Doctoral Researcher in Super-Resolution Microscopy

Updated: 3 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 15 Dec 2022

The University of Helsinki is one of the world’s leading universities for multidisciplinary research. HiLIFE Helsinki Institute of Life Science is a research institute that supports high quality life science research across the University campuses and faculties. The research activities at the Institute of Biotechnology consist of several research teams focusing on a specific area of molecular biology, cell biology or biotechnology. The Institute is situated in the Viikki science park. For more information on the Institute, please visit our website .

The HiLIFE - Institute of Biotechnology, Mäkelä laboratory of Temperature Adaptation in Bacteria, invites applications for a position of A Doctoral Researcher in Super-Resolution Microscop

starting from January 2023, or as agreed. The PhD researcher will be offered up to 4-year fully funded contract.

Position description

We are seeking a doctoral researcher to work in a project aiming to understand how different bacteria can grow across large temperature ranges from 0°C to 100°C. To understand temperature adaptation, we use super-resolution microscopy and single molecule tracking to record the movement and interactions of individual molecules, such as RNA polymerase and ribosome, inside live cells. Single molecule dynamics report on the molecular interactions in real-time, acting as a probe for changes in the complex intracellular environment. Additionally, we apply single-cell perturbations, machine learning and modelling to analyze, integrate, and make sense of single-cell and molecule level data. The obtained knowledge will help us to understand adaptation to extreme temperatures and the limits of cellular life. 

Selection criteria

We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with a MSc or equivalent in biology, biophysics, computational biology, or other relevant fields. We expect the candidate to have practical experience with “wet lab” work and who are interested in applying (and possibly developing) state-of-the-art microscopy to unravel how bacteria adapt to different temperatures. Experience in genetic engineering, microbiology, microscopy, coding, or data analysis is considered an advantage. Excellent communication and writing skills in English and ability to work both independently and collaboratively as part of a multidisciplinary international team are expected.

The appointee is expected to work full time on the Ph.D. thesis and to complete the thesis and the associated studies in four years. The successful applicant will apply to be a Ph.D. student in the appropriate Faculty (such as the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences). A trial period of 6 months will be applied. The Ph.D. degree consists of the student’s research project resulting in peer-reviewed publications, studies specific to the research field, as well as transferable skills training.

Salary and benefits

The starting salary of the doctoral researcher will be ca. 2400-2600 euros/month, depending on the appointees’ qualifications and experience. The University of Helsinki offers comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care, support in access to high quality sports facilities, and vast opportunities for professional development.

How to apply

Please submit your application as a single pdf file, which includes the following documents in English: 

  • A motivation letter including a description of your research interests (max 1 page) 
  • CV (max 2 pages)
  • List of publications (max 2 pages)

Include also contact information of two persons who are willing to provide a reference letter by separate request. Please submit your application, together with the required attachment, through the University of Helsinki electronic recruitment system by clicking on the ‘Apply for job’ button. Internal applicants (i.e., current employees of the University of Helsinki) submit their applications through the SAP Fiori portal.

The deadline for the applications is 15th of December, but the position will be filled once a suitable candidate has been identified.

For more information, please contact the Principal Investigator and Academy Research Fellow Jarno Mäkelä (jarno.p.makela(at) or visit our lab website (

Why work with us?

BI offers a multidisciplinary research environment with wide range of life science projects performed. Viikki campus is one of the largest life science campuses in Scandinavia. 

The University of Helsinki provides its employees a wide range of opportunities and benefits, such as support for competence development and application for research projects, library, sports and welfare services. Read more about career opportunities and benefits at

Finland is a member of the 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

Helsinki Institute of Life Science

Helsinki Institute of Life Science (HiLIFE) is a new institute established in 2017 that 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.

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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