Doctoral researcher, computational biophysics

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 20 Apr 2024

The University of Helsinki is a multidisciplinary research university that ranks among the best in the world and the top ten among European universities. The university has some 36,000 degree students. 

The Department of Physics (Faculty of Science) is a large and multidisciplinary department that offers the most varied university programme in the physical sciences in Finland. At the beginning of 2024, the department employs about 200 people, of which 1 is an academy professor, 22 are professors and 4 are associate professors. The research  at the department and the research-based teaching follow a high international standard, are nationally significant, and promote the mental and economic wellbeing in society.

Faculty of Science invites applications for a 


in Computational Biophysics starting in June 2024 (or position to be filled as soon as possible)


The Computational Bioenergetics Group at the Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, is led by Associate Professor Vivek Sharma. The focus of research is on the structure and mechanism of proteins involved in biological energy (ATP) generation and mitochondrial function and dysfunction. An ensemble of multi-scale computational approaches (molecular dynamics simulations, quantum chemistry, machine learning, etc) are applied to study the mechanistic aspects of biomolecules in great depth. The work is done in collaboration with experimental teams (such as structural biology, clinical research, etc) in Finland and abroad. Some of the recent work has been published in well-read journals such as Nature, Science Advances, Chemical Sciences, etc. See publications here –

Doctoral researcher position

We are seeking an exceptionally talented and motivated doctoral researcher (PhD student), who recently completed their MSc degree in the field of Physics, Chemistry, Computational Biology or any other similar area with good experience in Linux/Unix operating system usage and programming/scripting. Knowledge of simulation software (such as Gromacs, NAMD, etc), analysis tools (MDAnalysis, Jupyter notebooks, etc) with experience in high-performance computing will be considered an advantage.

The selected candidate will be working on the structure and mechanism of mitochondrial respiratory complexes, and their interplay with the lipid/solvent environment. The multi-scale approaches that will be used to study these systems include (but not limited to) classical atomistic and coarse-grained molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and quantum chemical methods, their hybrid variants, etc.

The candidate will get a chance to attend international conferences and present their scientific work in local and international meetings. As an employee of the University of Helsinki, researcher will receive occupational health care, and will be entitled to sports facilities, and opportunities for professional development.

The doctoral researcher position starts in June 2024 (or as soon as the position is filled). The position is initially for 1 year (possibility to extend to 3 years).The employment contract will include a probationary period of six months. 

The appointee should either already have the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki by the start of the appointment or apply for the right and obtain it within the probationary period of six months of their appointment. If the candidate does not already have the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki, it must be applied for separately ( ). The requirements for pursuing a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki can be found at .

Research environment

Computational Bioenergetics Group is part of the Department of Physics, University of Helsinki. It is also associated with the HiLIFE Institute of Biotechnology of the University of Helsinki, providing an added value in terms of research collaborations with the structural biology and biophysics teams at the Institute. The group maintains extensive collaborations in the host department (Physics), which further enhances scientific exchange. The top-notch supercomputing infrastructure, provided by the Center for Scientific Computing, Finland (including the Lumi supercomputing environment), is extensively utilized for research.

Finland is a member of 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

The starting salary of the postdoctoral researcher will be ca. 2500-2700 euros/month, depending on the appointees’ qualifications and experience. Furthermore, the University of Helsinki offers comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care and health insurance, sports facilities, and opportunities for professional development.

The University of Helsinki welcomes applicants from a variety of gender identities, linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

How to apply 

Please apply with;

  • a one-page motivation letter clearly highlighting research/educational accomplishments,
  • a two-page CV (clearly highlighting earlier relevant experience in computational biophysics and/or modeling/simulations of biomolecules), and
  • a Bachelors/Masters degree grade card including Bachelors/Masters thesis topic and its grade.

Please submit all files in a single pdf document using the University of Helsinki Recruitment System by clicking the Apply for the position button below. Applicants who are employees of the University of Helsinki are requested to leave their application via SAP Fiori. Deadline for applications is 20th April 2024. The selected candidates will be contacted personally and will be invited for an interview/discussion/presentation.

For further information, please contact Associate Professor Vivek Sharma, vivek.sharma(at)

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