How to apply

Do you want to become a Discover fellow? See below the eligibility criteria (candidate profile) and learn about the application requirements. Make sure to read carefully the discover guide for applicants and use the mandatory templates for your CV, the eligibility declaration and list of referees when you apply! Incomplete or late applications will not be evaluated.


The eligibility criteria are precise criteria regarding mobility and level of education:

International mobility: Candidates can have any nationality but must undertake transnational mobility according to the MSCA rules. Thus, candidates must not have resided or carried out their main activity in Denmark for more than 12 months in the three years prior to the call deadline. Further, applicants working at UCPH for more than 3 months before the deadline will be considered ineligible.

Education: Candidates must hold a master’s degree (or equivalent) in a relevant field at the time of application, obtained no longer than three years before application deadline. Candidates can switch to another field of research than their masters but must have sufficient understanding/skills to address the potential research project. In acknowledgement of different career paths, candidates holding a MD degree can apply until five years from obtaining their degree. To ensure equal opportunities, exceptions to the 3/5-year rule are made for applicants with documented career breaks (parental leave, illness, mandatory military/civil service). Candidates must not already hold a PhD degree.

Application requirements: In order to be eligible, a complete set of application material submitted in due time is required.



Application can only happen online via the link on the Discover homepage, the KU job portal, Euraxess or Nature job. A complete set of application material (in English) is required:

  • Online application form including personal details
  • Motivation letter/cover letter
  • CV (mandatory template)
  • A signed eligibility declaration (mandatory template)
  • List of two-three referees, whereof one should preferably be the master’s degree supervisor (mandatory template)
  • Certified copy of original master diploma and transcripts records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in other language than English *
  • Documentation of English test**
  • Documentation of career breaks, if any
  • Other relevant information for consideration

* The master’s degree needs to be completed so that the diploma is issued no later than start of the fellowship (October 1st, 2023). If the master’s degree is not completed at time of application, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is required.

** Please read here if you need to upload an English test
If not available at the time of application, copy of an English test will be required at time of interview.

Read more here: Admission requirements and English language skills

Mandatory templates for your application:



The selection workflow is starting upon call closure consists of eligibility screening and three phases of evaluation:

Eligibility screening 

  • Mobility
  • Education
  • Complete application Material (Please see applicant guide)

PHASE 1: Evaluation of application material

  • Each eligible application will be evaluated individually by two SC members
  • Based on the ranking , up to 32 candidates will be invited for online interviews.

PHASE 2: Evaluation through interviews and shortlisting

  • Candidates who are invited to online interviews will be interviewed by a panel of four members from the SC (two international experts, two BRIC PIs).
  • The candidate will present her/his master thesis project and a preselected scientific paper.
  • Potentially recruiting BRIC PIs can only participate as observers
  • Based on the ranking, up to 16 candidates will be shortlisted for site visits in each call.

PHASE 3: Final selection

  • Site-visit
  • Final ranking based on evaluation scores and candidate and host priorities.
  • In each phase, the predefined selection criteria and scoring of 1-5 will be used. Only applicants receiving a score above the quality cut-off (≥3) will be considered qualified. Candidates will be informed of their evaluation result.



Education and track record (70%)

  • Master-degree in a field relevant to the prioritized group/project the candidate wishes to engage in during the fellowship (Candidates can swap to another research field than that of their master-degree, however, they need a sufficient background to ensure project feasibility)
  • Grades obtained during education
  • Experience with original research project for master thesis
  • Scientific communication
  • Publications
  • Other professional merits (teaching, supervision, scientific communication, fellowships, prizes and awards etc.)

Motivation (30%)

  • The candidate’s general motivation for taking on doctoral training
  • Specific motivation for applying to the discover programme
  • Motivation for the specific groups/projects the candidate would like to work with


Scientific potential (70%)

  • Outcome of master thesis project (exploitation, dissemination and communication)
  • Scientific communication skills
  • Ability to reflect and form scientific ideas
  • Scientific abilities and competences obtained in previous work (reference letters

Motivation (30%)

  • The candidate’s general motivation for taking on doctoral training
  • Specific motivation for applying to this programme
  • Motivation for the specific groups/projects the candidate would like to work with

Scoring system (5-1)

5: Excellent. The candidate meets all the evaluation criteria in the category with high quality and any shortcomings are minor.

4: Very good. The candidate meets most of the evaluation criteria in the category with high quality and only a few shortcomings.

3: Good. The candidate meets most of the evaluation criteria in the category with a good quality, but improvements could be expected.

2: Fair. The candidate meets most of the evaluation criteria in the category with a fair quality and there are several shortcomings

1: Poor. The candidate meets the evaluation criteria the category inadequately and there are significant shortcomings



The Discover fellows will receive a contract with UCPH with BRIC as the daily workplace. The contract will be for 3+36 months (3 months as research assistant to develop the PhD-project and prepare the PhD-enrolment and 36 months as a PhD student). The employment conditions will be equal to those of other researchers employed at BRIC/UCPH. The terms of employment are in accordance with agree­ments between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State and include:

  • Depending on seniority, the monthly salary begins around 28,448.54 DKK (approx. 3,824 EUR) plus pension as a PhD fellow.

  • Full social benefits including public health care
  • Right to paid holidays (five weeks plus five special holidays, on top of national holidays)
  • Right to salary during own illness and child’s first two sick days
  • Right to parental leave (up to 32 weeks paid leave) and two childcare days/child/year until age 7

The overall working conditions at UCPH is set out in a ‘Personnel Policy’, presented in a Personnel Policy Handbook and centred around a set of basic principles ensuring an open, collaborative, secure, including and developing work environment with equality for all staff. The Discover fellows will:

  • Have flexible work hours in a family friendly environment (e.g. regular meetings between 9-16)
  • Be hosted in a healthy physical work and psychosocial work environment
  • Have Annual Performance and Development Reviews with nearest leader (main supervisor)
  • Participate in university and centre-wide satisfaction and well-being assessments