Research Assistant leading to a PhD position

The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Medicine (reNEW) at Faculty of Health & Medical Science at the University of Copenhagen is looking for post-doctoral fellows to join the Brickman group starting October 1st or upon agreement.

These positions will explore enhancer regulation in response to FGF/ERK signaling as a means to understand how transcription factors interface with signaling to regulate cell fate choice in early development as part of an ERC advanced grant program, “Signaling decoded in ENhanCEr states – a molecular basis for plasticity in development and differentiation (SENCE).”  These positions can also be associated with a second project focused on a similar phenomena in Ventral Foregut derived from human pluripotent stem cells, where we have observed proliferation leads to the commissioning of appropriate enhancers and decommissioning of inappropriate ones.

Our research
The Brickman group is interested in the transcriptional basis for cell fate choice, exploring both fundamental mechanisms of transcriptional regulation by signaling and how gene regulatory networks define cell potency and fate in development and differentiation.  We focus principally on pluripotent stem cells and their differentiation to various types of endoderm as a model system, both embryonic and extra-embryonic.

Our recent work points to new paradigms for how transcription factors regulate enhancer potential and interpret signaling, including the finding that response to MAP kinase (ERK) signaling, plasticity and regeneration in early development is dependent on transcription factor occupancy.  This project will explore how enhancers are activated in response to ERK signaling, understanding the molecular basis for enhancer activity by exploiting signaling models and understanding how enhancer status safeguards early developmental potential in several different model systems.

Job description
We are looking for positions that will focus on different aspects enhancer function and regulation, the interface with signaling and how they are influenced by the cell cycle. As a research assistant in the Brickman lab, you will be working in a field of stem cell and molecular biology. You will be part of an international interdisciplinary team of scientists focusing on understanding enhancer regulation, gene regulatory networks and exploiting these networks to develop new technologies for cell type specification in vitro.  We work with in vivo and in vitro systems in both mouse and human. For this project, you will work with either mouse embryos, mouse and human embryonic stem cell (ESCs), human Ventral Foregut stem cells, human hypoblast stem cells and three-dimensional synthetic models for human and mouse development.


  • To implement state of the art genomic and proteomic technologies to understand the basis of enhancer activity in early development and differentiation.
  • To develop new approaches to identify enhancer specific co-factors involved in signaling response.
  • To define regulatory networks and signaling response
  • To optimize new molecular and biochemical approaches to single locus and single molecule functional assays.


  • An equivalent of a master’s degree in Developmental, Stem Cell or Molecular Biology and/or Bioinformatics.
  • Experience with computational analysis of next generation sequencing data.
  • Experience with embryonic stem cell culture.
  • Molecular biology, western blots, RT-PCR etc.
  • English communication skills, both oral and written are a must.

We offer

  • A stimulating research environment and collaborative work with physicists from Niels Bohr Institute and hospital.
  • Usage of state-of-the-art technologies for stem cell research.
  • Possibilities for continued education and training.

Place of employment
The place of employment is at The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Medicine, reNEW, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment.

Terms of salary, work, and employment
The average weekly working hours are 37 hours per week.

The position is a fixed-term position limited to a period of one-year Research Assistant position leading to a three-year PhD position.. The start date is 1 October 2024 or after agreement.

The employment is conditioned upon the applicant’s success­ful enrolment as a PhD student at the Graduate School at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant during an initia l12-month employment as a research assistant.

The PhD study must be completed in accordance with The Ministerial Order on the PhD programme (2013) and the Faculty’s rules on achieving the degree.

The application must include:

  1. Motivated letter of application (max. one page)
  2. Curriculum vitae incl. education, experience, previous employments, programming languages and other relevant skills
  3. List of references with contact information
  4. Publication list (if possible)
  5. Certified copy of original Master of Science diploma and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in other language than English or Danish. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is accepted. As a prerequisite for a PhD fellowship employment, your master’s degree must be equivalent to a Danish master’s degree. We encourage you to read more in the assessment database: Please note that we might ask you to obtain an assessment of your education performed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science

Application deadline:  21 July 2024, 23.59pm CET

We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

For further information contact Professor Joshua Brickman

Interested and want to learn more about this position please follow this link: