Doctoral Researcher in Understanding the Bio-Nano Interactions of Nanomaterials

Updated: 2 months ago
Deadline: 05 Oct 2023

The Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Helsinki conducts research in pharmacy and provides the highest education in the field. The Faculty offers the undergraduate degrees of Bachelor of Science (Pharmacy), Master of Science (Pharmacy) and Master of Science, as well as doctoral degrees (Doctor of Philosophy (Pharmacy) and Doctor of Philosophy). Additionally, the Faculty offers specialisation studies in community pharmacy and hospital pharmacy as well as in industrial pharmacy, and actively participates in further education in the field. The Faculty also educates Swedish-speaking Master of Science (Pharmacy) graduates. The Faculty of Pharmacy has three divisions: Pharmaceutical Biosciences, Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy, and Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology. Faculty staff from different study programs cooperate in the degree programmes, which are responsible for the education leading to the degree.

The Faculty of Pharmacy invites applications for the position of a

DOCTORAL RESEARCHER (Quantitative analysis of cell surface glycan engagement in nanoparticle endocytosis)

The position is a fixed term position, starting as soon as possible after the recruitment decision is made. The appointment is until 31 August 2027. The position is filled with a 6 month probationary period.

The appointment is in the Academy of Finland research project led by docent Shiqi Wang, at the Division of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology. The aim of the project is to develop a new assay using bioorthogonal reactions to study the role of cell surface glycan (a major component of cell membranes) in nanoparticle internalization. The successful candidate is expected to develop, optimize and validate the assay using different nanoparticles and cells. Your work will contribute to the fundamental understanding of how nanomaterials enter cells, which is of great importance for their biomedical applications.

The duties of the doctoral researcher include conducting research in the project framework with the aim of achieving doctoral degree in accordance with the degree requirements of the University of Helsinki, supervision of undergraduate students, and other discipline-specific teaching. The teaching duties will cover a maximum of 5 % of the total working hours.

We offer

• A compact research group with a supervisor who have time and interest to help you
• Opportunity to obtain multidisciplinary skills in chemistry, biology and pharmaceutical sciences, including bioorthogonal chemistry, metabolic labelling and nanoparticle uptake analysis.
• National and international collaboration opportunities with experts on glycomics, nanomedicine and drug delivery

We expect

• MSc degree in a relevant field (preferably in chemistry or chemical biology)
• Fluent communication (oral and written) skills in English
• Curiosity, genuine interest in science, initiative
• Ability to work both independently and in a team
• Experience in practical chemical laboratory work and cell culture

We also appreciate experience in

• Cell imaging and flow cytometry analysis
• Bioorthogonal chemistry
• Nanoparticle fabrication, characterizations and functionalization
• Mass spectrometry and glycomics
• Immunostaining and Western Blot

The University of Helsinki welcomes applicants from a variety of genders, linguistic and cultural backgrounds, and minorities.

Right to pursue a doctoral degree

Please note that the appointee must obtain the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Helsinki and approval by a suitable doctoral programme (Doctoral Programme in Drug Research - DPDR) by the end of the 6 month probationary period of the employment, unless having already existing study right. The research plan and other application material will be prepared together with the PhD supervisor(s) in the beginning of the employment period.

Salary and benefits

The salary is based on the job requirement scheme for teaching and research staff according to the salary system of the Finnish universities. In addition, the appointee will be paid a personal salary component. Doctoral researchers start from requirement level 2. In total, the starting gross salary of a doctoral researcher is typically about 2 400 – 2 500 EUR per month, and raises gradually as the PhD work progresses.

The requirement level of a doctoral researcher is determined on the basis of progressing in the studies. Doctoral researchers advance to level 3, when they are in the midpoint of completing the work required for the doctoral degree, and eventually to level 4, when the supervisor estimates that the researcher can publicly defend the dissertation in approximately one year.

Occupational health care is provided for university employees. Read more about the employee benefits at the University of Helsinki and why University of Helsinki is an excellent choice: .

How to apply

Please submit your application and the required attachments through the University of Helsinki Recruitment System preferably as a single PDF file.

The application should include:
• a motivation letter (max 1 page) describing why you are interested in this position and how you are qualified
• a detailed CV (max 2 pages) with full contact details, education/previous degrees obtained, prior work/research experience, link to the online version of the MSc/licentiate thesis (if available) and list of potential publications (if any), and contact information of one or more previous supervisors, employers, or other references/recommendations
• A research proposal describing how bioorthogonal chemistry can be used to study nanoparticle-cell interactions (max 2 pages). The bibliography or reference list does not count in the page limit.

The closing date for applications is 5th October 2023 (23:59 EEST). Zoom interviews of shortlisted candidates will take place by the end of October.

Further information

• Position and research project: docent Shiqi Wang, (also a recent ERC Starting Grant receiver )
• Recruitment system and applying: HR Specialist Heidi Kauppinen, heidi.m.kauppinen(at), +358504155341
• Faculty of Pharmacy:
• Viikki Campus:
• Working at the University of Helsinki:
• Support for international staff: and also (International House Helsinki)

Related to admissions to doctoral studies

• Application process to doctoral education (including demonstration of language proficiency):
• About doctoral schools and programmes:
• Doctoral Programme in Drug Research (DPDR):

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