This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 955756.

Open PhD Position – ESR1

Optimising drug co-crystal formulation using in vitro dissolution/permeation models.​

A fully integrated, animal-free, end-to-end modelling approach to oral drug product development

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), Innovative Training Networks (ITN)

InPharma is a MSCA European Industrial Doctorate programme offering a comprehensive training programme addressing the challenges of developing emerging drug candidates into new licensed medicines, including innovative modelling and bio-predictive tools tailored to streamline the oral drug product development process.

InPharma brings global pharmaceutical companies and leading research institutions together as a multi-sectorial team to deliver a unique research and training programme for 13 Early Stage Researchers (ESR) to complete their industrially based PhDs.

Each ESR position in InPharma allows the researcher to work towards a PhD at one of our five leading academic institutions. The ESRs will be recruited within 2021 for a duration of 36 months. Every ESR will work on an independent research project which will be flexible enough to match the competence and goals of the candidate.

The ESR will spend a minimum of 18 months based in an industrial sector, which will provide experimental learning opportunities working within the Pharmaceutical drug development sector, and complement the research conducted as part of their PhD. The planned secondments are listed below, but may change as the individual projects evolve. ESRs will also attend the network meetings and training events throughout Europe. A career development plan will be established by the time of recruitment describing the scientific goals and methods, the secondments, any courses to be taken, and the personal, professional and career development and how it shall be achieved.

Marie Sklodowska-Curie ESRs are paid an attractive gross salary of 3,270 €/month for 36 months (as defined in MSCA guidelines). The exact (net) salary will be confirmed upon appointment and is dependent on local tax, social and health insurance regulations and on the country correction factor (to allow for the difference in cost of living in the different EU Member States). Each ESR will also be compensated with a mobility allowance of 600 €/month, and, for researchers who have a family, a family allowance of 500 €/month. All amounts are subject to deductions and taxes. Family is defined as persons linked to the researcher by (i) marriage, or (ii) a relationship with equivalent status to a marriage recognised by the national legislation of the country of the beneficiary or of the nationality of the researcher, or (iii) dependent children who are actually being maintained by the researcher; family status is determined at recruitment and does not evolve.



This open position regards ESR1:

Optimising drug co-crystal formulation using in vitro dissolution/permeation models

Host: Solvias AG (Switzerland) & University of Southern Denmark, (SDU), Denmark

PhD awarding institution: Department of Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy, SDU.

The project will address co-crystals as one means to develop drug candidates including modelling approaches for a thorough prediction of properties as well as innovative bio-predictive tools.


Scientific objectives: : 1) Assess the relationship between APIs and potential partners in generating co-crystals. 2) Develop computational models to predict solvation and intermolecular interaction between drug and co-crystal partners. 3) Assess performance of co-crystals using novel dissolution and permeation models. Industrial aspects: Develop a high throughput screening (HTS) tool to rank co-crystal formulation approaches in early stage drug development.


The applicant must:

  • Have a Master’s degree (or any equivalent diploma) in relevant area (e.g. Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Physical Chemistry, Drug Delivery or Industrial Pharmacy; candidates with strong backgrounds/experience in project-specific scientific fields such as Physical Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, and/or Mathematics/modelling may also be considered).
  • Practical hands-on experience with small scale preparation and characterization of solid states, preferably including cocrystals, is a prerequisite, and additional hands-on experience with advanced in vitro biopharmaceutical methods like dissolution/permeation studies is desired.
  • Should be — at the date of recruitment — an ‘early stage researcher (ESR)’, i.e. in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of his/her research career and must not have a PhD doctoral degree. This is measured from the date when they obtained the degree which would formally entitle them to embark on a doctorate, either in the country which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the research training is provided.
  • Satisfy MSCA rules for transnational mobility: The applicant should not have resided in the country where the research training activities take place for more than 12 months in the three years immediately prior to the recruitment date and not have carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in that country.
  • Have solid written and oral communication skills in English as communication and teaching language throughout InPharma is English. Candidates who are not fluent in English are requested to provide proof of English proficiency (in speaking and writing) (e.g. typically IELTS min. 7, TOEFL internet-based min. 90 or similar level as proven by other tests).


Planned secondments:
SDU, Denmark; Duration: TBD; Purpose: Dissolution/permeation of co-crystals, PhD courses.

Solvias AG, Switzerland; Duration: TBD; Purpose: screening of co-crystals, modelling approaches.

This position is subject to the entry into force of grant agreement no 955756 by and funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie.

For further information please contact Professor Annette Bauer-Brandl, tel.: +45 6550 4497, e-mail: [email protected]

or Dr Rolf Hilfiker, Department Solid-State Development, Solvias AG, Römerpark 2, 4303 Kaiseraugst, Switzerland, e-mail: [email protected].



Application, salary etc.
Appointment as a PhD Research Fellow is for three years. Employment stops automatically at the end of the period. The holder of the scholarship is not allowed to have other paid employment during the three-year period. Please check links for more information on salary and taxation.

The successful applicant will be employed in accordance with the agreement on salaried PhD scholars between the Ministry of Finance and AC (the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations).

The successful candidate will be enrolled at this university in accordance with faculty regulations and the Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities (PhD order).

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.


Application must be made in the form of a Declaration of Interest including the following:

  • A research proposal/description of your approach to the above project (max one page excluding references)
  • A letter stating your specific interest, motivation and qualifications for the project in question (max. two pages) (please attach this under box “Application form”)
  • Detailed CV, including personal contact information
  • Copies of diplomas, Bachelor as well as Master’s degree, including transcript of notes/grades
  • At least two signed reference letters. Should your referees wish to send their letters directly to us, please have them use e-mail: [email protected] mentioning your name and the title of the position in the subject line. And please note that these also need to reach us before deadline.

Shortlisting may be used in the assessment process.

Further information about the PhD-study can be found at the homepage of the University.

Applications must be submitted electronically using the link “Apply online”. Attached files must be in Adobe PDF or Word format. Each box can only contain a single file of max. 10 Mb. We strongly recommend that you read How to apply before you apply.

Incomplete applications and applications received after the deadline will neither be considered nor evaluated. This also applies to reference letters.

Further information for international applicants considering applying for a job at the University of Southern Denmark. Please take a look at the webpage from our International Staff Office (ISO) at The University of Southern Denmark.

Professor Annette Bauer-Brandl

tel.: +45 6550 4497

e-mail: [email protected]