Doctoral Reseacher position at Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine


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We at the University of Oulu work as part of the international science community to produce new scientific information and science-based solutions. We are committed to educate future pioneers to build a more sustainable, intelligent and humane world. Creating new, taking responsibility and succeeding together are values that build a strong foundation for all our actions. We offer a working environment where individuals can cultivate their skills, do meaningful work, and develop professionally. Our university’s several specialized research and service units enable extensive and diverse development and career opportunities for experts in various fields.

We now have opening for a 4-year

Doctoral researcher position

in microfluidics and biosensors group, led by Prof. Caglar Elbuken (https://www.oulu.fi/fbmm/caglar_elbuken) in the Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine at the University of Oulu. The student will be co-supervised by Dr. Ilya Skovorodkin and Prof. Seppo Vainio as well (https://www.oulu.fi/fbmm/seppo_vainio).

Job description:

This position is a unique opportunity at the intersection of biology and engineering opened by two closely collaborating research teams at Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine. In addition to a variety of multidisciplinary research topics, our teams focus on development of organoids, lab-on-a-chip systems, microfluidic network growth and organogenesis. Our ERC (https://erc.europa.eu/about-erc/mission) project is on understanding the fundamental principles and implications of bifurcating network growth. Specifically, we are interested in red blood cell flow dynamics in blood vessel network. Organoid vascularization is an important bottleneck in the field that will be studied as an application of the microfluidic bifurcating system in developing of next generation in vitro models: “Human organoids: body-on-a-chip”.

Our goal is to understand the vascularization process during organ development. We aim to reveal the impact of non-uniform oxygenation due to discreteness of red blood cell flow at capillary level and its effect on the corresponding tissue and vessel network growth. Additionally, kidney organoids will be developed to study simultaneous growth of two biological networks where the in vitro vascularization will be quantified on in vitro developed kidney models. Our research groups perform interdisciplinary research at the intersection of developmental biology, cell biology, biochemistry and engineering.

The successful candidate will be provided training on the design, manufacturing and implementation of microfluidic systems. These microfluidic systems will be tested on chicken embryo model and later applied for development of “vessel network on chip” model. Broad range of modern methods of biochemistry, cell and molecular biology will be offered to learn and mastering. The doctoral researcher will be enrolled in the Health and Bioscience Doctoral Programme of the University of Oulu Graduate school, which provides support in theoretical and practical training. The position is fixed-term for 4 years in an ERC funded project and it targets to completion of a Doctoral thesis and multiple publications in high-ranked international journals.

Required qualifications and assessment

The successful applicants must hold a Master’s degree in biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, biophysics or a related field. The applicants close to finishing their Master’s degrees will be considered eligible to apply. The degree must be completed prior to beginning the employment.

Fluent oral and written English skills, good communication and teamwork skills are required. Experience in academic writing and presentation skills is required. Experience with microfluidic systems is an asset. Research experience in a multidisciplinary and multinational environment will be taken as merits. When assessing the applicant’s qualifications, issues to be considered will include research experience, interest and capacity in multidisciplinary research and independent working capability.

What we offer

  • Regular salary is paid 12 months per year, including paid leave and an additional holiday bonus in the summer.
  • University´s wide variety of support services are at your disposal, allowing you to focus on your studies and research / work. You will be provided opportunity free occupational health care provided by the university.In addition to modern research facilities, we offer personnel benefits such as sport services, social activities organized by the university and endless opportunities to develop your skills and competences.
  • The successful candidate will also receive benefits provided by the Finnish government to residents, for example possibility to obtain access to the national healthcare system, the benefits of the Nordic welfare state, tax benefits for employees with children and high-quality, affordable childcare services.

Position and salary

The position is fixed term for a maximum of four-year period. The employment begins on September 1st, 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter. A six-month trial period is applied in the position.

The salary will be set on levels 2 – 4 of the national salary scale for the teaching and research staff of Finnish universities. In addition, supplementary remuneration will be paid for personal achievement and performance (max. 50 %). In practice, the salary is roughly 2300 – 2600 € (before taxes) per month for an early stage researcher, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and progress of the doctoral thesis.

How to apply

Applications must be submitted in English using the electronic application form by June 30th, 2022 (23:59 Finnish local time, EET), with the following attachments as separate pdf files. Applications will be evaluated upon arrival, early application is suggested.

1) CV with contact information of at least three referees

2) Motivation letter with a short description of research merits, experience and motivation (max. 2 pages)

3) Diplomas: Scanned copies of diplomas and transcripts of previous degrees.

4) (optional) A maximum of 3 selected publications (refereed journal articles and/or master’s thesis)

Applications should be submitted through the online system. The short-listed candidates will be invited to an online interview, where they are expected to summarize their research experience and their motivation in applying for this position.

Further information: Please contact Prof. Caglar Elbuken, caglar.elbuken (at) oulu.fi,
or Dr. Ilya Skovorodkin, ilya.skovorodkin (at) oulu.fi, if you need further information on the position.