Several PhD Scholarships at FRESCO@CNAP, Center for Neuroplasticity and Pain

Center for Neuroplasticity and Pain, Department of Health Science and Technology, Aalborg University
Aalborg (Kommune), Nordjylland (DK)
September 20 2018
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

The programme FRESCO@CNAP, which is co-funded by Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (Horizon 2020), aims to install early stage researchers (PhD fellows) in the Centre-of-Excellence CNAP conducting frontline research on novel tools for identifying and modulating human pain mechanisms.

CNAP is a basic research Centre-of-Excellence established by the Danish National Research Foundation at SMI® - Department of Health Science and Technology, Faculty of Medicine, Aalborg University, Denmark.

Please find more information on our websites:

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. 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

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
  • 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 of 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. New and better treatments are needed to modulate maladaptive pain neuroplasticity. 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. 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.

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: lan@hst.aau.d
  • Professor Brian Cairns, email:
  • Professor Thomas Graven-Nielsen:
  • Professor Winnie Jensen, email: wj@hst.aau

If you are not sure which Professor to approach, please contact Professor Thomas Graven-Nielsen for guidance: Phone: +45 9940 9832, email:

How to apply
In order to apply, please find the complete call at Aalborg University’s website: and apply online.

Only online applications are accepted.

Application deadline: 27 November 2018.