Do you want to contribute to the development of new tools for the prediction of allergenicity of novel foods and alternative food proteins and enable the production of new and safe food for the future?

If you have knowledge within the area of allergy and protein chemistry as well as experience working with in vitro or in vivo models and are looking for a PhD fellowship opportunity to put your skills into practise, you have it right here. The Research Group for Food Allergy at DTU Food is looking to recruit a talented and highly motivated PhD student for one of 10 PhD fellowship positions being part of the ALLPreT project. The ALLPreT project is an international European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie Doctoral-Network project (ALLPreT - No 101072377)

As part of the ALLPreT project and as our new colleague in the Research Group for Food Allergy at DTU Food, you will be part of dynamic and highly ambitious research and innovation environments, with many national and international collaborators from both academia and industries.

Project description
Your role will be to:

  • Design and develop in vivo models for prediction of clinically relevant sensitisation based on known allergenic and non-allergenic foods
  • Test and select an array of end-point parameters allowing for unseen robustness in the ranking of sensitising capacity of foods
  • Validate the predictive in vivo model(s) using a legume reference set of protein extracts with varying degree of novelty
  • Compare in vivo finding with finding from in vitro models
  • Investigate if models can be implemented in another lab

This will be done by performing animal experiments and analysing disease severity by body hypothermia, ear swelling, symptom scoring and effector degranulation, as well as analysing specific serum and faecal antibody levels, avidity and specificity, immune cell profiles, proliferation and cytokine levels, specific protein uptake and gut permeability using ELISAs, immunoblotting, flow cytometry, qPCR and cell-based assays.

Responsibilities and qualifications
In this PhD project you will contribute to develop a toolbox with methods allowing for the prediction of allergenicity of new foods and specifically develop and employ in vivo models to predict the sensitising capacity of novel food proteins. You will be involved in research, innovation, publication, and scientific dissemination, where your primary research tasks will focus on:

  • Designing, developing, standardising and validating in vivo models of food allergy sensitisation
  • Selecting and designing an array of in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo end-point parameters
  • Performing various in vitro and ex vivo allergenicity analysis
  • Design and employ a ranking system for evaluating sensitisation capacity

With the overall aim of determine the sensitising capacity of novel foods and food proteins.

Further, it is expected that you will take part of all training, networking and collaborative tasks offered by the ALLPreT project, which include development of both technical and soft skills (organisation of meetings, grant writing, presentation for different audiences, etc.)

External stays are a mandatory part of your new PhD fellowship position, where ALK in Denmark and Medical University of Vienna in Austria will be the hosting institutions for a total period of five months.

We are looking for a team player with the motivation and drive needed to make a difference that matters. You should have a critical mindset, be curious and eager to learn. As you will join international teams good command of written and spoken English is necessary.

Your CV comprises a master’s degree (or equivalent) in Allergology, Immunology, Biomedicine, Protein Chemistry, Molecular Biology or a related field as well as:

  • Solid understanding of immunology and/or food allergy, and
  • Knowledge of protein chemistry, and
  • Solid experience in in vivo models, and/or
  • Experience in performing in vitro and/or ex vivo cell-based assays, and/or
  • Experience in studying the uptake of proteins in the gut, and/or
  • Experience in proteomic analyses

According to the rules for MSCA doctoral networks, applicants should not have resided or worked in Denmark for more than 12 out of the last 36 months.

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.

Your new team
The Research Group for Food Allergy, headed by Senior Researcher Katrine Lindholm Bøgh, researches the relationship between different physicochemical features of food proteins and their capacity to induce either allergy or tolerance with an aim to deepen the understanding of why certain food proteins are more allergenic than others and to develop new and improved preventive, management and treatment strategies. We are part of the Danish National Food Institute, where we conduct research at the forefront of healthy, safe and sustainable food. Read more at

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.

The position is a full-time position starting April 1st 2023 (or according to mutual agreement).

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Head of Research Group, Senior Researcher Katrine Lindholm Bøgh, National Food Institute and at Research Group for Food Allergy - DTU Food

You can read more about DTU Food 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 27 October 2022 (Danish time).

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", 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

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.

Information on the ALLPreT project
The introduction of novel foods, such as insects, will strongly contribute to the security and stainability of our food supply. However, these novel foods must be safe (EU regulation 2015/2283). Allergenicity assessment is an essential part of the safety assessment of novel foods. Unfortunately, current methods to assess de novo allergenicity lack predictive power and are not validated. Consequently, food producers and risk assessors struggle with allergenicity assessment, slowing the introduction of novel foods in our food supply. Enabling the safe introduction of novel foods while protecting humans from unacceptable food allergy risks, calls for a multidisciplinary approach. The ALLPreT consortium is a highly multidisciplinary group of experts from universities, research institutes, hospitals, patient organisations and industry arising from the EU COST Action ImpARAS (Improved Allergenicity Risk Assessment Strategy). This puts them in an ideal position to consolidate their previous collaboration and establish an innovative doctoral training network in this area. The overall goal of ALLPreT is to train the next generation of scientists who can tackle the shortcomings in the current food allergy assessment of novel food products. ALLPreT will train 10 PhD students in the core aspects of food allergy risk assessment, immunology, protein chemistry, bioinformatics, in vitro/in vivo/in silico model development and complementary “soft” skills to deliver well-educated young scientists with a unique position within the EU labour market. The PhD students will explore the new field of research on de novo sensitisation by novel foods and develop a toolbox of in vitro/in vivo/in silico allergenicity prediction tools that are scientifically sound, validated and easily usable by industry and food safety authorities. This toolbox will contribute to fast and accurate safety assessment, thereby speeding up safety approval and market uptake of novel foods. Read more at

The National Food Institute (DTU Food) 
DTU Food conducts research into and disseminates - through advice, innovation and teaching - sustainable and value-creating solutions in the area of food and health for the benefit of society. The institute’s vision is to make a difference by generating future prosperity through research into food and health. The institute prevents disease and promotes health, develops new and better food products for a growing population and creates sustainable technological solutions. The institute’s tasks are carried out in a unique interdisciplinary cooperation in e.g. nutrition, chemistry, toxicology, microbiology, epidemiology, modelling and technology.

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 13,400 students and 5,800 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.

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