The Section of Forensic Pathology Dept. of Forensic Medicine, University of Copenhagen, seeks a PhD-fellow

The position

A three-year PhD-fellow position in Biological Anthropology

The PhD project

The PhD project aims to investigate cranial fluctuating asymmetry over time and populations using archaeological skeletal collections and CT scanning of recently deceased. The project will run in close collaboration with the Lundbeck Foundation Geogenetics Centre at the Globe Institute and SURVIVE project.

Lundbeck Foundation Geogenetics Centre (LFGGC), headed by Professor Eske Willerslev, combines world-leading research groups in ancient DNA, biostatistics and genomic analysis, headed by the professors Rasmus Nielsen, Thomas Werge and Kristian Kristiansen. The LFGGC will map the DNA from skeletal remains from thousands of prehistoric human beings in order to acquire knowledge about brain disorders (

“SURVIVE: Let the dead help the living”, headed by Professor Jytte Banner, is a prospective, nationwide autopsy-based study focusing on the causes of excess morbidity and mortality among patients with severe mental illness (

Specifically, the project will analyze cranial fluctuating asymmetry against genomic data (especially for the archaeological remains/LFGGC) and against other pathology (especially for the recently deceased/SURVIVE project), with a view to crosslink these two areas.

The Section of Forensic pathology

The section comprises three units: forensic pathology, clinical forensic medicine and forensic anthropology and imaging, which perform different activities, i.e. autopsies, examination of living, forensic bone analysis, requested by the police, judiciary system and other public authorities. The unit of forensic anthropology and imaging comprises post-mortem imaging, the Laboratory of Advanced Imaging and 3D modelling and the Laboratory of Biological Anthropology. At both laboratories, basic research in biological anthropology and forensic imaging is performed, as well as applied research and development projects in collaboration with a number of other national and international research laboratories.  The Laboratory of Biological Anthropology curates a human skeletal collection of more than 30.000 skeletons from Danish archaeological sites as well as material from other countries including Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Nubia and the Middle East. It covers all of Denmark’s prehistoric and historic periods from the Mesolithic to the 17th century.

The section of Forensic pathology is one of three sections at the Department of Forensic Medicine (University of Copenhagen) carrying out research and teaching assignments according to ordinary university rules. 

The section has about 40 employees, including 2 professors, 2 associate professors, 19 forensic doctors, administrative staff, 6 PhD students, 2 laboratory technicians and a number of thesis students. The department is equipped with modern instruments and IT facilities. The section is accredited to ISO 17020. 

The person and qualifications  

The candidate should have the following mandatory qualifications:

  • a relevant academic education includes a master’s degree in forensic or biological anthropology or a related degree;
  • is experienced in osteological analyses;
  • has experience with 3D imaging technologies, such as CT scanning or surface scanning;
  • has already demonstrated ability in participating in scientific projects;
  • is highly organized, and able to work both as part of a team but also under their own initiative;
  • is willing to share knowledge and expertise with the other members of our research group;
  • has excellent teamwork and communication skills, both verbal and written;
  • is fluent in English (written, reading, verbal).

Other qualifications that may be of considerable import are:

  • Knowledge of prehistoric or medieval archaeology in the Scandinavian/North Atlantic area;
  • Experience in advanced statistical and demographic modelling;
  • Knowledge of the principles of palaeogenomic data generation;
  • Experience with 3D geometric morphometric methods.
  • A working knowledge of Danish.

Salary and terms of employment 

The salary and terms of employment follow the current agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the union of academics (AC). Negotiations regarding supplements follows the rules in the new pay systems under the State. The average working hours per week is 37 hours. 

 The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position. 

All invited for interview will be asked to bring a copy of their criminal record sheet in English or Danish.  

Further information can be obtained by Associate Professor, PhD Chiara Villa, phone: +45 35337160 or e-mail: or Associate Professor Marie Louise Jørkov: phone +45 35327229 or e-mail:

 Send the motivated application together with copies of diplomas (including transcript of records translated to the ECTS grading scale) and indication of previous employment electronically through link below or no later than 27 October 2019. .

The further process After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the hiring committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an unbiased assessor.

The assessor makes a non-prioritized assessment of the academic qualifications and experience with respect to the above-mentioned area of research, techniques, skills and other requirements listed in the advertisement.

Once the assessment work has been completed each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself.

You can read about the recruitment process at   

The applicant will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.


Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.

Deadline: 27 October 2019
Unit: Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Campus: Retsmedicinsk Institut

Read the job description and apply online

Post expires on Sunday October 27th, 2019