Postdoctoral Researcher / Project Researcher (molecular mechanisms of fertilization and cryptic female choice in humans) – Department of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Joensuu and/or Kuopio Campus, University of Eastern Finland



The University of Eastern Finland, UEF, is one of the largest multidisciplinary universities in Finland. We offer education in nearly one hundred major subjects, and are home to approximately 15,500 students and 2,700 members of staff. We operate on two campuses in Joensuu and Kuopio. In international rankings, we are ranked among the leading universities in the world.

The Faculty of Science and Forestry operates on the Kuopio and Joensuu campuses of the University of Eastern Finland. The mission of the faculty is to carry out internationally recognised scientific research and to offer research-education in the fields of natural sciences and forest sciences. The faculty invests in all of the strategic research areas of the university. The faculty’s environments for research and learning are international, modern and multidisciplinary.  The faculty has approximately 3,800 Bachelor’s and Master’s degree students and some 490 postgraduate students. The number of staff amounts to 560. http://www.uef.fi/en/lumet/etusivu

We are now inviting applications for

a Postdoctoral Researcher / Project Researcher (molecular mechanisms of fertilization and cryptic female choice in humans), Department of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Joensuu and/or Kuopio Campus

We are seeking a motivated Postdoctoral/Project Researcher for our project “Towards molecular-level understanding of fertilization and sexual selection” (funded by the Academy of Finland, more information from research: https://gamcomgroup.wordpress.com/).

Fertilization is one of the most complex and enigmatic biological processes, which severely hinders our understanding about reproduction, evolution and beginning of life. It has traditionally been assumed that fertilization is a completely unbiased process, leading to random fusion of gametes. Against this assumption, our recent findings have indicated that gametes often combine non-randomly, which bias fertilization towards particular (compatible) reproductive partners (see: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2018.0836 and http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2020.1682). However, the molecular-level mechanisms of this gamete-level sexual selection (cryptic female choice) have remained unclear. The primary aim of our research is to clarify these mechanisms in humans and this way also gain better understanding of the mechanistic basis of fertilization and infertility.

The Postdoctoral/Project Researcher will participate in experimental research that aims to clarify these mechanisms in humans. Depending on the expertise of the researcher, the duties can include either:

 1) Molecular and/or immunological analyses (e.g. RNA sequencing, human leucocyte antigen analyses, and mass spectrometry of reproductive proteins), 2) sperm motility and chemotaxis measurements, or 3) determination of female-induced physiological changes in sperm. The researcher’s tasks also include data analysis and reporting of the results in scientific journals.

The applicant is expected to have good skills in written and spoken English. Earlier experience in laboratory work, relevant methods in molecular biology (e.g. RNA seq, other next-generation sequencing methods or proteomics) and cell biology (e.g. sperm motility or viability analyses, ELISA assays or flow cytometry) will be considered a benefit for the applicant. If you have any of these skills, please indicate that in the accompanying CV and/or motivation letter (see below).

The person to be appointed as Postdoctoral/Project Researcher is expected to hold a doctoral degree from an applicable field. If the employee has been awarded his or her doctoral degree less than five years ago, the post will be one of a Postdoctoral Researcher. If the doctoral degree has been awarded more than five years ago, the post will be one of a Project Researcher. In this context, the five years refer to a net period of time, which does not include maternity leaves, parental leaves, or military service, etc.

English may be used as the language of instruction and supervision in this position.

The position is filled for a fixed term for two years starting from 1.10.2020 or as agreed (starting at the latest 1.1.2021). The position will be filled for a fixed term due to it pertaining to a specific project (positions of Postdoctoral Researcher shall always be filled for a fixed term, UEF University Regulations, Section 31).

The salary of the Postdoctoral Researcher or Project Researcher position is determined in accordance with the salary system of Finnish universities and is based on level 5 of the job requirement level chart for teaching and research staff (2 967,84 €7/month). In addition to the job requirement component, the salary is supplemented by a personal performance component, which can be a maximum of 50% of the job requirement component.

For further information on the position, please contact: Associate professor Jukka Kekäläinen, tel.+358 29 445 1004, email: jukka.s.kekalainen[a]uef.fi. For further information on the application procedure, please contact: Human Resources Secretary Sara Keronen, email: sara.keronen[a]uef.fi, tel. +358 29 445 8302.

A probationary period is applied to all new members of the staff.

The electronic application should contain the following appendices:


List of publications

– Copies of the applicant’s academic degree certificates / diplomas, and copies of certificates / diplomas relating to the applicant’s language proficiency, if not indicated in the academic degree certificates/diplomas

– Motivation letter (max. two pages). In the letter, please indicate why you are interested in this research project and why you would be a suitable person for this position.

The application needs to be submitted no later than 23.9.2020 (by 24.00 hours Finnish time) by using the electronic application form.