Open position for a doctoral student in Structural Biology at the University of Oulu


The University of Oulu (http://www.oulu.fi/english/) is one of the largest universities in Finland, with approximately 15 000 students and 3 000 employees. The University of Oulu Graduate School (UniOGS) (http://www.oulu.fi/uniogs/) provides the framework and conditions for high-quality, research-driven doctoral education at the University of Oulu, and field-specific doctoral training is provided by its multidisciplinary doctoral programmes. Biocenter Oulu (BCO) (http://www.oulu.fi/biocenter/) offers a high-level international multidisciplinary environment supplied with cutting-edge infrastructures. Under this framework, the Health and Biosciences Doctoral Programme (HBS-DP) (http://www.oulu.fi/uniogs/dp/hbsdp) offers doctoral training in clinical medicine, biomedicine, biochemistry, molecular medicine, dentistry, health sciences, and medical technology.

Subject field and the description of the position
Applications are invited for a full-time PhD student position for a maximum of four years, starting on January 1st 2020, in a Biocenter Oulu research project headed by Professor Petri Kursula in the Biomedical Structural Biology research unit, Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine.

Our main focus is the structural biology of the myelin sheath. Most myelin proteins are either integral or peripheral membrane proteins, often involved in either autoimmune or inherited demyelinating disease. We also have a keen interest in other structural biology problems, including protein-membrane interactions at the molecular level, high-resolution crystallography, and the structural basis of various neurological diseases. More details can be found at https://www.uib.no/en/rg/petrikursula.

The position is supervised by Prof. Petri Kursula and Dr. Salla Ruskamo and is focused on the 3D molecular and atomic structure of the myelin sheath, as well as the molecular mechanisms of mutations causing human hereditary neuropathies.

Required Qualifications and assessment
To successfully occupy the PhD student position, the candidate must possess an MSc degree in biochemistry, biophysics, protein science, or another relevant field. Practical experience in protein research will be highly valued, and a keen interest in biophysics and structural biology are required. The MSc degree must have been completed with good grades by December 2019, preferably by the call deadline. Ability to pursue independent research as a member of a team and excellent oral and written communication skills in English are expected.

The position is intended for an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) who, according to the ”European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers”, 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 HBS-DP of the 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 the selected doctoral student 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 – 2700 € per month for an early stage researcher, depending on qualifications and progress of the doctoral thesis.

Since this call is for a starting PhD student, the position will be filled for a four-year period, beginning on 1 January 2020. A six-month trial period will be applied in the position.

Application procedure
Applications, together with all relevant enclosures, must be submitted using the electronic application system by July 19th, 2019. Applications sent by email will not be considered. Apply at https://rekry.saima.fi/certiahome/open_job_view.html?did=5600&jc=1&id=00007516&lang=en

The following documents must be attached to the application (in English)

  1. Complete CV containing the contact information of 2-3 sources for references (Max. size of the attachment: 5 Mbytes)
  2. Motivation letter (maximum 1 page) describing prior experience, research interests, and career plans (1-2 pages; max. size 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 of the attachment: 2 Mbytes)

Other relevant information
Eligible applicants fitting best in the expected research profile will be invited to an on-site or remote interview. All applicants will be notified when the selection process is completed.

Prof. Petri Kursula, e-mail: petri.kursula(at)oulu.fi