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PhD position in Molecular Biology to the Department of Molecular Biology

Institutionen för molekylärbiologi




  • Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
  • Extent 100%
  • Place Umeå

We are looking for a PhD student in Molecular Biology with a special interest in experimental evolutionary biology. The position at the Department of Molecular Biology at Umeå University is temporary for four years to start March 1st 2021 or as agreed.

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to participate in activities provided by the Department of Molecular Biology, the Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS), and the Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR), thus providing interaction with researchers from different research fields and access to various scientific and technical expertise.

PhD project

A doctoral student must primarily devote his or her time to his or her own doctoral education.

The PhD project will use experimental evolution to explore evolutionary predictability on the phenotypic level as well as on the levels of molecular networks, genes and mutations using an interdisciplinary methodology. A unique bacterial experimental evolution system, focused on biofilm formation, has been developed to obtain data on mutation targets, mutation rates and fitness, as well as mathematical models of the genotype-to-phenotype map.

The PhD project will extend the forecasting framework to several strains of the human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa to further explore evolutionary predictability, develop forecasting methodology as well as determine the relevance of experimental evolution to natural populations.


Applicants must hold a University degree equivalent to a European University Master degree of at least 240 credits (ECTS) at the time of the recruitment, or equivalent levels of education otherwise acquired in Sweden or abroad. Required is a minimum of 30 credits in the main field of chemistry, including at least 7.5 credits biochemistry; 45 credits in the major areas of biology or molecular biology with at least 7.5 credits in genetics and 22.5 credits in the fields of microbiology, physiology and cell-and molecular biology. Additionally, at least 45 credits of the second cycle studies level must be in cell- and molecular biology including an independent work of at least 15 credits.


The successful candidate should have documented experience in microbiology, molecular biology (primer design, PCR, cloning) and genetic engineering of Pseudomonas. Experience in several different bioinformatics methods for predicting mutational effects on protein structure and function is a strong merit. Prior experience with experimental evolution, flow cytometry and competition experiments are considered an advantage.

You need to be fluent in spoken and written English, which will be evaluated by the postgraduate studies board of the department.

You should be highly motivated and able to work productively in a team as well as independently. Excellent communication skills for interacting effectively with senior colleagues and peers are required.

Basis of assessment

The evaluation of the ability and potential to perform well is based primarily on:

1. Knowledge and skills relevant to doctoral studies within the research area,

2. The ability to formulate and solve scientific questions.

3. Skills in written and oral communication in English.

4. Other experience relevant to doctoral studies, such as professional experience.

Good collaborative skills, drive and independent work ability are considered as positive merits.

A selection will be made among qualified applicants on the basis of their qualifications and their ability to benefit from studies at the doctoral level. After the selection of the suitable candidate, the process for the admission to doctoral studies will commence. An admission decision will not be taken until an individual study plan has been approved by the departmental admission board.

About the employment

The position is intended to result in a doctoral degree and is limited to four years full time. If part-time teaching (max. 20%) can be offered, the employment period can be extended.

Admission March 1st 2021 or as agreed.

The wage is fixed according to the established wage level for doctoral students.

According to the Higher Education Ordinance (Chapter 12, Section 2), the decision on employment cannot be appealed.

How to apply

You apply through our recruitment system at the latest December 2nd 2020. Your application must contain the following documents written in English or Swedish:

  • A CV with information on education, a list of previous and current employments, and a list of publications.
  • Verified copies of relevant degrees
  • A cover letter describing research experience and interests, motivation for applying for the position
  • Contact details of one to three references

Union information is available from SACO, +46-(0)90-786 53 65, SEKO, +46-(0)90-786 52 96 and ST, +46-(0)90-786 54 31.

For questions regarding the position contact Peter Lind;

We welcome your application!

More about us

You can find more information about us at and


March 1st 2021 or as agreed


Peter Lind

Registration number

AN 2.2.1-1525-20


Monthly salary

Union representative


090-786 53 65


090-786 52 96


090-786 54 31




Umeå University wants to offer an equal environment where open dialogue between people with different backgrounds and perspectives lay the foundation for learning, creativity and development. We welcome people with different backgrounds and experiences to apply for the current employment. We kindly decline offers of recruitment and advertising help.