27 June 2013

Science Communication with a focus on Synthetic Biology (Re-annocement)

The Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, invites applications for a 3-year PhD scholarship. The position is part of the research project “BioSYNergy” which is funded by the University of Copenhagen’s Excellence Programme for Interdisciplinary Research. The project explores how synthetic biology, particularly with relation to plants, can be used to cheaply and sustainably produce compounds such as pharmaceuticals. The project incorporates a bioethics and communications platform for dialogue with society on the use and implications of synthetic biology. The candidate will be affiliated with the Department of Media, Cognition, and Communication, but is expected to participate actively in the cross-disciplinary research environment between the faculties of Science, Law and Humanities.

Description of the project

The PhD student will take a leading role in establishing and analysing BioSYNergy’s public communication platform. Working alongside the project’s natural scientists, ethicists, and legal scholars, and supported by Department of Media, Cognition and Communication faculty with expertise in social media, public engagement with science, and Science and Technology Studies, they will develop experimental communication practices around synthetic biology, carry these out in collaboration with BioSYNergy’s support staff, and analyse their execution and effects. These efforts may, for instance, involve social media, dialogue activities, installations or museum events, art projects, or other innovative communicative formats and experiments. We therefore encourage applications from those with backgrounds in the critical practice of science communication, public engagement, and art and design.

The application should include a proposal outlining the overall aims and methodology of the PhD project as well as a time-plan. Follow the link for more information.

Applicants should hold a relevant Master’s degree. Candidates should have documented knowledge of Science and Technology Studies preferably within the area of Science Communication and/or Public Engagement with Science.

For further information, also with regard to the bioSYNergy project, please contact co-investigator of the bioSYNergy project, Head of department Maja Horst (horst@hum.ku.dk)

Application deadline: October 31, 2013.

Apply online here.

Employment start: December 1, 2013 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Application procedure:

Applicants need to hold a two-year Master's degree (120 ECTS) or the equivalent. Applicants shall have submitted their thesis at the time of application, to the extent the thesis forms part of their Master program. In case you have not obtained your diploma by the application deadline, you must include a statement (pre-approval) from your university that declares that you have been awarded the master degree.

Applications must be submitted via the electronic application system (you may find the link in the above call for applications).

The following enclosures to the application must be submitted:

  • A copy of the applicant's Master's degree diploma
  • A copy of the applicant's transcript of records
  • If the MA diploma and/or examination records are in another language than English, Danish, Norwegian or Swedish, please include a translation into either of these languages in your application.
  • Documentation of English proficiency (TOEFL or IELTS test). (You may find more information below.)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Project proposal (must not exceed 12,000 characters. For further information see below)

Do not upload ZIP files and do not submit any publications, recommendations or your Master thesis.

The Faculty will dismiss applications, which do not adhere to the formal requirements.

Diploma and transcript of records

The translation of diplomas/certificates and transcripts may be made by or approved by either:

  • a state-authorized translator and interpreter
  • the embassy or consulate of the country where the original document was issued or where the translation was made
  • a Danish consulate/embassy

The PhD administration encourages applicants from within the EU to enclose a Diploma Supplement. The Diploma Supplement is part of a common European framework for transparency of competencies and qualifications – the EuroPass framework. For more information, click here

Applicants with a non-Danish Master's degree will have their degree assessed by The Danish Agency for Universities and Internationalisation in order to establish, if the Master's degree is equivalent to a Danish Master's degree. Read more at the website of The Danish Agency for Universities and Internationalisation

For Chinese applicants from the People's Republic of China a credential report from the Accreditation Department under the CDGDC is needed in order to ensure the authenticity of the submitted documents (degree and transcripts). China Academic Degrees & Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC) is an administrative department directly under the Ministry of Education. See here.

Project proposal requirements 

Please note that the research proposal must not exceed 12,000 characters in Microsoft Word (including spacing, punctuation, footnotes and references, title, study plan etc., but excluding bibliography). Please specify the amount of characters used at the top (left/right) of your research proposal. Guidelines on how to make a research proposal and information about required enclosures are available here.

Documentation of proficiency in English

You need to document proficiency in English. For information about the specific language requirements and applicants who are exempt from these requirements, please read more on the PhD website. Applicants who have not submitted documentation of English proficiency (and who are not subject to the exemptions listed on our website) will be dismissed. Read more about language requirements here

Further information

Employment as a PhD scholar occurs pursuant to the applicable rules of the Faculty of Humanities, as well as between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC). Under this agreement, the PhD student is obliged - without further remuneration - to carry out allotted work to an extent corresponding to a total of 840 working hours in the course of a three-year contract.

Please note that it is normally a precondition for employment that the applicant in question does not already have a PhD degree. Applicants who have already obtained a PhD degree will, as a main rule, be dismissed.

For further information on employment terms please see the collective agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC) as well the protocol to the agreement covering staff with university degrees in the state sector (in Danish). Read more here

Enrolment as a PhD student at the Faculty of Humanities' PhD School is a precondition for employment as a PhD scholar: For more information about the PhD School, click here.

Application deadline: October 31, 2013

No supplementary documents will be taken into consideration after this deadline.

As an equal opportunity employer, the Faculty of Humanities invites applications from all interested candidates regardless of gender, age, ethnic origin or religion.

For any further questions, please contact the PhD administration by e-mail (phdadmission@hum.ku.dk). If you have specific questions concerning your submitted PhD application please use the following e-mail address: jobvacancy@pxs.hum.ku.dk.