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Cross-border Data Sharing hos Novo Nordisk

Topic description:

In order to meet the needs of the patients with new innovative drugs, biological data becomes increasingly important to work with across the pharma R&D value chain. This implies a need for scientists to share data for analysis purposes across the global organization, between NN and external partners and across geographies. The data is often personal data or even sensitive (health) or very sensitive (genetics) data. Such analysis is needed to get better early biological understanding of given disease areas and to invent and asses new drug candidates.

In a company like NN the skills to analyze such data is often placed in talent hubs in EU, UK and US. As EU has stricter privacy regulations than US, and since US by European law is not considered to have an adequate level of general data protection, it is for each company to organize data transfer and data transfer agreements to sustain an adequate protection level to adhere to EU standards.

A thesis could look into how a company like NN could implement measures, technical and procedural in a way that would not compromise the obligations of NN under European Law while at the same time limit hindrances to practice science and research. One example of this could be looking into de-identification mechanisms (pseudonymization and anonymization), but also computation on encrypted data, e.g. homomorphic encryption.


Any pre-requisites for the student, e.g. skillset:

  • A basic understanding of European Privacy Regulation (GDPR)

  • An interest in and understanding of privacy enhancing measures like encryption and data minimization 

  • Timing: Q3 / Q4 2023



  • You’re either a bachelor or master student within IT, engineering or similar.

  • You’re expected to sign a confidentiality agreement, if applicable.

Application process

If any of the proposed topics is of interest to you, please write to with a short description of:

  • What you’re studying

  • Motivation for applying and what you will contribute with

Relevant applicants will be invited for a short interview.


After selection

If you’re selected, you will receive an invite from the tutor for a kick-off meeting where you together will decide on the details of the project, tutor needs, meeting frequency etc.

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