Two PhD Scholarship at the Centre for Advanced Studies in Biomedical Innovation Law (CeBIL), Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen

The successful candidate can commence from 1 November 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter. 
About CeBIL
The Centre for Advanced Studies in Biomedical Innovation Law (CeBIL) explores the legal challenges and the rapid developments in the biotechnological area. CeBIL brings together scholars from some of the world’s leading research institutions in interdisciplinary collaboration as well as stakeholders from industry, government and civil society. Alongside other projects, CeBIL hosts the Collaborative Research Programme for Biomedical Innovation Law (CeBIL Programme). This 5-year research programme (2018-22) is supported by a grant of DKK 35 million from the Novo Nordisk Foundation and involves partners from Cambridge,Harvard Law SchoolHarvard Medical SchoolMichigan, and the UCPH IFRO.
The CeBIL Programme focuses on innovation inefficiencies on the life science frontiers through five concrete interrelated studies. The common aim of the five studies is to optimize legal concepts into enabling tools that will help bring novel technologies, research, and biomedicine together for radical innovation – thereby providing much-needed contribution to bridging bio-pharmaceutical innovation gaps, enhancing translational medicine, and promoting technology transfer. An overarching study on Policy & Synergy will ensure continuous knowledge exchange and synergy across the five concrete studies. For further details, see
PhD project
The PhD researcher will be expected to work on either Study 1 or Study 6. The CeBIL management reserves, however, the right to recruit candidates for one of the other four studies instead should their academic profile and research plan provide an even better fit for the CeBIL Programme as a whole.
Study 1: Antibiotics
Antibiotic resistance is the ability of bacteria to combat the action of one or more antibiotics. Humans and animals do not become resistant to antibiotics, but bacteria carried by humans and animals can. Each year, 33,000 people die from an infection due to bacteria resistant to antibiotics. The burden of infections with bacteria resistant to antibiotics on the European population is comparable to that of influenza, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS combined (see also here). Antibiotic resistance presents a serious health crisis, from which no one of us is spared, and it requires urgent attention (for more info, see here). For a variety of reasons, innovation in antibiotics has stalled, which compounds even more the health crisis we are faced with. One of the main obstacles (apart from scientific challenges) seems to be the lack of incentives for the pharmaceutical industry to invest in the development of new antibiotics. Against the background of increasing antibiotic resistance and inadequate market incentives, Study 1 will evaluate the legal implications of a number of “push” and “pull” options to tackle these challenges. This includes financial incentives, such as specific IP protection and market exclusivities, health impact funds, crowd-funding, pre-competitive collaborations, PPPs between academia and the industry, and other innovative alternatives, such as “integrated” strategies based on prizes administered by reimbursement systems that require compliance with conservation targets. Some of the key questions which need to be addressed are the following ones:

a) To what extent is there a need to curtail and combine particular push and pull incentives to different classes of antibiotic resistance?

b) What are the pros and cons of purely market-based incentives in comparison to delinkage models in the fight against antibiotic resistance?

c) To what extent would so-called complementary approaches, more public-private collaboration, or “integrated strategies” be helpful in European settings compared to the US and what legal changes would be required to implement such approaches?

d) Do we need to reconsider the already available incentives and definitions in the current “antibiotics” legislation in light of new scientific insights and bio-medical applications?

e) What potential do new forms of therapies based on gene-editing, such as CRISPR-Cas 9 and gene drive, and phage technologies have in the fight against AMR and what are the legal and ethical dimensions?

This is an exciting opportunity for someone who is interested in pursuing doctoral research which can make a difference in society. It is a research project of immense relevance. As a PhD researcher, you will have the opportunity to contribute to the quest for a solution to this health crisis. Moreover, you will be able to work in an intellectually very stimulating and pleasant environment, and you will have the opportunity to work under the supervision of and with some of the finest experts in the area of biomedical innovation law, both in Copenhagen and in partner institutions such as Harvard University.


Study 6: Policy & Synergy

Study 6 aims to develop a framework that integrates law, ethical considerations, economics, science, business, and policy to support biomedical innovation. It includes a legal sub-study entitled “Towards an Improved and Sustainable Legal Framework for Biomedical Innovation”, which will address the following key research questions:

a) What common legal principles can be derived from each of the five concrete studies and how can they be synthesised and organized to form a conceptual framework with a sound underlying legal theory that can be translated into recommendations for new legislation?

b) How can those legal findings be applied to inform and shape both general innovation policy debates and more specific debates, such as on the role that alternative R&D incentives could play in the raging controversy over the patentability of biomedical products and methods?

c) What is the proper role for ethical considerations, e.g. on patient rights and access to medicines?

In that context, Study 6 considers also potential disruptions of the existing biomedical value chains through digitalization and artificial intelligence, and assesses the opportunities and risks that these new technologies entail. A question that merits particular attention is: To what extent may digital technologies help enhance innovation, address innovation inefficiencies, and adopt an adaptive governance of the emerging technologies addressed in Studies 1-5 and what are the legal issues? While offering amazing possibilities, there is no doubt that these technologies raise many legal questions with regard to intellectual property, liability, patient involvement, bias, discrimination, competition etc. The successful candidate is expected to focus on this cross-cutting AI dimension of Study 6 in collaboration with senior researchers at CeBIL and its partner institutions.

Faculty’s Doctoral Training Programme
PhD students at CeBIL are enrolled in the Faculty of Law’s general doctoral training programme, which provides PhD students with a general set of skills for developing their research and career. This programme involves coursework, international networking, a research visit at a relevant research institution abroad, as well as teaching tasks. Details and requirements can be found on the Faculty’s website. Some of the requirements can, however, be fulfilled by participating in CeBIL’s own research training activities.
  • Applicants must have obtained a degree that corresponds to the Danish Master of Laws or equivalent qualifications. Please visit for more information.
  • Applicants must have obtained a minimum overall grade average of 8.2 or above at the Master’s level in accordance with the Danish grading scale (for Danish scale, see here )
  • Applicants may submit their application before they have completed their Master’s Degree. In that case, they must have submitted their final thesis before applying for this position and receive their final grades before 1 September 2019.
  • Applicants must document an aptitude for research through the meritorious assessment of their final thesis, publications or academic recommendations in order to show that they are capable of undertaking the demanding task of writing a PhD thesis.
  • Applicants must have excellent language skills in English and have excellent communications skills. Applicants must be able to teach at an academic level in Danish or English and to follow PhD courses in English.
Successful PhD candidates are required to 
  • Actively engage in the research environment at the University of Copenhagen; participate in international conferences, courses and meetings relevant to their research project;
  • Comply with the formal requirements of the PhD programme;
  • Contribute to teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses in Danish or English offered by the Faculty of Law;
  • Conduct independent and high quality research under the supervision of a senior member of academic staff at the Faculty.
Application procedure
Click ’Apply now’ below to be taken to the online application form.
We advise you to have the following documents ready before you begin your online application:
  • Research project proposal: This should include the following: (1) objective(s) of the research, (2) major research questions, (3) review of relevant literature, (4) methodology to be applied in the research, and (5) a timetable that plans for all course requirements to have been met within three years. The project description must elaborate on the value of the proposed research project in terms of its relevance to existing and future research in the field (maximum 6 pages excluding bibliography). The document must be in Times New Roman, font size 12, spacing 1.5 and all margins of 2 cm (right, left, top and bottom).
  • Curriculum vitae (maximum 2 pages).
  • Diplomas and transcripts: Certified copies of original diploma(s) and transcripts (both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree) in the original language and an authorized English translation if they are issued in other language than English or Danish.
  • Grading scale: A certified explanation of grading scale in the original language and an authorized English translation if it is available in another language than English or Danish.
  • Supervisor: The name of a member of academic staff whom you wish to have assigned as your supervisor. You do not need to contact the supervisor but simply make a request in your application.
  • Letter of motivation: Explain the choice of the Faculty of Law at the University of Copenhagen as a host institution for the proposed project and outline how the project fits within the research priorities at the Faculty (maximum 1 page).
  • Documentation of English level: Documentation of English level can for instance be documented by an excellent IELTS or TOEFL test.
Submit your application electronically in English. 
University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding society and therefore encourages all interested parties regardless of personal background to apply for the position.
Recruitment process 
Following the application deadline, the Dean will pre-select PhD applications that will proceed to the assessment stage upon the recommendation of the Selection Committee. Applicants are pre-selected for further assessment in line with the Faculty’s recruitment needs as described in this job advertisement. This is carried out based on the overall assessment of the applicant’s educational qualifications, the quality of the submitted research proposal and its relevance to the Faculty’s research agenda, and other relevant qualifications (e.g. relevant professional experience, any previous academic publications etc.). All applicants are then notified by the HR Centre as to whether their application has proceeded to the assessment stage. The assessment is carried out by an expert assessment committee. Selected applicants will be notified of the composition of the assessment committee. When the committee has completed its assessment, each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the assessment. A number of qualified applicants will be invited for an interview. Interviews are expected to take place in September/October 2019.
Terms of employment
Successful candidates will be employed in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations and the Ministry of Finance concerning the salary of PhD students.
If you are offered a PhD position, you will receive a regular monthly salary in accordance with Danish law and you will be entitled to an annual research budget. The Faculty does not provide accommodation.
General information
Can be found on the Faculty’s website
Can be obtained by contacting the PhD administration by mail to
Contact at CeBIL:
Closing date for applications
The closing date for applications is 15 July 2019, 23:59 GMT +1. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. Likewise incomplete applications (i.e. without all required documents) will be rejected.
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.

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