Principal Scientist, Protein Production – VTT Espoo



About the job

Are you interested in working with topics that have a high impact on society, such as biofuels, sustainable food proteins, biomaterials, and pharmaceuticals? Would you like to do impactful research in the cutting edge of biotechnology with superb colleagues who are top experts in their field? Do you want to build a science career and work in a versatile role at the interface of applied research and industry? VTT might be just the place for you.

VTT is one of the leading applied research organisations in Europe. What unites us are curiosity, a passion for learning and a purpose: to solve the biggest challenges of our time and turn them into sustainable growth and well-being. Our cross-disciplinary community of over 2000 brilliant minds is focused on creating impact through science-based innovation. Get to know us further by exploring VTT’s research infra at  VTT World.

We are now looking for Principal Scientist to join our Protein production team.

As a principal scientist, Protein Production, you will aid in increasing our understanding of the biochemical processes of our fungal protein production platforms by developing the research topic and directing scientists and technicians. You will have a leading role in promoting VTT at the international level, creating and applying innovations based on customer sector needs, and in the preparation, acquisition, and managing of extensive projects.

Our team is working on various research and industrial biotechnology-based future technologies to produce sustainable food and material proteins, enzyme mixtures for biofuel production, and therapeutic proteins. These activities support VTT’s mission to build a novel food system and enable bioinspired production for sustainable materials and other products.

Read more about our research:

Our team has been part of developing a safe, environmentally sustainable and cost-effective method for mass production of high value proteins, such as egg white, without using animals.

C1 gene expression platform provides the possibility to bring affordable medicines to patients sooner and at a lower cost while reducing the financial burden on the global healthcare system. In the C1 development program, VTT is utilizing its strong competence in fungal molecular biology and bioprocesses that has been accumulated during more than 30 years of research on a variety of fungi.

Your responsibilities as a Principal Scientist:

  • Scientific supervision and guidance of researchers and technical staff together with the research team leaders
  • Acquisition of research and development projects (publicly funded and industrial)
  • Planning and conducting scientific project work in the fields of protein production systems and fungal biology
  • Project management – overview on various projects at the same time in terms of experimental planning, timelines, and milestones; reporting and communicating with clients, partners, and funding agencies
  • Working with customers to help solve protein production challenges
  • Writing scientific reports and articles, and presenting research data
  • Taking forward research topics, continuous building of expertise and relevant international networks
  • Working as part of the protein production team and contributing positively to an engaging and supportive work environment

Who we are looking for:

  • PhD degree in Biochemistry, Biology, Molecular Biotechnology, Genomics, or related discipline with a strong background in computational or structural biology
  • Strong record in molecular and cell biology. Experience in the fields of protein secretion or gene expression regulation is considered an advantage
  • Experience with fungal or yeast biology
  • Experience in attracting public/commercial/industrial funding for research
  • Experience in supervising PhD students, scientists, and technicians is an advantage

As a person, we hope that you:

  • Are an excellent team player with a desire to support your colleagues
  • Strong vision of the scientific landscape to facilitate strategic development
  • Open-minded and highly communicative
  • Interaction with external academic and industrial networks as well as with internal partners in an interdisciplinary
  • Are motivated and willing to take initiative in getting projects accomplished
  • Have strong communication, collaboration, presentation, dissemination, and networking skills
  • Are able to work both independently and as a member of a team
  • Enjoy scientific and technological challenges and have a strong passion for work
  • Are willing to attend scientific meetings and networking events
  • Are an outside-the-box thinker with ability to continuously learn new things

With VTT, you’ll enjoy:

  • Natural sciences with an impact. VTT works on the cutting-edge of natural sciences, and we’ve invested into building state-of-the-art research facilities for natural sciences, such as the Bioruukki pilot infrastructure for bio- and circular economy. Our research agenda is dedicated to solving systemic and technological challenges, such as reaching carbon neutrality and unleashing the power of synthetic biology. That means that at VTT, your expertise in natural sciences will go towards creating real impact. Read more about our strategy – the path of exponential hope .
  • Superb colleagues and community. With VTT, you’ll join a community of over 2000 multidisciplinary experts who foster a culture of trust, openness and sharing knowledge. We work truly across disciplines, and house all the cutting-edge sciences from quantum computing to synthetic biology under one roof. Collaborating with superb colleagues is a source of learning, inspiration, and fun.
  • Excellent career in research. At VTT, excellence in research is a strategic priority. We offer long-term positions and stable career paths in top-level research. People tend to stay with us over 10 years since there are always new roles and responsibilities to grow into. A combination of cutting-edge academic research and applied customer projects keeps your career path interesting.
  • Support for your well-being. Our people are our main asset, so we take good care of them. We aim to nurture great team spirit and leadership and offer versatile well-being services to enable a good work–life balance. On top of 6 weeks of paid holidays we offer exercise and culture benefits, hobby clubs, and voluntary well-being services such as meditation programmes and trainings on cognitive ergonomics.
  • Nordic work–life balance. Working in Finland, the happiest country in the world, enables a great quality of life. At VTT, we make our people’s well-being a strategic priority. Our benefits include extended occupational healthcare, and a range well-being services, read more here ( https://www.vttresearch.com/en/research-jobs-in-finland ).

Apply now and join our community of brilliant minds!

Please send your CV and application with your salary request via our recruitment system as soon as possible but at the latest by 1st of January 2023. We will process applications as they come in and fill the position as soon as we find the right candidate.

Interested and want to hear more?

For further information, please contact Research Team Leader Antti Aalto, antti.aalto@vtt.fi

You can inquire also by phone between 12:00 – 12: 30 on Monday – Wednesday during the application period by calling +358 50 338 5127


VTT is a visionary research, development and innovation partner. We drive sustainable growth and tackle the biggest global challenges of our time and turn them into growth opportunities. We go beyond the obvious to help the society and companies to grow through technological innovations. We have 80 years of experience of top-level research and science-based results. VTT is at the sweet spot where innovation and business come together.

VTT – beyond the obvious.

Location: Tekniikantie 21, Espoo