PhD scholarship in Developing Innovative Delivery Systems for Mucosal Vaccinatio

Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
Mar 18, 2024
Posting live until
Apr 17, 2024

PhD scholarship in Developing Innovative Delivery Systems for Mucosal Vaccination against Helicobacter Pylori – DTU Health Tech.

In connection with a Eurotech alliance grant, we are currently looking for a PhD student who will be working on devices aimed at enabling oral delivery of Helicobacter pylori vaccines. With this approach, we will improve mucosal vaccine design to prevent degradation of protein antigens, enable effective uptake across the mucosal barrier, promote tailored delivery to selected intracellular compartments of the antigen-presenting cells, and engineer cell-targeting properties to support co-localization of antigen and adjuvant to act as complexes at the mucosal inductive sites/cells to finally induce mucosal immune responses required for long-term protection. The work is to be performed in close collaboration with a second PhD student hired at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) - Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, School of Medicine. 

In the IDUN section at DTU Health Tech, we have explored novel devices that can increase the systemic uptake of e.g. peptide drugs by facilitating an intimate contact between the active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and the intestinal epithelium. As an example, we have developed a self-unfolding elastomeric foil which can be triggered in the small intestine. We will use our experience in delivery devices to target mucosal vaccination – in the stomach or in the intestine. In collaboration with other IDUN section members, the PhD student will spearhead the design and development of mucosal vaccination devices.

We offer a highly creative, collaborative, and ambitious work environment. This project will be part of the IDUN section, led by Prof. Anja Boisen at DTU Department of Health Technology. IDUN is a cross-disciplinary research section with over 40 members, that focuses on development of micro and nanotechnology-based sensors, detection systems and drug delivery devices.

Responsibilities and qualifications

The position involves designing new device concepts as well as further exploring possibilities for realizing the devices in biodegradable materials. You will be responsible for developing and characterizing devices in biocompatible and biodegradable materials. Your role will focus on design, fabrication and characterization of vaccine delivery devices. You will also be engaged in in vitro and ex vivo characterization of device performance and ultimately in vivo experiments on suitable animal models. The position offers ample opportunities for professional development including participation in exciting cutting-edge science, gaining mentoring experience, and the potential for initiating new research. 

You are expected to have a solid background in materials science with a clear focus on polymeric materials and how to shape and combine such materials into functional devices. Furthermore, you preferably have some experience in mechanical modelling. Previous working experience in drug delivery devices and in vitro/in vivo experiments will be advantageous. You are highly curious, independent, self-motivated and enjoy collaboration in a multidisciplinary academic environment. You can drive the project, supervise students and achieve ambitious goals.       

The work will be carried out within the framework of IDUN. In IDUN, our motto is ‘bringing science to life’ and we believe in openness, inclusiveness, having ambitions, making a difference and collaboration. 

You will play a role in the drug delivery part of the research section, interacting with several members working in different disciplines, such as physics, biology, microfabrication, chemical engineering, pharmaceutical science, and polymer science. The project is highly interdisciplinary, and we expect that you enjoy teamwork and are good at coordinating your work with colleagues.

You must have a two-year master’s degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master’s degree.

Approval and Enrolment 

The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see DTU’s rules for the PhD education. 

We offer

DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms

The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information

Further information may be obtained from Mahdi Ghavami (, Lasse H. E. Thamdrup ( and Prof. Anja Boisen (

You can read more about DTU Health Technology at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark. Furthermore, you have the option of joining our monthly free seminar “PhD relocation to Denmark and startup “Zoom” seminar” for all questions regarding the practical matters of moving to Denmark and working as a PhD at DTU.

Application procedure 

Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 7 April 2024 (23:59 Danish time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link “Apply now”, fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter);
  • Curriculum vitae ;
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma (in English) including official description of grading scale;
  • Copy of relevant publications if applicable.

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master’s degree but cannot begin before having received it. 

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Health Tech

DTU Health Tech engages in research, education, and innovation base on technical and natural science for the healthcare sector. The Healthcare sector is a globally expanding market with demands for the most advanced technological solutions. DTU Health Tech creates the foundation for companies to develop new and innovative services and products which benefit people and create value for society. DTU Health Tech’s expertise spans from imaging and biosensor techniques, across digital health and biological modelling, to biopharma technologies. The department has a scientific staff of about 210 persons, 140 PhD students and a technical/administrative support staff of about 160 persons, of which a large majority contributes to our research infrastructure and related commercial activities.

Technology for people

DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear mission to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That mission lives on today. DTU has 13,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.