PhD position in plant science with a focus on small proteins

Updated: 10 days ago

Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest higher education institutions with over 37,000 students and about 4,700 employees. The University offers a diversity of high-quality education and world-leading research in several fields. Notably, the groundbreaking discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool, which was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was made here. At Umeå University, everything is close. Our cohesive campuses make it easy to meet, work together and exchange knowledge, which promotes a dynamic and open culture.

The ongoing societal transformation and large green investments in northern Sweden create enormous opportunities and complex challenges. For Umeå University, conducting research about – and in the middle of – a society in transition is key. We also take pride in delivering education to enable regions to expand quickly and sustainably. In fact, the future is made here.

The Department of Plant Physiology (Umeå University, Umeå Plant Science Centre, Sweden) invites applicants for a PhD position in plant science. The expected starting date is summer/autumn 2024 or according to agreement. 

Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC) is one of the strongest research environments for basic plant research in Europe. Research at UPSC covers a wide range of disciplines in plant biology including ecology, computational biology, genetics, physiology, biochemistry, cell biology and molecular biology (see A PhD position is now available at the Department of Plant Physiology, which is part of Umeå Plant Science Centre. Application deadline is May 15, 2024.

Project description

We are recruiting a PhD student to work on a project aimed at manipulating plant development using microProtein engineering. MicroProteins are small single-domain proteins that have been shown to control diverse biological pathways. While some microProteins are encoded as individual genes, we have evidence that other microProteins might be hiding in genes and are dynamically expressed in response to changes in the environment. We aim to dissect light and magnetosensing signaling pathways to understand the biotechnological potential of these small proteins and aim to use them as tools to engineer biosynthetic pathways. In the project we will employ forward, and reverse genetics approaches in Arabidopsis plants and yeast, protein biochemistry and biochemical engineering.

Admission requirements

To fulfil the general entry requirements for studies at third-cycle level the applicant must have qualifications equivalent to a completed degree at second-cycle level or completed course requirements of at least 240 ECTS credits including at least 60 ECTS credits at second-cycle level. To fulfil the specific entry requirements to be admitted for studies at third-cycle level in Plant Science at Umeå Plant Science Centre, the successful candidate must have completed 90 ECTS relevant to the doctoral thesis project. Out of this, at least 30 ECTS have to be in a subject closely related to the research topic of the graduate program. Applicants who have acquired equivalent skills in some other educational system in Sweden or abroad are also eligible.

For this position, we are looking for a person interested in molecular plant biology. We expect the candidate to have an academic background in Plant biology, Agronomy, Biotechnology, or a related field.

The successful applicant should have good skills in written and spoken English. Strong merits include experience with the analysis of large-scale sequencing data and/or plant transformation. We are looking for a creative and initiative rich person who can work independently but who can also collaborate within a larger research group. Evaluation of candidates will be based on the application and on interviews.


You apply through our recruitment system Varbi on May 15, 2024, at the latest. The application may be written in English, Swedish, Norwegian, or Danish and should include:

  • A short (max 2 pages) description of why you are interested in the position
  • CV
  • Certified copies of certificates from higher education
  • List of completed university courses and the grades
  • Copy of publications/degree thesis

  • Contact

    If you have questions regarding the position, please contact Stephan Wenkel, [email protected]

    Documents should be sent electronically, in MS Word or PDF format, trough the recruitment system. The procedure for recruitment for the position is in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance (chapt. 12, 2 §) and the decision regarding the position cannot be appealed. 

    The Department of Plant Physiology values the qualities that an even gender distribution brings to the department, and therefore we particularly encourage women to apply for the position.

    We look forward to your application!

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