Several PhD Scholarships at FRESCO@CNAP (21-18031)

At the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Health Science and Technology, Center for Neuroplasticity and Pain (CNAP) (, SMI®, several PhD scholarships are available. The scholarships are within the Marie Sklodowska-Curie programme FrontierRESearchCOmpentences@CNAP, FRESCO@CNAP, and part of the general PhD study programme “Biomedical Science and Engineering”. The scholarships are open for appointment from 1 September, 2018 or soon thereafter. We support students who have an ambition to conduct frontline research.The Center for Neuroplasticity and Pain (CNAP) is a Centre-of-Excellence supported by the Danish National Research Foundation. We support students who have an ambition to conduct frontline research on novel tools for identifying and modulating human pain mechanisms. The programme FRESCO@CNAP, which is co-funded by Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (Horizon 2020), aims to install early stage researchers (PhD fellows) in our center. Please find more information on our websites: and

Job description

CNAP offers: Several PhD scholarships are available to explore neuroplasticity and pain, with the aim of developing models for pain provocation, probing and modulation. We are committed to offering our FRESCO@CNAP fellows the best possible research training. As a FRESCO@CNAP fellow you will join Aalborg University’s Doctoral School in in Medicine, Biomedical Science and Technology with more than 200 enrolled PhD students. In addition to getting first class supervision from your supervisors who will guide you in the process of conducting and completing your PhD project, you will have access to a range of different PhD courses. Some will be of specific scientific relevance to your own project, while others will be of a more general character offering you training in transferable skills such as communication, research and project management, or entrepreneurship. Your scientific education will be supplemented with participation in joint events like journal clubs, workshops, and symposia. You will be offered relevant collaborative research training and/or research visits to external research centres outside Denmark, such as to our FRESCO@CNAP partners that presently include recognised experts from clinical and academic institutions as well as non-academic institutions in ten different countries.

The PhD scholarships include:
  • A competitive salary, enabling you to enjoy living and working in a high growth and centrally located European city, Aalborg, Denmark
  • Covered university fees
  • Danish health insurance
  • Research costs for your projects
  • Travel funds for you to present your work at scientific conferences 
  • Opportunity to travel and visit our research collaboration partners
  • An office for you to focus
  • Computer and other practical office necessities
  • Access to well-equipped laboratories 
  • Guidance on how to re-locate to Aalborg, Denmark

You will be able to pursue a scientific career in a cross-disciplinary research environment

Sparring and deep discussions: All PhD students at CNAP get to join a Research Interest Group which relates to the topic of their PhD project. In the Research Interest Group you will be part a larger group of colleagues (other PhD students, postdocs, and professors) who share your primary research interest, giving you ample opportunity to discuss and develop your own ideas as well as being inspired by others. We strive to foster a friendly and supportive working environment, believing that this is best way to ensure world class scientific results.

We are international: CNAP is an international research centre with approx. 40 % of the staff coming from Denmark, while the remaining 60 % comes from outside of Denmark. Our working language is English, and you will also be writing your thesis in English. We strive for an equal gender balance and at present have a 50/50 distribution of men and women. Thus, you will be joining an inspiring, enriching, and productive cross-disciplinary research centre including staff with internationally recognized track records.
Please find more information about being a PhD student at CNAP here: and about working at Aalborg University, living in Denmark etc. at the homepage of Aalborg University’s International Staff Unit:

We strive to identify and modulate key features of human pain neuroplasticity

CNAP background: CNAP applies a basic research approach where new advanced biomedical provocation and probing platforms are being discovered and applied to study novel aspects of the human pain neuroplasticity. When an injury results in acute pain, the nervous system undergoes an adaptive neuroplastic response resulting in an increase in sensitivity. After some time, the pain neuroplasticity is normalized as the injury heals. In some cases, such neuroplastic processes fail to normalize during convalescence, and acute pain develops into chronic pain with hypersensitivity. The continuing pain after injury resolution may be due to maladaptive pain neuroplasticity. In contrast, advantageous neuroplasticity permits the nervous system to cope with challenges such as maladaptive pain neuroplasticity to help returning to a pain-free state. The ambition of CNAP is to identify and modulate key features of human pain neuroplasticity. We keenly believe that this can be achieved through a systematic engineering approach, including provoking, probing and modulation of the dynamic neuroplastic properties of the pain system. All our research groups are highly interdisciplinary and include experts within e.g. biomedical engineering, neuropsychology, pharmacology, biophysics, and medicine. All research at CNAP is conducted in accordance with the present ethical guidelines.

CNAP requests talent: CNAP recruits highly qualified and committed candidates worldwide who demonstrate great research potential. The successful candidate for a FRESCO@CNAP PhD scholarship holds a Master’s degree in biomedical engineering, neuroscience, pharmacology, medicine or equivalent with the prospect of pursuing studies on human pain neuroplasticity utilizing biomedical technologies (e.g. quantitative assessment) and human pain and itch biomarkers. We expect that our FRESCO fellows will serve as first movers in a new generation of researchers capable of exploiting the synergies between different research disciplines and technologies. You will be part of an endeavour to optimize and boost innovation and advance the scientific area of biomedical and neural engineering together with basic and integrative neuroscience within the CNAP research groups. Translational animal studies, human experimental and clinical studies are within the scope of CNAP which aims to improve the understanding of human pain/itch neuroplasticity. Previous research experience on fundamental pain mechanisms and their clinical impact is an advantage, but not a requirement. A high proficiency in oral and written English is required, and good dissemination skills are important.

Project description: Please make sure that you upload all the required documents along with your application (the requirements are stated below in the “assessment criteria” section). It is particularly important that you upload a project description of max. 3 pages excl. references. This description should outline a relevant FRESCO@CNAP research project within the framework of CNAP research areas. We strongly encourage you to contact the relevant CNAP Professor (based on your research interests) in order to discuss the potential project description:
  • Professor Ole K. Andersen, email:
  • Professor Lars Arendt-Nielsen, email:
  • Professor Brian Cairns, email: 
  • Professor Thomas Graven-Nielsen:
  • Professor Winnie Jensen, email:
If you are not sure which Professor to approach, please contact Professor Thomas Graven-Nielsen for guidance: Phone: +45 9940 9832, email: He may also provide you with other information concerning the scientific aspects of the scholarship.

FRESCO@CNAP recruitment strategy
As a fundamental principle, FRESCO@CNAP will follow the directives laid out in the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for researchers’ recruitment. Researchers will be selected following an open, transparent, merit-based, impartial and equitable selection procedure, based on international peer review. International independent reviewers with no conflicts of interest will conduct the evaluations and the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine will make the final selection of the PhD fellows based on a recommendation from a Selection Committee.

Eligibility criteria and admissibility requirements
Applications will be assessed by an Assessment Committee. The Assessment Committee will assess whether the candidates are qualified or not qualified for a position. Not all qualified candidates will be invited to a job interview with the Selection Committee. To be considered eligible for a position, candidates must meet the following requirements:
Eligibility criteria:
  1.  MSCA mobility rule: The applicants may not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Denmark for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the call deadline. Time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention, compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account. 
  2. ESR eligibility criteria: Early-stage researchers (PhD fellows) shall at the time of recruitment be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. Full-time equivalent research experience is measured from the date when a researcher obtained the degree which would formally entitle him or her to embark on a doctorate in Denmark. 
  3. At the call deadline, the applicant must hold a relevant Master’s degree (biomedical engineering, neuroscience, pharmacology, medicine or equivalent) or 
  4. Hold an equivalent qualification obtained in accordance with foreign educational systems, having previously confirmed with Aalborg University that this qualification accredits a level of training equivalent to the Danish university Master's degree. 

Admissibility requirements:
  • The application must be in English. 
  • The application is only to be submitted online by using the "Apply online" button below.
  • The application file consists of the following documents:
    - A project description of max 3 pages excl. references must be attached to the application. The description should outline a relevant FRESCO@CNAP research project within the framework of CNAP research areas. 
    - A detailed curriculum vitae. 
    - List of publications. 
    - Table of ethics issues disclosing any potential ethical issues in relation to the research proposal.
    - Documents for the ESR eligibility criteria, such as scanned copy of the Master’s diploma or an official statement on the expected date of graduation or another degree which formally entitles him or her to embark on a doctorate (previously confirmed by Aalborg University). 

Please note that successful applicants are expected to move to Denmark by the time of employment.
Applicants must ensure that all documents are uploaded before the submission deadline as additional material cannot be considered.
The qualifications of the applicant will be assessed by an assessment committee. On the basis of the recommendation of the assessment committee and the selection committee, the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine will make a decision for allocating the scholarships.

PhD stipends are allocated to individuals who hold a Master's degree. PhD stipends are normally for a period of 3 years. It is a prerequisite for allocation of the stipend that the candidate will be enrolled as a PhD student at the Doctoral School of Engineering and Science in accordance with the regulations of Ministerial Order No. 1039 of August 27, 2013 on the PhD Programme at the Universities and Certain Higher Artistic Educational Institutions. According to the Ministerial Order, the progress of the PhD student shall be assessed every six months. It is a prerequisite for continuation of salary payment that the previous progress is approved at the time of the evaluation.

The qualifications of the applicant will be assessed by an assessment committee. On the basis of the recommendation of the assessment committee, the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Science will make a decision for allocating the stipend.

For further information about stipends and salary as well as practical issues concerning the application procedure contact Ms. Bettina Wedde, The Doctoral School in Medicine, Biomedical Science and Technology, email:,  phone: +45 9940 9909.

For more information of The Doctoral School in Medicine, Biomedical Science and Technology:

The application is only to be submitted online by using the "Apply online" button below.

We wish to reflect the diversity of society and welcome applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.


Appointment and salary as a PhD fellow are according to the Ministry of Finance Circular of November 10, 2015 on the Collective Agreement for Academics in Denmark, Appendix 5, regarding PhD fellows, and with the Ministry of Finance current circular on the employment structure at Danish Universities.   

Vacancy number



Thu Jul 05 00:00:00 CEST 2018

Apply online

Online application - some good advice

Online application - some good advice

Aalborg University uses an electronic recruitment system for receiving applications. Towards the bottom in the respective job advertisement you will find a link, which you need to use when applying for the position. Before uploading your application it is important that you have all relevant documentation ready in a Word or PDF format, as you need to upload all material at the same time. You cannot leave the application and return to it a couple of hours later without having to start over.

The system does not support ZIP or images files. Filenames can only contain numbers and letters, and each document must take up no more than 20 MB.

If you experience technical problems, we encourage you to try again. If the technical problems, contrary to expectation, cannot be solved, please contact the member of staff listed as the contact person in the job advertisement.