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Re-advertisement: Fully funded PhD Position: Investigation of the cellular mechanisms in nephrogenic diabetes insipidus

The Graduate School of Health, Aarhus University is looking for a talented, ambitious and highly motivated candidate for the three-year fully financed PhD project.

Background and aim

Lithium salts are widely used drugs for patients with bipolar disorders. Lithium impairs urine concentration and part of the patients develop Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus (NDI) with polyuria and polydipsia. Lithium-NDI is associated with changes in the cellular composition of the kidney collecting duct.

This PhD project aims to examine if the toxic Li effect on the collecting duct triggers differentiation of pluripotent cells. This involves work with transgenic mice, 2-photon microscopy, and single cell sequencing. The PhD project also aims to examine whether the cellular remodeling seen in animals is reflected in urine of Li-NDI patients. This part of the project involves mass spectrometry analysis of urinary exosomes isolated from of Li-NDI patients and from healthy volunteers.

The project will be performed at the Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus.

Main supervisor:
Associate Professor Birgitte Mønster Christensen (bmc@biomed.au.dk)

Our PhD training programme

We offer a competitively salaried 3-year PhD training programme covering a wide spectrum of research opportunities with access to state-of-the-art research facilities and advanced infrastructure. Professional and highly qualified researchers and lecturers will surround you in an exciting, international research environment.

Aarhus University is committed to career development. As a PhD student, you will get intensive and dedicated supervision and access to an extensive course programme including training in transferable skills such as project management and communication. Combined with access to career counselling  you will get the opportunity to develop your career, direct your training and take the required steps to reach your career goals.

Get more details on which elements our PhD training programme include. 

Aarhus University

Aarhus University is a young, modern university. It is a leading public research university with global reach, covering the entire research spectrum, and ranked in the top-100 by several influential rankings. With half of the student population enrolled at Master’s or PhD level, Aarhus University is a graduate university with many international students representing over 100 nationalities.

In beautiful and natural surroundings and with an internationally acclaimed campus area, Aarhus University is located in the middle of the vibrant student city of Aarhus. Nearby is the newly build and largest university hospital in Northern Europe: Aarhus University Hospital. 

Requirements and project-specific qualifications

To be considered for a PhD position, you must meet our requirements for enrolment:

  • You must have a relevant higher education degree. Your educational level will be assessed to determine whether it comply with entry requirements. If you hold a degree other than a Danish Master’s degree, it can be advisable to get your degree assessed by the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education before you apply.
  • You must master the English language corresponding to CEFR C1-level (comparable with an ‘English B level’ in the Danish upper secondary school (‘gymnasium’). We require a test result.
  • Your qualifying degree should not be more than 5 years old. Please note, if you already have a PhD degree, your application will not be taken into consideration.

Also, you must fulfill the project-specific qualifications:

  • The candidate must be MD, MSc or equivalent.
  • The candidate will have to be able to work with animals. 

If you do not meet the above requirements, we reserve the right to reject your application.


Submit your application in English via our online application form.

Application deadline is 3 February 2020 at 23:59 (CEST). See application guide for details on how to apply.

Selected candidates will be invited for a (video) interview.

The successful candidate will receive an offer of enrolment and employment. Next, you must prepare a final 5-page project description in collaboration with your supervisors before enrolment can commence. Earliest enrolment date is 1 May 2020 and up until 12 months after you receive the enrolment offer.

Conditions of employment

You will be employed as a PhD fellow in a 3-year salaried position (37 hrs per week) (FTE). Aarhus University offers attractive and flexible working conditions, and encourages a healthy balance between work and free time. The salary level is competitive and includes social benefits.

Our International Centre offers a full range of services for international PhD students, including help with practical matters, housing, social events, language courses and information sessions.

Learn more about working at Aarhus University. 

For further information about the graduate school or the application procedure, please contact graduateschoolhealth@au.dk or visit our website www.phd.health.au.dk. For information about Aarhus University, please visit www.au.dk/en.