, schizophrenia or intellectual disability? Do you want to come up with ideas how to counteract such mutations/insults, and find new ways to treat disease?
If one or more of these questions sound interesting to you please contact Jakob B. Sørensen
Are you interested in molecular and cellular neurobiology? Do you want to understand how neurons control activity and availability of neurotransmitter receptors and transporters in the synapse? Are you interested in understanding how mutations in these proteins contribute to CNS-diseases such as depression, ADHD, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and addiction? Do you want to know how you become addicted to drugs such as cocaine or amphetamine?
If one or more of these questions sound interesting to you please contact Ulrik Gether
Would you like to know how membrane proteins like neurotransmitter transporters work at the molecular level? Are you interested in using crystallography and advanced fluorescence techniques to study their transport function? Do you want to characterize how drugs act on neurotransmitter transporters? Are you interested in finding new ways to discover drugs for treatment of e.g. cocaine addiction and depression?
Are you interested in how neuronal scaffolding proteins regulate synaptic signaling processes? Would you like to know if scaffolding proteins could be a new target for treatment of CNS-diseases such as stroke and addiction? Would you like to understand the role of membrane-shaping protein domains (e.g. BAR domains) in neuronal scaffolding? Do you want to know how BAR domain proteins control protein trafficking not only in neurons but also in other cells such as endocrine cells?
Master’s project in Neuroscience
We are offering Master’s thesis project in neuronal calcium imaging and electrophysiology to study the role of interneurons in an animal model of schizophrenia.
The project will start in September or as soon as possible hereafter. We are looking for a candidate with a Master’s project duration of 12-18 months.
Parvalbumin-positive (PV+) interneurons comprise a third of total inhibitory neuron population in the cortex and were shown to be the key subtype of interneurons that control information flow. PV+ interneurons regulate synchronization of oscillations (i.e. rhythmic brain activity) in the brain by controlling output of principal neurons and thus modulate cortical network activity. PV+ interneurons are affected in schizophrenia disorders. However, there are >10 subtypes of PV+ interneurons and it is unknown what subtypes are impaired in schizophrenia and contribute to brain dysfunction.
To identify subtypes of PV+ interneurons that are impaired in schizophrenia, we will implement 15q11.3 microdeletion mice, which exhibit schizophrenia-like behavior and will cross them with PV-Cre mice, such that Cre recombinase is expressed only on PV+ neurons. We will inject these mice with AAV-FLEX-GCaMP6s virus into the cortex resulting in the expression of the calcium indicator GCaMP6s, exclusively in PV+ neurons.
We will then assess the activity PV+ interneurons by means of calcium imaging technique in wild type and 15q13.3 mice. After the imaging, we will fix the sections and label by immunohistochemistry several subtype-specific markers of PV+ neurons. Since we will know activity for each PV+ neuron from calcium imaging and their subtype from immunohistochemistry, we will analyze how activity of each PV+ neuron subtype is affected in schizophrenia model and will identify those that have most dramatic changes, thus likely having the largest contribution to schizophrenia phenotype.
Methods: calcium imaging and electrophysiology in a slice preparation of the brain.
The project is a collaboration between the labs of Konstantin Khodosevich (BRIC, UCPH) and Jean-François Perrier (Department of Neuroscience, UCPH). The candidate will be work under the daily supervision of Nikolaj Winther Hansen at the Department of Neuroscience (Mærsk Tower, Blegdamsvej 3, Copenhagen).
Your qualifications: You are highly motivated and studying Neuroscience, MedTek, KBS, Human Biology, Molecular Biomedicine. You are flexible, ambitious and can work independently.
Contact Jean-François Perrier (email@example.com) including a CV and grade transcript.