Research assistant (technician)

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 19 Feb 2023

A research assistant (technician) position is available at the Helsinki Institute of Life Science (HiLIFE) , University of Helsinki, Finland in the research groups of Assistant Professor Helena Kilpinen and Dr. Olli Pietiläinen . The position is part of a long-term research program that aims to understand the cellular basis of neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders using stem cell-based models. The Kilpinen group combines computational and experimental methods in cellular genetics to study how genetic variation affects cell phenotypes and contributes to differential disease risk. The Kilpinen laboratory is based at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland FIMM and the Neuroscience Center  at the Meilahti Biomedical Campus, and it has close links with the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences . The Pietiläinen group applies state-of-art functional genomics and molecular cell biology approaches to understand how genetic risk factors mediate their causative effects in psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders. The Pietiläinen laboratory is based at the Neuroscience Center and has close links with the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.
Role description:
We are seeking 1-2 research assistants (technicians) to support day-to-day laboratory activities in the Kilpinen and Pietiläinen groups. This position is an opportunity to take part in cutting-edge research projects and in scaling up and developing best practises for human iPSC-based modelling of brain-related phenotypes. We offer a collaborative, multidisciplinary, and international environment with state-of-the-art infrastructure to conduct both wet lab and computational work. Some of our key collaborations include Open Targets , FinnGen project , SUPER , and Northern Finland Intellectual Disability Study, and we work closely with the Biomedicum Stem Cell Center and the newly established Neuronal iPSC core facilities in Meilahti. The post holder will support experimental projects in the groups and have a key role in maintaining and characterising human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) cultures, differentiating them into diverse neuronal cell types, conducting CRISPR-Cas9-based gene editing, and collecting data from them using methods such as immunocytochemistry, imaging, and single-cell genomics technologies, together with other members of the team. 

Key requirements:
We are seeking a highly motivated and organised individual with a strong interest in stem cells, disease modelling, and neuroscience. Candidates should have a degree in molecular or cell biology, biotechnology, or equivalent suitable qualification, and have demonstrated experience in mammalian cell culture. Previous experience with stem cell culture and neuronal differentiation is considered an advantage, but training in this aspect of the work will be provided. Additionally, excellent skills in core molecular and cell biology techniques are required. We expect reliability, flexibility, proficiency in written and spoken English, and ability to plan, organise, and execute long-term experiments. Good communication, collaboration, and interpersonal skills are also required.

Appointment details:
We are seeking to fill this role as soon as possible. The appointment is full time and for two years in the first instance, with a possibility of extension. Trial period of 6 months will be applied.

The salary will be starting from level MV4 of the demands level chart for expert and support staff in the salary system of Finnish universities. In addition, the appointee will be paid a salary component based on personal performance with the overall starting salary amounting to approximately 2350 - 2650 EUR per month, depending on the qualifications and previous relevant research experience of the candidate.

Application details:
Please submit your application via the University of Helsinki Recruitment System by clicking the ‘Apply for the position button’ below.

Please attach the following documents to your application as a single PDF file:
-    CV (including publications)
-    cover letter (maximum 1 page) that details your past experience and motivation for applying to the post.
-    contact details of at least two references

The deadline for applications is February 19th 2023. Interviews will be conducted either in person or online. For more information on the position, please contact Dr. Kilpinen ( or Dr. Pietiläinen (

Helsinki Institute of Life Science
Helsinki Institute of Life Science (HiLIFE), established in 2017, supports high quality life science research across the University campuses and faculties. HiLIFE builds on existing strengths and new recruits and partnerships to create an attractive international environment for researchers to solve grand challenges in health, food, and environment. HiLIFE coordinates research infrastructures in life sciences and provides research-based interdisciplinary training.

Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland
The Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) is an international research unit focusing on human genomics and personalised medicine at the Helsinki Institute of Life Science (HiLIFE) of the University of Helsinki - a leading Nordic university with a strong commitment to life science research. As part of Academic Medical Center Helsinki in Meilahti campus FIMM collaborates locally with the Faculty of Medicine, Helsinki University Hospital and National Institute for Health and Welfare. FIMM is part of the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine, composed of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and the centres for molecular medicine in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, and the EU-LIFE Community. FIMM is a translational institute with a driving mission to perform innovative research on patients and populations - utilizing molecular, genomic and health data – targeted towards understanding drivers of health and disease and delivering improvements to the safety, efficacy and efficiency of healthcare in Finland and beyond.

Neuroscience Center
The Neuroscience Center (NC) is an international research unit within Helsinki Institute of Life Science (HiLIFE) of the University of Helsinki, a leading Nordic university with a strong commitment to life science research. The research focus of NC is on translational brain plasticity. We carry out research relevant for the human brain both in health and disease, and during development and aging, by applying versatile approaches and modern technology platforms. NC aims at making fundamental discoveries about brain functions and especially translate research findings into improvements in the treatment, prevention and diagnosis of psychiatric and neurological disorders. The research in NC spans across several scales from stem cell research and molecular neuroscience to systems and cognitive neuroscience in both animal and human models. The research groups of NC conduct research in neuroscience at the highest international level and actively apply the results for the benefit of the society. NC collaborates actively with other units of HiLIFE and faculties of the University of Helsinki, Helsinki University Central Hospital, and Neurocenter Finland.

University of Helsinki
The University of Helsinki (UH), founded in 1640, is a vibrant scientific community of 40,000 students and researchers. It is one of the leading multidisciplinary research universities and ranks among the top 100 international universities in the world. It is currently investing heavily in life sciences research. UH offers comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care and health insurance, sports facilities, and opportunities for professional development.

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