'Excellence by Choice' Postdoctoral Programme in Life Science

Updated: 5 months ago
Location: Sweden,
Job Type: FullTime

Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest institutions of higher education with over 35,000 students and 4,200 faculty and staff. We are characterised by world-leading research in several scientific fields and a multitude of educations ranked highly in international comparison. Recent breakthroughs include deciphering the molecular mechanisms of the bacterial CRISPR-Cas9 system and its repurposing into a tool for genome editing, a method that was awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

The two Swedish Centres of Excellence – Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR ) and Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC ) – at Umeå University are currently running the ‘Excellence by Choice’ Postdoctoral Programme in Life Science offering a highly interactive and multidisciplinary research environment.

The programme aims to encourage new synergies in life science with a focus on molecular and translational research, train outstanding young researchers, and stimulate cutting-edge research in Umeå. Patron for the programme is Nobel laureate Emmanuelle Charpentier, who discovered the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology during her time as a scientist and group leader in Umeå.

In this call, seven postdoctoral fellowships are open to all nationalities.

The 'EC' Postdoctoral Fellows will:

  • Develop a collaborative project under supervision of at least two PIs
  • Obtain 2-year full-time fellowship exempt from tax (672,000 SEK), as well as grants for project running costs (320,000 SEK) and the fellow’s career development (25,000 SEK)
  • Access to UCMR/UPSC-affiliated core facilities and technical platforms such as Chemical Biology Consortium Sweden (CBCS), Protein Expertise Platform, metabolomics, proteomics, X-ray, NMR (850-400 MHz), the Computational Life Science Cluster (CLiC) – a node in NBIS (National Bioinformatics Infrastructure Sweden), Umeå Core Facility for Electron Microscopy (UCEM), and Biochemical Imaging Centre Umeå (BICU) that form a node in the National Microscopy Infrastructure (NMI)
  • Participate in activities to strengthen networks and collaborations in academics and industry
  • Involve in a strong postdoc community, Umeå Postdoc Society (UPS ) that fosters networking, and organizes social and career development events.

Learn more about life as an EC’ postdoc:

Featured article in Nature: Big ideas welcome: postdoc call in Sweden seeks original thinkers

Read interviews with current ‘EC’ postdocs in Umeå on Umeå University website:

Gabriel Torrens , Joram Kiriga Waititu , Samuel Agyei Nyantakyi , Jagadish Mangu , and Aicha Kriia .

List of projects:

Candidates are encouraged to consider one of the project ideas listed. The candidates' merits and motivation for choice of project idea will be assessed by the PIs of each project respectively.

  • Vaccine-induced immune responses and protection from infection mortality in old adults
    Main PI: Mattias Forsell, Dept of Clinical Microbiology
    Co-PI: Anders Johansson, Dept of Clinical Microbiology
  • Interactions between bacterial membrane vesicles and enteric viruses
    Main PI: Sun Nyunt Wai, Dept of Molecular Biology
    Co-PI: Annasara Lenman, Dept of Clinical Microbiology
  • New targets for treatment and prevention of saprolegniasis in salmonid fish
    Main PI: Constantin Urban, Dept of Clinical Microbiology
    Co-PI: Lo Persson, Dept of Wildlife, Fish, and Environmental Studies, SLU, Henrik Jeuthe, Vattenbrukscentrum Norr AB
  • Role of mitochondrial dysfunction in host cell-autonomous immunity against Chlamydia
    Main PI: Barbara Susanne Sixt, Dept of Molecular Biology
    Co-PI: Paulina Wanrooij, Dept of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics
  • The effects of horizontal gene transfer on cell decision making
    Main PI: Eric Libby, Dept of Mathematics
    Co-PI: Peter Lind, Dept of Molecular Biology
  • Linking molecular structure and function with ultrafast multidimensional spectroscopy
    Main PI: Nicolò Maccaferri, Dept of Physics
    Co-PI: André Mateus, Dept of Chemistry, Ludvig Lizana, Dept of Physics
  • Dissection of Zika virus maturation at molecular resolution
    Main PI: Anna Överby Wernstedt, Dept of Clinical Microbiology
    Co-PI: Max Renner, Dept of Chemistry
  • Microbial chemical production via synthetic biology
    Main PI: Yaowen Wu, Dept of Chemistry
    Co-PI: Anita Sellstedt, Dept of Plant Physiology
  • The effect of altered dNTP pools on genome stability and physiology
    Main PI: Changchun Chen, Dept of Molecular Biology
    Co-PI: Andrei Chabes, Dept of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics
  • Developing data-driven structural refinement of neutron reflectometry data to understand processes at biological membranes
    Main PI: Magnus Andersson, Dept of Chemistry
    Co-PI: Gerhard Gröbner, Dept of Chemistry
  • Adaptation and virulence-associated traits in bacteria interacting with Acanthamoeba castellanii
    Main PI: Aftab Nadeem, Dept of Molecular Biology
    Co-PI: Laura Carroll, Dept of Clinical Microbiology
  • Mode-of-action of a novel anti-Cryptosporidium compound family
    Main PI: Christian Hedberg, Dept of Chemistry
    Co-PI: Lars-Anders Carlson, Dept of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics
  • Qualification

    To qualify as a postdoctoral fellowship holder, the candidate is required to have completed a doctoral degree or a foreign degree deemed equivalent to a doctoral degree in the relevant field. This requirement is usually fulfilled after successfully completing all the requirements of the doctoral programme, including passing their dissertation defense. This qualification requirement must be fulfilled no later than the application closing date.

    Candidates should have completed their doctoral degree, no more than three years before the application closing date. If there are special reasons, candidates who completed their doctoral degree prior to that may also be eligible. Special reasons include absence due to illness, parental leave, appointments of trust in trade union organizations, military service, or similar circumstances, as well as clinical practice or other forms of appointment/assignment relevant to the subject area.


    The application should include:

  • A Curriculum Vitae
  • A motivation letter including research interests, qualifications, and motivation for applying for the position with the particular project idea selected from the list (max 2,000 characters with space)
  • A publication list including both published papers and preprints with web/DOI
  • A description of up to a total three (3) of your publications and/or preprints that you consider at present to represent your scientifically most valuable work, answering the following questions (max 3,000 characters with space):
    a. Why do you consider a particular publication to be the scientifically most valuable?
    b. What was your specific contribution(s) to this published research work?
    c. What was your role in the manuscript writing and publishing of the work?
  • Names and contact details of at least two references
  • A verified copy of doctoral degree certificate or documentation that attests completing all the requirements of the doctoral programme, including passing the dissertation defense.
  • Step 1:

    The application must be submitted electronically. For more details of each project and link to the online application system, please go to the Umeå University website .

    Online application deadline: 29 October 2023.

    Step 2:

    A short list of candidates will be invited to submit a short research proposal based on the project idea and to participate in the final interview. The interviews are performed by a panel of UCMR/UPSC researchers.

    Date of final interview: 5 - 6 December 2023.


    Questions can be addressed to UCMR research coordinator [email protected] .

    Working at Umeå University

    At Umeå University, everything is nearby. The cohesive campus environment makes it easy to meet, collaborate and exchange knowledge, which promotes a dynamic and open culture where we rejoice in each other’s successes. Read more about Umeå University as a workplace .

    Umeå Postdoc Society (UPS ) is a strong community for postdocs and works towards improving the postdoc experience in Umeå. Check out their website and do not hesitate to get in contact with them early on!

    We welcome your application!

    Umeå University wants to offer an environment where open dialogue between people with different backgrounds and perspectives lay the foundation for learning, creativity and development. In each recruitment we aim to increase diversity and the opportunity to affirmative action. We kindly decline offers of recruitment and advertising help.

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