Executive Director (Professor) of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Biology (DanStem)

Ref: 4558

University of Copenhagen

Copenhagen, Denmark

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Role Managed by:

Dr Jack Bircher

Senior Research Associate

t: +31 20 24 04 378

f: +31 20 24 04 378

e: jack.bircher@perrettlaver.com

Primary Practice Group: Higher Education and Research

Salary & Benefits: commensurate with experience

Closing Date: 15/04/2020

Call for letter of interest 

The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Biology (DanStem) addresses fundamental research questions in stem cell and developmental biology and seeks to develop translational activities based on this fundamental discovery science, producing new therapeutic strategies for chronic diseases. Current focus at DanStem is predominantly on fundamental research at the highest level, and the Center also offers investigators the opportunity to develop their work in the translational arena, providing opportunities for strategic development aiming at clinical application. DanStem is a vibrant, internationally diverse and ambitious research center with state-of-the-art facilities located at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. The setting is ideally situated for seamless collaboration and exchange with other centers and departments of the Faculty and the surrounding hospitals

DanStem is dedicated to promoting research in stem cell and developmental biology within Denmark and throughout Europe. A part of this commitment involves the training og the next generation of stem cell scientist. To this end DanStem engages in pre-graduate training, operates a four-year PhD program, offers a broad spectrum of post-graduate teaching and a number of out-reach activities. DanStem also engages in active post-doctoral t5raining and mentorship programs. Together with its large post-graduate and post-doctoral population, DanStem represents a major European hub for training in contemporary stem cell biology.  

Learn more about DanStem at https://danstem.ku.dk/

DanStem is a part of the NNF Center Cluster, that also contains the Centers for Protein Research (CPR), Basic Metabolic Research (CBMR) and Biosustainability. Three of these centers are located in the Faculty of Health and Medical Science at the University of Copenhagen. DanStem is situated in the Panum building along with CPR, with whom it shares research technology platforms. DanStem is also on the same campus as CBMR and a number of other relevant departments in biomedical sciences. A short walking distance from DanStem is the Biotech Research and Innovation Center (BRIC), a high-profile, vibrant and international center for cancer and epigenetics research at the Faculty, where some of the DanStem research programs are based.  As a result of DanStem’s proximity, there is ample opportunity for educational and research collaborations. DanStem is well integrated into European science and recognized internationally as a key player in stem cell research.

DanStem is a highly international and rewarding workplace with a staff of 250, placing high value on diversity and synergistic approaches to solving the challenges of developmental and stem cell biology. As DanStem has evolved in the last ten years its research approaches have become increasingly interdisciplinary and quantitative. Its location next to the Niels Bohr Institute and in close proximity to Denmark’s leading technical university (Danish Technical University) has helped enable this transition. Importantly, while DanStem will continue solving fundamental questions in stem cell biology, the future will emphasize and strengthen translational stem cell-based applications. This will be enabled through the Faculty’s strong collaboration with the hospitals.

DanStem Executive Directorship: 

Qualified Executive Director candidates will be visionary scientific leaders of international stature with a strong track record of innovative research in developmental and stem cell biology. They will also have the vision to identify and support new translational programs aiming at clinical application. They are expected to have a strong track record of collaboration and a history in building interdisciplinary academic research in a collaborative environment. The Executive Director will lead the overall research directions at the Center and promote the research carried out by DanStem’s faculty. A management team and Scientific Advisory Board support the Executive Director.


The Executive Director will: 

  • Be responsible for development of the Center, including producing and implementing a vision for future scientific growth as well as the recruitment of a new generation of outstanding and highly interactive researchers
  • Lead her/his own research group
  • Develop new strategic initiatives and support existing and future translational programs
  • Participate in fostering new collaborations
  • Work closely with key scientific and administrative staff to develop a comprehensive research strategy and guide the future direction of DanStem’s research portfolio
  • Collaborate on cross center initiatives with CPR and CBMR, as well as other national and international research centers
  • Report to the Dean of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences and work closely with Dean’s office in a variety of joint efforts including educational activities
  • Lead the writing of the strategic application to NNF for funding of the renewal period (8 years).

Qualifications and experience:

The successful candidate will:

  • Hold an appropriate doctoral degree
  • Have an outstanding record of scientific discovery and accomplishment, including a track record of substantial external competitive funding and proven success in collaborations
  • Present a clear vision of future directions in areas related to developmental and stem cell biology, including how fundamental science can provide technological innovation and clinical translation
  • Demonstrate excellent interpersonal and leadership skills, especially with regard to successful leadership of international and diverse teams
  • Proven management skills
  • Show a commitment to foster and promote excellence in scientific research and education


For informal inquiries and more information about position, you are welcome to contact Dean Ulla Wewer (dekan@sund.ku.dk),  Professor Tor Henrik Semb (semb@sund.ku.dk) or Perrett Laver (see contact information below).

Submitting letter of interest

Perrett Laver is assisting the search committee with the recruitment process. Perrett Laver may also be contacted for informal inquiries and questions on Jack.Bircher@perrettlaver.com or +44 (0)20 7340 6275. 

Please include the following documents, when submitting your letter of interest:

  • Your curriculum vitae, detailing employment history, and academic and professional qualifications (max. 4 pages including bio sketch)
  • A description of your vision for the future of developmental and stem cell biology and how you believe DanStem could contribute to this  (max. 5 pages)
  • A list of not more than 10 selected publications
  • A link or reference to a complete list of publications (e.g. ORCID).

Deadline for submitting letters of interest: April 15th 2020 at 23:59 CET.

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