Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

IPA talent exchange workshop

Develop your career through a research stay at one of Scandinavia’s best Universities for Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology research

In early 2018, the Intercontinental Phage Alliance (IPA) network was established by Prof. Lars Hestbjerg Hansen (Aarhus University), Prof. Peter Dedon (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Prof. Valerie de Crecy-Lagard (University of Florida), Prof. Forest Rohwer (San Diego State University) and Prof. Graham Hatfull (University of Pittsburgh). 

The main purpose of the IPA is to bring together world leading scientists, with the aim of exchanging bacteriophage interests and know-how as well as promoting collaboration on joint groundbreaking research challenges and setting up a pilot program for the exchange of talents between the partners.

As part of the talent program, the IPA has received funding to invite 5 talented early stage researchers from the IPA partner organizations to a grant writing workshop in Denmark in 2019. The goal will be to work on project proposals that will allow a 1-4 year research stay at Aarhus University and are targeted at research topics of interest to the IPA as well as topics within Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology research.

If you want to hear more about this unique opportunity, please join one of IPA talent exchange workshops in either Pittsburgh or Boston:&nb

  • Pittsburgh University on April 27th, from 3pm to 5pm in 343 Crawford Hall 
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology on May 1st, from 10am - 12pm. Location: Building 56, room 711.

The workshops are open to all who are interested; food/beverages provided.

You can sign up by sending a short email to John Jacobsen (jj@envs.au.dk). Please use “IPA talent exchange workshop” as the subject and include your name, home institution, department, current position and which workshop - UPI or MIT you would like to attend.

About Aarhus University

Aarhus University (AU) was founded in 1928 and is ranked in the top ten of universities founded within the past 100 years. It has a longstanding tradition of partnerships with some of the world's best research institutions and university networks, and is home to several world class research groups. 

Number of students 2016: 43,000

Number of employees 2016: 11,358

Number of PhD graduates 2016: 497

Turnover in 2016: DKK 6,403 million

The Department of Environmental Science (ENVS) at AU runs basic and problem-oriented research with the goal of achieving a deeper understanding of the organic, chemical and physical connections in the environment that are subject to human impacts, as well as to explore the economic, political and social relations that are of relevance with respect to the interaction between environment and society.

The academic expertise ranges from atmospheric chemistry and physics to environmental chemistry and from microbiology and biotechnology to environmental economics, environmental geography, political science and sociology.

The department is home to around 130 employees and students. Every day we aim to create an exciting and inspiring work and student life, and we work closely together with researchers from many Danish and foreign institutions and universities. ENVS is located at Risø Campus, approximately 30 km outside Copenhagen.

The Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology (EMBI) section is a part of ENVS and is led by Prof. Lars Hestbjerg Hansen. In addition the section currently consists of 29 members, including 10 PhD students, 5 postdocs, 3 laboratory technicians and 4 senior researchers from 11 different countries.

Prof. Hansen and his group investigate complex questions in the fields of molecular microbial ecology, with respect to fundamental as well as applied sciences. His main areas of research include horizontal gene transfer as well as plasmid evolution and bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Illumina and Oxford nanopore DNA sequencing is favorite tools for investigating bacterial, phage and plasmid diversity in research related to human health and bacteriophage-host interactions. The group is involved in four national projects focused on bacteriophages in dairy production, plant protection and gut microbiota. These newly started activities have promoted several publications related to bacteriophage genomics as well as collaboration with both domestic and European experts involved in different phage related projects. One of the main aims is to expand phage related research in the environment during the coming years, both as regulators of bacterial populations, therapeutic tools and vehicles of bacterial evolution.

Prof. Hansen has over 130 publications in peer-reviewed international journals (including ISME journal, Nature Communications, Nature Genetics & Nature Reviews Microbiology), with over 60 of them being related to mobile genetic elements.

The EMBI group has received grants from, amongst others, the Danish Research Council, Innovation Fund Denmark, the European Union and the Human Frontier Science Programme for several prestigious research projects. The group has access to modern lab facilities, including Illumina MiSeq and NextSeq sequencers as well as Oxford nanopore seqeuncers and bioinformatics infrastructure.

During the grant writing workshop in Denmark, there will be a focus on the following funding schemes:

European Union Marie Curie European Fellowships

Various fellowships for researchers with a doctoral degree, with a duration of 12 – 24 months.

Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS) Fellowships

Various fellowships for researchers with a doctoral degree and a minimum of 2 years research experience after obtaining the PhD, with a duration of 12 – 36 months.

Sapere Aude: DFF-Starting Grant

Targeted at top researchers who intend to gather a group of researchers and/or research students, in order to carry out a research project at a high, international level. Applicants must have obtained their PhD within the last eight years. A research stay can be up to 4 years’ duration.

In general a research stay in Denmark gives you access to: 

-       a competitive salary

-       a 37 hours working week with 6 weeks of paid holidays per year

-       full pay during sickness

-       full pay during first 2 days of sickness of a child

-       one of the best parental leave policies worldwide

-       good and free/subsidized health care

-       participation in a society with a strong focus on environment & sustainability

-       a good infrastructure

-       1-1 support from the local AU Fundraising section

About Roskilde, Copenhagen and Denmark:


-       is Denmark’s 10th largest city

-       has approx. 50.000 inhabitants

-       is home to Northern Europe’s largest music festival: Roskilde Festival

-       lies 30 km west of Copenhagen


-       is Denmark’s capital

-       has > 775.000 inhabitants

-       has the largest airport in the Nordic countries

-       is home to Tivoli Gardens, the world’s 2nd oldest operating amusement park

-       is one of Northern Europe’s main financial centers

-       is home to 3 universities

-       is Scandinavia’s gourmet food capital with 26 Michelin starred restaurants

-       houses Denmark’s government and national parliament


-       has 5.7 million inhabitants

-       consists of a peninsula (Jutland) and 443 named islands

-       is part of the Kingdom of Denmark, together with Greenland and the Faroe Islands

-       has a constitutional monarchy organized as a parliamentary democracy

-       is member of the EU, but maintains its own currency: the Danish krone (DKK)

-       is one of Europe’s fastest growing tourist destinations

-       ranks in the top 10 best countries in many categories, including: quality of life, education, green
        living, gender equality and safety perception by women, raising children and transparency (open
        business and government practices)

Universities involved: