PhD fellowship at the Neurobiology Research Unit, Rigshospitalet and University of Copenhagen: “Good Vibes”

A 3-year PhD fellowship is available at the Neurobiology Research Unit (NRU) at Rigshospitalet and University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark, with an anticipated start on May 1st 2023, or soon thereafter.

The stipend is funded by the InnovationFond Denmark and the EU Joint Programme Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND2022-120) and is a collaborative project on Augmenting glymphatic transport with monitored vibrations to prevent Alzheimer’s disease (aka “Good Vibes”).

About Good Vibes

Our consortium consists of the following frontline academic partners:

  • University of Oulu, Finland (Coordinator)
  • University of Copenhagen, Center for Translational Neuromedicine, Denmark 
  • Copenhagen University Hospital Rigshospitalet, Neurobiology Research Unit, Denmark 
  • Stichting Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands
  • Semmelweiss University, Budapest, Hungary

The consortium research builds on the recent observations that failure of the glymphatic system, as observed in rodents, leads to impaired brain solute transport which is linked to neurovascular changes that contribute to Alzheimer’s Disease. Imaging of brain fluid transport has in recent years gained international attention due to its role clearing waste products, such as beta-amyloid and tau. Glymphatic transport is most dominant during sleep offering new insight into the neurobiology underlying the necessity to sleep identified in all species studied so far.

The focus of the consortium is to target mechanisms that can prevent AD by augmenting the pulsatile perivascular cerebrospinal fluid solute efflux from the brain. The major aim is to understand how physical oscillations can be used to improve glymphatic hydrodynamics and waste efflux.

About your project

Your project will involve research in pigs where you will conduct ultrafast functional neuroimaging with MREG which currently is the only approach that non-invasively can detect physiological pulsations simultaneously over the whole brain. Invasive tracer studies in rodent have indicated that the hydrodynamic brain pulsations reflect the glymphatic CSF fluid transport in the lissencephalic brain. We aim to quantitatively investigate to what extent this occurs in the more gyrencephalic pig as a larger animal model with which NRU has extensive experience. The pig is an ideal translational model for glymphatic function and we want to cross-compare brain MREG pulsations in pig brain with traditional approaches to map glymphatic flow in rodents. We want to compare 3T MREG pulsation mappings in pigs with gold-standard cisterna magna tracer injection using multimodal neuroimaging approaches. The gold-standard approach includes real-time SPECT scanning with a high-resolution camera after infusion of 99mTc-DTPA in cisterna magna of the anesthetized pig. To validate this, we will also impose physiological or pharmacological modulations on the brain pulsations to alter CSF hydrodynamics. The effects of the manipulation on MREG pulsatility spectra in the pig brain will be monitored and compared with glymphatic fluid transport in the same brain, also using the other neuroimaging approaches.

Eligibility criteria

We are looking for a dedicated and skilled individual with the following qualifications:

– Obtained a Master’s degree, preferably within neuroscience, life sciences, medicine or engineering. To be considered for the position, it is a condition that your Master’s degree is considered to be equivalent to a Danish Master’s degree.

– Passed course in Laboratory Animal Science EU Function ABD (formerly FELASA Category C), or willingness to undergo the course at the earliest convenience.

– Fluency in English.

The candidate will be enrolled at the Faculty of Health and Medicines at the University of Copenhagen. The graduate program requires the student to obtain 30 ECTS points during the three-year period in order to graduate. A broad set of PhD courses are offered ( The school offers financial support for a stay abroad. Subscription to the PhD program is anticipated to be completed over the first 3 months of the employment, where the successful applicant will be employed as a research assistant. You are expected to spend up to 3 months at one of the collaborating institutions.

About NRU

Neurobiology Research Unit (NRU), the Neuroscience Center, Rigshospitalet, is a research center with approximately 125 scientists focusing on conducting translational neuroscience research on brain neurotransmission with the aim to promote preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic advances. We make use of in vivo molecular, structural, and functional brain imaging (PET and MRI) combined with genetic and biochemical approaches and behavioral assessments to uncover disease mechanisms and risk correlates as well as to determine drug effects. We also make use of animal and cell models as well as human brain tissue to investigate drug effects and diagnostic value in the clinic. We identify biomarkers and mechanisms behind neurobiological and psychiatric disorders and develop new treatment or prevention strategies. We bring discoveries from cells and animals into healthy volunteers and patients with brain disorders as early as possible.

NRU collaborates with many national and international research institutes and is partner in and houses the management of the Lundbeck Foundation funded project BrainDrugs. NRU wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

Terms of employment

Employment will start May 1st 2023, or soon thereafter.

The terms of employment and salary are in accordance with the agreement between Danish Regions and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the Regions.

More information

More information about NRU can be found at

For further information about the position, applicants may contact Professor Gitte Moos Knudsen (phone: +45 3545 6720; email: or Senior Group Leader Hanne D. Hansen (phone: +45 3545 6718; email:


The application must include a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, a list of peer reviewed publications, as well as possible letters of recommendation and diplomas.

The closing date for applications will be March 25, 2023.


Job type



Rigshospitalet – Blegdamsvej

Work hours

37 timer

Job number


Application due


Contact us

Gitte Moos Knudsen

Read the job description at the university homepage



Post expires on Sunday March 26th, 2023