Doctoral Researcher in Molecular Microbiology and Bioinformatics – University of Oulu



About the job

The University of Oulu is one of the biggest and most multidisciplinary universities in Finland. We create new knowledge and innovations that help to solve global challenges. We offer you an international and inspiring working environment where you are given responsibility and can use your skills, develop yourself and do work that matters. Our flexible and family-friendly workplace makes it easy for you to balance work and leisure. The University of Oulu is ranked in the top 3% of the world´s universities.

We are now seeking a highly motivated

Doctoral Researcher

in molecular microbiology and bioinformatics to join us in the Ecology and Genetics research unit at the Faculty of Science.

Description Of The Project

The plant-produced one-carbon compounds, such as methane and methanol, are an abundant energy source supporting a vast community of methylotrophic microbes living on aboveground plant surfaces and in the internal plant compartments (endophytes, endosphere). The Academy Research Fellow project ”Methanotroph communities filtering methane produced by coniferous forest trees” aims to characterize the lifestyle of the methane-consuming bacteria living inside pine trees.

We will utilize metagenomics to identify bacterial communities that filter methane in the aboveground tissues of pine and to analyze the functional characteristics (genes, pathways) associated with the lifestyle. We will use fluorescent markers with cutting-edge microscopy and imaging techniques to study the colonization dynamics between pine hosts and key methanotrophs. Finally, we will analyze how these endophytic methane-consuming bacteria will affect the methane emissions of the pines. The project will bring new significant knowledge on the role and dynamics of methane in plant-microbe interactions in forest ecosystems.

As a Doctoral Researcher, you will perform laboratory experiments to isolate and identify new microbial species, design and create fluorescent strains for microscopy, and handle and analyze metagenomic sequencing data. Thus, solid skills and knowledge in microbiological or molecular biological laboratory work and bioinformatics are required. During the project, the Doctoral Researcher will gain comprehensive knowledge and hands-on experience in establishing and running scientific experiments involving plants and microbes. Also, the candidate will learn how to analyze the outcomes by utilizing various bioinformatics and image analysis techniques in collaboration with the research team. The Doctoral Researcher will benefit from international visits to labs or research partners out of Finland during the project.

The research will be conducted at the Ecology and Genetics Research Unit, University of Oulu. The unit has a vibrant research community with strong in-house expertise in plant-microbe research and microbial ecology in general. We have excellent microbiology and molecular biology laboratories and instrumentation concerning the project’s needs. The candidate will join the University of Oulu Graduate School (UniOGS), which provides the framework and conditions for high-quality, research-driven doctoral training.

You are the person we are looking for if you have:

  • A master’s degree, or be about to obtain one, in microbiology, molecular genetics, microbial bioinformatics, or another related field (the degree must be completed before starting the position)
  • High motivation and the ability to work efficiently both independently and as part of a team
  • Solid background knowledge in microbial genetics and genomics
  • Experience in conducting laboratory work by utilizing tools in molecular biology or microbiology
  • Previous experience in microbial bioinformatics, e.g., metagenomics, bacterial WGS, or amplicon sequencing, is considered an advantage
  • Fluent in written and spoken English
  • See also the requirements of the University of Oulu Graduate School

What we offer?

  • An ambitious and exciting research project that aims to answer globally significant research problems
  • You will become a part of a highly talented research group, that is working on strategically and globally significant research area.
  • You will receive support from your team and supervisor, so that you can excel in your research.
  • In addition to modern research facilities, we offer you personnel benefits such as free occupational healthcare, wellness benefit ePassi covering sport, culture, and well-being, and endless opportunities to develop your skills and competencies. Read more about other staff benefits.
  • Development and career options of the big organization.
  • Work that matters and a workplace that promotes flexibility and work-life balance. Read more about working with us.
  • Our Buddy Programme and Spouse Network support you and close ones in settling into Oulu.
  • We have an HR Excellence in Research -quality label, which is a recognition awarded by the European Commission for the development of researchers’ working conditions and careers.
  • Finland is one of the most livable countries in the world, with a high quality of life, safety, an excellent education system, and a competitive economy. Read more about living in Oulu.


The Doctoral Researcher position in the project is fixed term for 3.4 years and scheduled to be filled from October 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The salary will be based on levels 2 – 4 of the demand level chart for teaching and research staff of Finnish universities. In addition, a salary component based on personal work performance will be paid (a maximum of 50 % of the job-specific component). The starting gross salary will be approx. 2300-2600 € per month (before taxes). A trial period of 6 months is applied for the position.

How to apply?

Interested? If yes, please apply by 15th of October, 2023 (23:59 Finnish local time) through our recruitment system

The application should be written in English and include the following documents in PDF format:

  • Motivation letter (max. 2 pages) – summarizing the applicant’s professional experience and expertise and describing why the applicant is interested in this position. Also, information on personal research interests, experience, and career goals is valuable to provide here
  • CV – following the guidelines of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity. The CV should include the contact information of two senior/experienced researchers who can provide reference letters
  • Certificates/Diplomas – scanned electronic copies of certificates and transcripts of the records of relevant previous degrees (MSc and BSc or equivalent). If the original documents are not in English/Finnish, each document must be accompanied by a certified translation into English

The eligible applicants fitting best in the profile expected for the position will be invited to an on-site or remote interview. All applicants will be notified during the selection process.

Contact Information

If you have any further questions, please contact Academy Research Fellow Janne Koskimäki, Ecology and Genetics Research Unit, Faculty of Science, University of Oulu, janne.koskimaki@oulu.fi

Työsopimuksen voimassaolo: määräaikainen yli 6 kuukautta | Työsuhteen luonne: kokoaikainen | Paikkojen lukumäärä: 1 | Työllisyysaste: 100 % | Paikkakunta: Oulu | Maakunta: Pohjois-Pohjanmaa | Maa: Finland | Ilmoitusnumero: 2023/395 | Yhteys: Janne Koskimäki , | Julkaistu: 2023-09-08 | Haku päättyy: 2023-10-15