Early Stage Researcher, Neuroinflammation research



We are now inviting applications for an Early Stage Researcher (Doctoral Student) position in the EU-funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie Cofund DP project Neuro-Innovation: Research and innovation for brain health throughout life. The position in the A. I. Virtanen Institute for Molecular Sciences will start in early 2022. Read more below and submit your application no later than 15 August 2021.

This position is one of the 7 PhD positions available for highly motivated Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) in the Neuro-Innovation project in the Kuopio campus of the university. In the Faculty of Health Sciences, a total of four Early Stage Researcher positions will be filled in this first call. One of these positions will be filled by a person selected for the Doctoral Programme of Molecular Medicine (DPMM). The number of ESRs selected in the Faculty of Health Sciences, will be determined during the selection process and may change from what has initially been announced based on the eligibility of the applicants and the scoring of the applications. 

The A.I. Virtanen Institute for Molecular Sciences is a research institute that responds to the global health challenges created by the aging of the population and changes in lifestyle by focusing on the research of cardiovascular and brain diseases. The Doctoral Programme in Molecular Medicine (DPMM) is an interdisciplinary doctoral training program with the purpose of training researchers as international experts in modern biomedicine.

Role and salary

The selected ESR will work in the Neuroinflammation research group the goal of which is to understand inflammatory cell functions, especially those of microglia and astrocytes and mechanisms and mediators of inflammatory reactions in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease. We use interdisciplinary approaches to find novel targets for modulation of neuroinflammation for disease benefit. We aim to form a functional fingerprint of microglia-neuron crosstalk in health and disease. We use novel, human-based models and develop new human iPSC-based models including microglia and immunocompetent organoids and use living human brain biopsies. We investigate cellular responses using various omics approaches, electrophysiology and microscopy techniques. (for more details, see https://uefconnect.uef.fi/en/group/neuroinflammation-research-group/)

The position in the Doctoral Programme of Molecular Medicine (DPMM) is offered for the research topic of Mechanisms and biomarkers of Early Alzheimer’s disease –use of human data ethically sustainable manner. You may modify this research topic or suggest your own topic in the field of neuro-innovation in your motivation letter. The main duty of the ESR is to complete their doctoral dissertation in accordance with their research proposal written in the beginning of the employment period. In the University of Eastern Finland, the objective is to complete the doctoral degree in a maximum of four years of full-time study. The position will be filled for a fixed term of four years starting from early 2022 or as agreed upon with the candidate. ESR positions are always filled for a fixed term. A probationary period is applied to all new members of the staff.

The salary of the position is based on the salary system for the teaching and research staff at universities. The salary consists of the job-related salary element and the personal performance salary element. For this position, the job requirement level used to determine the job-related salary element is 2–4, and the personal performance salary element is 6–50% of the job-related salary element. The estimated monthly salary in the beginning of the employment will be 2,288.17 – 3,163.95 €/per month.  The salary of an ESR depends on the phase of the doctoral dissertation and postgraduate studies as well as personal performance.

What we expect and wish from you   

We are looking for an ESR with passion for excellence in research, innovation, and societal impact. We welcome highly motivated candidate to characterize the impact of Aβ and/or Tau pathology on cellular functions. You will be working with human-based in vitro models, state-of-the-art technologies to measure neuronal functionality, clinical data and/or transcriptomic and single cell sequencing data analysis. The entire study is carried out using human samples and data. You will join a very active and well-equipped group of neuroscientists studying various aspects of neuronal function and neuroinflammation in the context of different neurological diseases. The project aims to tackle issues related to GDPR and ethics, and in addition, data sharing are taking into account throughout the project. The ESR must be willing to combine some complementary areas of knowledge in business studies, data science, social science, applied physics and/or law to complete the thesis project.  

The person appointed as an ESR must hold an appropriate higher university degree or an equivalent degree that would qualify the person for doctoral studies.

Requirements for doctoral candidates: 

  • hold a Master’s Degree (or equivalent) and a research thesis (or equivalent) in neurobiology or biomedicine, or another related relevant field
  • should not hold a doctorate or PhD
  • should have less than 4 years of research experience after the graduation (Master’s Degree or equivalent based on which you are applying for this position) by August 15th, 2021. In this context, the 4 years refer to a net period of time, which does not include maternity leaves, parental leaves or military service.
  • excellent command of the English language is required

 Mobility requirements for doctoral candidates:

  • fulfil the mobility requirement of the MSCA actions, i.e. ESRs must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies) in Finland for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before August 15th, 2021. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not considered.

What we can offer you   

  • An interesting position in an international, creative, participatory and engaging university community 
  • The possibility of flexible multi-location work 
  • Staff benefits of the University of Eastern Finland, including comprehensive occupational health care, versatile staff training opportunities, affordable campus restaurant lunches and Sykettä sports services 

How to apply  

The application shall be submitted no later than 15 August 2021 by 24:00 hours Finnish time (11:00 pm CEST) by using the electronic application form. 

The objective is to offer the position to the most merited applicant by January-February 2022.

 Please note that the application is required to include the following appendices: 

  • certified copies of BSc and MSc degree diplomas/certificates and copies of these relating to applicant’s language proficiency (if not indicated in the academic degree), transcripts of these records in English. if the proof of English language skills has not been demonstrated in an academic degree and the applicant has not taken the English language test, the English language skills will be assessed in the interview for the position.
  • curriculum vitae (CV) (Template for researcher’s curriculum vitae | Finnish National Board on Research Integrity TENK
  •  Master’s thesis (in any language), electronic copy (in zip file)
  •  two-page summary of the Master’s thesis in English (in pdf file)
  •  motivation letter (max three pages) describes the applicant’s motivation to pursue PhD studies in the chosen research area and topic. When suggesting your own research topic or modifications to the given topic, the research idea needs to be described as part of the motivation letter and research ethics and infrastructure forms provided on the programme website must be attached to the application (for more specific instructions on the motivation letter, see www.uef.fi/neuro-innovation


For further information on the position and the research topic for which it is offered, please visit www.uef.fi/neuro-innovation

For further information on the application procedure, see the FAQ section on the Neuro-Innovation website or send email to neuroinno@uef.fi