Doctoral student in Medical Science - Development of next generation probiotics

Updated: 4 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 14 Jun 2023

31 May 2023
Job Information

University of Gothenburg
Research Field

Medical sciences » Medicine
Researcher Profile

First Stage Researcher (R1)

Application Deadline

14 Jun 2023 - 22:00 (UTC)
Type of Contract

Job Status

Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme
Reference Number

Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description

The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 56 000 students and 6 600 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract scientists and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future.

Doctoral position in Medical Science

Project title: Development of next-generation probiotics from the human gut micribiota

The Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, is located at the Institute of Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg. Our primary research focus is on metabolism, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. We support and promote research and teaching in translational medicine to improve health and to benefit society.

General information about being a doctoral student at the University of Gothenburg can be found on the university's doctoral student pages     


The PhD education in Medical Science comprises carrying out a scientific project and completing at least 30 credits of courses at third-cycle level. The doctoral student must also write a scientific compilation thesis or monograph corresponding to at least 120 credits. For more information about third-cycle studies at Sahlgrenska Academy, see

Project: The human body is colonized by trillions of microorganisms that cover all surfaces. The types and numbers of microorganisms differ at different body sites where they form specific communities (microbiota). The gut is host to the most densely populated microbiota and is dominated by selected Bacteria from a small number of phyla but with high diversity at species and strain level. Our knowledge of the gut microbiota has greatly expanded over the last three decades, and it is now clearly recognized that the gut microbiota affects the regulation of both immune and metabolic functions. Indeed, alterations to the gut microbiota have been found in different diseases including type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, intestinal bowel diseases and certain types of cancer. Advances in DNA sequencing techniques have shown that the gut microbiota is diverse and that a part of this diversity is lost in disease. In particular, the gut microbiota associated with human metabolic diseases has reduced levels of propionate and butyrate producers, with anti-inflammatory properties, such as Akkermansia muciniphila, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Christensenella minuta. However, sequencing studies also show that a number of intestinal bacteria associated with human health, that are found in lower abundances in metabolic diseases, remain uncharacterized (e.g., members of the Christensenellaceae and Erysipelotrichaceae), and overall 70% of the microbial species in the gut microbiota lack cultured representatives. Through optimization of culturing methods, we have isolated bacterial species from 87% of the genera identified to date in the human gut microbiota, including the extremely oxygen sensitive F. prausnitzii and rare bacteria in Erysipelotrichaceae. The major unmet challenge of gut microbiota research is to move from descriptive associative studies to the development of microbiota-based therapeutics using the knowledge gathered by us and others. Therefore, our goal in this PhD project is to isolate and characterize bacteria from the human gut microbiota, focusing on Christensenellaceae and C. minuta, which can be used as next-generation probiotics.

Education at third-cycle level comprises four years of full-time study, and leads to a doctoral degree.  As part of your employment as a doctoral student, you may have departmental duties corresponding to up to 20 % of full-time employment, distributed throughout your study period. Departmental duties usually consist of teaching at first- and second-cycle levels, but may also include research and administration.    


Education at third-cycle level requires general eligibility and specific eligibility as set out in the general syllabus for the subject.  

The general eligibility requirements for education at third-cycle level are:    
1. having completed a degree at second-cycle level, or
2. the fulfilment of course requirements totalling at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits must be at second-cycle level, or  
3. the acquisition of equivalent knowledge in some other way, either in Sweden or abroad.  
Specific entry requirements for this subject, according to the general syllabus, are: 
having completed the English B/6 course or is considered to have acquired equivalent knowledge through previous studies. 

Assessment criteria   

The selection of applicants who are considered to have the ability required to benefit from the study programme and who meet the general and specific eligibility requirements are assessed based on the following documented qualifications:
- specific knowledge and skills within the subject area and related research fields
- experience of scientific theory and relevant research methodology
- scientific analysis and presentation verified through thesis, degree project, scientific journals or the like.    

It it desirable that the PhD student has significant experience in microbiology and documented experience of culturing and isolation of strictly anaerobic bacteria. It is a merit to have worked with fecal anaerobic bacteria, especially using Coy chambers, and have experience in preparing and developing culture media as well as in analysis of 16S rRNA gene profiles and bacterial genomes. 


Once you have been admitted for education at third-cycle level, you will be employed as a doctoral student at the University of Gothenburg. The provisions for employment as a doctoral student can be found in ordinance SFS 1993:100. Initial employment as a doctoral student may apply for a maximum of one year, and may be renewed by a maximum of two years at a time. A doctoral student may be employed as a doctoral student for a maximum of eight years, but the total period of employment may not be longer than the equivalent of full-time education at third-cycle level for four years.   

Location: Sahlgrenska Academy, Institute of Medicine, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine. Extent: 100%. First day of employment: as agreed.

The University applies a local agreement on salaries for doctoral students.   

Contact information 

For more information about the project please contact the principal supervisor, 
Fredrik Bäckhed, Professor, Institute of Medicine,


Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg can be found here:      


You can apply to be admitted for education at third-cycle level via the University of Gothenburg’s recruitment portal. It is your responsibility to ensure that the application is complete as per the vacancy notice, and that the University receives it by the final application deadline.   

You must include the following, in pdf format

  • Personal letter
  • CV
  • Diploma and transcripts showing that you meet with the general entry requirement
  • Proof of completion of English 6 course or the acquired equivalent knowledge through previous studies

If your degree is from a university outside of Sweden, make sure that you attach a diploma and full transcripts that makes assessing your degree easier.  

If your degree has not been verified by a Swedish authority you need to provide contact details to the issuing university, registrar or similar, that can verify the degree at our request.

For information on what you need to submit in order to fulfill the English language requirement see


 Applications must be received by: 2023-06-15 


Information for International Applicants 

Choosing a career in a foreign country is a big step. Thus, to give you a general idea of what we and Gothenburg have to offer in terms of benefits and life in general for you and your family/spouse/partner please visit:  


The University works actively to achieve a working environment with equal conditions, and values the qualities that diversity brings to its operations.

Salaries are set individually at the University.

In accordance with the National Archives of Sweden’s regulations, the University must archive application documents for two years after the appointment is filled. If you request that your documents are returned, they will be returned to you once the two years have passed. Otherwise, they will be destroyed.

In connection to this recruitment, we have already decided which recruitment channels we should use. We therefore decline further contact with vendors, recruitment and staffing companies.

Research Field
Medical sciences
Education Level
Master Degree or equivalent


Research Field
Medical sciences » Medicine
Years of Research Experience

Additional Information
Work Location(s)
Number of offers available
University of Gothenburg
Postal Code
Medicinaregatan 3

Where to apply



Medicinaregatan 3
Postal Code


View or Apply

Similar Positions