Doctoral student, Biochemistry and Structural Biology – University of Oulu



The University of Oulu is one of the largest universities in Finland, with approximately 15 000 students and 3 000 employees. We, at the University of Oulu, work as part of the international science community to produce new scientific information and science-based solutions. Our university’s several specialized research and service units enable extensive and diverse development and career opportunities for experts in various fields.

Protein and Structural biology is one of he three research focus areas of the Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine. The Faculty provides a dynamic research surrounding and cutting-edge research infrastructure services to academics and other users in Finland and abroad. The Faculty has about 190 employees (including PhD students) of which about half are from outside of Finland.

The host research team also belongs to Biocenter Oulu (http://www.oulu.fi/biocenter/), which offers a high-level international multidisciplinary environment supplied with cutting-edge infrastructures.  Under this framework, the Health and Biosciences Doctoral Program offers doctoral training in clinical medicine, biomedicine, biochemistry, molecular medicine, dentistry, health sciences, medical technology. For more information: http://www.oulu.fi/uniogs/dp/hbsdp

We have now an opening for a fixed-term, full-time Doctoral student position in research project headed by Professor Lari Lehtiö in the Protein and Structural Biology research unit, Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine.  The position is supervised by professor Lehtiö and is focused on structural and functional characterization of human tankyrases as well as in development of small molecule inhibitors as tools and as potential future drug leads.

Our team focuses on structure, function and selective inhibition of proteins involved in signaling through ADP-ribosylation – a post translational modification affecting protein stability, function and interactions in multiple cellular pathways.  We use X-ray crystallography, small angle X-ray scattering, cryoEM and other biophysical techniques to study the structure and function of these, often multidomain proteins, work. We develop assays suitable for high-throughput screening of inhibitors and use structural information for more rational design to develop specific inhibitors that can be used as chemical probes to study the functions of the proteins and in some cases to validate them as drug targets. Protein X-ray crystallography is our main tool used to understand structure-activity relationships of compounds. For more information, please see web pages: https://www.oulu.fi/university/focusarea/lifelong-health/spearhead-projects/lehtio and twitter: https://twitter.com/lablehtio


To successfully occupy the position of a doctoral student, the candidate must possess a Master’s degree or an equivalent degree (e.g. licentiate) preferably in biochemistry. Degree must have been completed with good grades by 28.2.2021.

The doctoral student position is intended for an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) who is defined as a researcher in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of his/her research activity, including the period of research training. Applicants will be either starting their doctoral training or will have completed no more than two full years of training (adjusted for possible previous part-time status) at the time the position is filled. The selected candidate will carry out his/her doctoral studies in the Health and Biosciences Doctoral Program of the University of Oulu Graduate School (UniOGS) and must meet the minimal requirements to receive doctoral study rights as defined in http://www.oulu.fi/uniogs/requirements_for_admission.


The salary of selected doctoral students will be initially set on level 2, and later on levels 2 – 4 of the national salary scale for the teaching and research staff of Finnish universities. In addition, a supplementary remuneration is given for personal achievement and performance (max. 50 %). In practice, the salary is roughly 2200 – 3000 € per month for an early stage researcher, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and progress of the doctoral thesis.

The position is filled for a maximum of four-year period. The employment begins on 1 March 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter. A six-month trial period is applied in the positions.


Applications must be submitted using the electronic application form by January 20th, 2021 (23:59Finnish local time, EET), with the following attachments as three separate pdf files:

  1. Complete CV containing contact information of at least two referees (Max. size limit of the attachment: 5 Mbytes)
  2. Motivation letter (maximum 1 page) describing prior knowledge and research interests and career plans (1-2 pages; max. size limit of the attachment: 2 Mbytes).
  3. Certificates/Diplomas: Scanned electronic copies of diplomas and transcripts of the records of relevant previous degrees. If the original documents are not in English, Finnish or Swedish, each document must be accompanied by an official certified translation into English or Finnish. (Max. size limit of the attachment: 2 Mbytes)

Other relevant information

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

For further information:

Professor Lari Lehtiö, e-mail: lari.lehtio (at) oulu.fi