PhD scholarship in Diamond Sensing and Cell Biology

Monday 05 Oct 20

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We invite applications for a 3-year PhD scholarship in diamond sensing and cell biology, ideally starting Jan 1, 2021, to work in the Section for Magnetic Resonance at DTU Health Technology.

The research is interdisciplinary and part of a 7-year research project “Intracellular mechanics and diamond based sensing” funded by the Danish Research Councils and the Novo Nordisk Foundation. A collaboration between researchers at DTU Health Technology and DTU Physics as well as international partners provides the scientific environment. The overall vision of the project is to develop methods that can monitor intracellular life: We will use the quantum mechanical properties of nanodiamonds with defects to develop sensing protocols that can monitor intracellular temperature and ultimately as basis for intracellular NMR. At the same time, we will use the nanodiamonds as probe particles for optical trapping and thereby measure intracellular viscosity and elasticity. Further, we aim to investigate single cells, initially from the immune system, using these nanodiamond sensors.

Responsibilities and tasks
You will play a central role in the initial phase of the 7-year project. You will explore appropriate uptake of nanodiamonds in cells and work with other team members on measurements of intracellular mechanical properties and local temperature inside the cell. Your research will be instrumental for our future ability to conduct in-situ, local NMR spectroscopy inside single cells.

These contributions require a combination of interests and skills, ranging from cell biology, microscopy and image analysis to optics, data analysis and computer control of an experimental setup. Depending on your prior experience and training needs, we will sharpen your skills and provide you with opportunities to develop as a scientist. You will contribute with solutions and suggestions that can bring the entire research team closer to the overall goals of the project.

As part of your project, you will spend time with one or several of our international collaborators, who are frontrunners in diamond sensing and diamond materials or in diamond sensing with cells.

You are ambitious; possess a strong internal drive and perseverance as well as a sincere interest in interdisciplinary science. You have demonstrated academic excellence and/or remarkable scientific achievements. You work well both in a group with other team members as well as on your own. 

Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree. 

The ideal candidate has

  • Experience with cell culturing and single cell microscopy
  • Experience with fluorescence labelling
  • Experience with image analysis
  • Understanding of optics and optical experimental setups
  • Experience with python programming, or other relevant software for hardware control – an asset but not a must.

We imagine you have an MSc degree in biology, biochemistry, biomedical engineering, or similar – or a more physics-based MSc degree with added training in cell biology.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years. 

You can read more about career paths at DTU here

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Kirstine Berg-Sørensen, tel.: +45 2227 5868 /

You can read more about DTU Health Tec at

Please submit your online application no later than 1 November 2020 (local time)Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out 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
  • 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.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply. 

DTU Health Tech engages in research, education, and innovation base on technical and natural science for the healthcare sector. The Healthcare sector is a globally expanding market with demands for the most advanced technological solutions. DTU Health Tech creates the foundation for companies to develop new and innovative services and products which benefit people and create value for society. DTU Health Techs expertise spans from imaging and biosensor techniques, across digital health and biological modelling, to biopharma technologies. The department has a scientific staff of about 175 persons, 130 PhD students and a technical/administrative support staff of about 80 persons.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,000 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.