Doctoral Researcher in Super-Resolution Microscopy and Microbiology

16.12.2022 | Avoimet työpaikat

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The University of Helsinki is one of the world’s leading universities for multidisciplinary research. HiLIFE Helsinki Institute of Life Science is a research institute that supports high quality life science research across the University campuses and faculties. The research activities at the Institute of Biotechnology consist of several research teams focusing on a specific area of molecular biology, cell biology or biotechnology. For more information, please visit https://www.helsinki.fi/en/hilife-institute-of-biotechnology.

TEMPADAPT (Single-molecule visualization of temperature adaptation in sub-cellular dynamics and organization across bacteria) is a 5-year ERC-funded project in the laboratory of Jarno Mäkelä at the Institute of Biotechnology, from 2023 onwards. The project will aim at understanding temperature adaptation at the single molecule level in live bacteria. We will study bacteria thriving at 0°C (psychrophiles), moderate temperatures (mesophiles), and high temperatures  up to 100°C (thermophiles). In addition to state-of-the-art super-resolution microscopy, the project will apply single-cell perturbations, machine learning and modelling to analyze, integrate, and make sense of single-cell and molecule level data. 

The HiLIFE – Institute of Biotechnology, Mäkelä laboratory of Temperature Adaptation in Bacteria, invites applications for a position of

A Doctoral Researcher in Super-Resolution Microscopy and Microbiology

starting from January 2023, or as agreed. The PhD researcher will be offered up to 4-year fully funded contract.

Position description

We are looking for an enthusiastic and motivated doctoral researcher, who is interested in super-resolution microscopy and single-particle tracking, to join our research group for an ERC-funded project. The project involves planning and executing experimental work including state-of-the-art microscopy, genetic engineering, RNA-sequencing, data analysis, machine learning, and modelling to unravel how bacteria adapt to different temperatures. Our team will work on multiple topics at the interface of physics, chemistry, and biology: intracellular spatial organization, macromolecular crowding, liquid-liquid phase separation, heat- and cold shock protein dynamics, and gene regulation. 

The appointee is expected to work full time on the Ph.D. thesis and to complete the thesis and the associated studies in four years. The successful applicant will apply to be a Ph.D. student in the appropriate Faculty. The Ph.D. degree consists of the student’s research project resulting in peer-reviewed publications, studies specific to the research field, as well as transferable skills training.

Selection criteria

A successful candidate will have a MSc or equivalent in biology, biophysics, computational biology, or other relevant fields, and has demonstrated a keen interest in quantitative approaches. Previous experience in ‘wet’ lab work, genetic engineering, microbiology, fluorescence microscopy, Python/R/Matlab coding, bioinformatics, or data analysis is considered an advantage. Excellent communication and writing skills in English and ability to work both independently and collaboratively as part of a multidisciplinary international team are expected. The candidate should have outstanding organization and time management skills.

Salary and benefits

The starting salary of the doctoral researcher will be 2400-2600 euros/month, depending on the appointees’ qualifications and experience. A trial period of 6 months will be applied. The University of Helsinki offers comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care, support in access to high quality sports facilities, and vast opportunities for professional development.

How to apply

Please submit your application as a single pdf file, which includes the following documents in English: 
•    A motivation letter including a description of your research interests (max 1 page) 
•    CV (max 2 pages) including a list of publications

Include also contact information of two persons who are willing to provide a reference letter by separate request. Please submit your application, together with the required attachment, through the University of Helsinki electronic recruitment system by clicking on the ‘Apply for job’ button. Internal applicants (i.e., current employees of the University of Helsinki) submit their applications through the SAP Fiori portal.

The deadline for the applications is 22nd of December, but the position will be filled once a suitable candidate has been identified.

For more information, please contact the Principal Investigator Jarno Mäkelä (jarno.p.makela(at)helsinki.fi) or visit our lab website.

Why work with us?
Finland is a member of the EU, has high quality free schooling (also in English), generous family benefits and healthcare, and was recently ranked as the best country in the world for expat families and in the world’s top ten most livable cities. Finland and the Helsinki region possess top expertise in sciences in terms of a vibrant talent pool, leading research, strong support services and functioning collaboration networks. For more information about working at the University of Helsinki and living in Finland, please see helsinki.fi/en/university/working-at-the-university

Helsinki Institute of Life Science
Helsinki Institute of Life Science (HiLIFE) is a new institute established in 2017 that supports high quality life science research across the University campuses and faculties. HiLIFE builds on existing strengths and new recruits and partnerships to create an attractive international environment for researchers to solve grand challenges in health, food, and environment. HiLIFE coordinates research infrastructures in life sciences and provides research-based interdisciplinary training.

University of Helsinki
The University of Helsinki (UH), founded in 1640, is a vibrant scientific community of 40,000 students and researchers. It is one of the leading multidisciplinary research universities and ranks among the top 100 international universities in the world. It is currently investing heavily in life sciences research. UH offers comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care and health insurance, sports facilities, and opportunities for professional development.