PhD student in Molecular mechanisms underpinning plant nitrogen uptake

Updated: about 2 months ago

The Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology was founded in the late 1970s - when the College of Forestry moved to Umeå. The number of employees has since grown steadily is now around 100, including postdoctoral researchers and postgraduate students. In the late 1990s it was decided to join with the Department of Plant Physiology at Umeå University to form a research center, Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC). The Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology moved into the premises adjacent to the partner department and together have developed a close and successful collaboration on research issues, technology platforms, and training of master's and doctoral level students. The international element within UPSC is large, with over 40 nationalities represented.

The department conducts introductory and advanced training in plant physiology, ecophysiology, plant molecular biology, forest genetics and forest biotechnology within the Forestry program and at the master level.

The department offers postgraduate studies in biology, specializing in plant physiology, ecophysiology, plant molecular biology and forest genetics. Postgraduate courses are generally held in cooperation with the Department of Plant Physiology.
For more information about the Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology and UPSC visit


The project is focused on the molecular mechanisms enabling for plants to acquire various forms of nitrogen from soil. Several ground-breaking discoveries on plant nitrogen nutrition have been made within the research group and the new position will further this knowledge by focusing on the molecular regulation of plant nitrogen uptake, the interplay between different nitrogen forms and the interplay between involved proteins. A special focus will be put on the regulation of transport proteins, which are able to take up various forms of N. The study will investigate potential regulatory steps on all levels, starting from transcriptional regulation of involved genes to post-translational modifications of the respective proteins. The interaction profile of target proteins will be investigated and a functional characterization of this transporter interactome will be performed.


The applicant is required to have completed a second-cycle level degree, or completed course requirements of at least 240 ECTS credits, of which at least 60 ECTS credits are at second-cycle level, or have an equivalent education from overseas, or equivalent qualifications. The successful candidate must have completed 90 ECTS credits with relevance to biology. Out of this, at least 15 ECTS credits has to be in a subject closely related to the research topic of the graduate program as well as an independent project work of at least 15 ECTS credits in an area relevant for the project. The English language entry requirement is the equivalent of English studies at upper secondary (high school) in Sweden, called English Course B/English 6. The applicant should have a strong interest for molecular biology. It will be beneficial if the candidate has a strong background in molecular plant biology, plant nutrient uptake and hands-on experience with Arabidopsis thaliana.

General molecular wet-lab experience such as gene-expression analysis, molecular cloning and enzymatic assays will be advantageous. In addition, protein biochemical methods such as western blotting, protein-protein interaction approaches, protein stability assays and heterologous gene expression (in yeast, bacteria and plants) will be beneficial. Experience with plant transport proteins will be highly profitable.

The successful candidate is expected to have good social skills and the ability to do research independently, as well as in a team.

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Employment 4 years

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We welcome your application no later than 2021-04-29, use the button below.

A person has basic eligibility for third cycle education if he or she has taken a second cycle qualification or has completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, including at least 60 higher education credits at second cycle education. Upper secondary school grades equivalent to English B/English 6 are a basic requirement.

Selection among applicants meeting the requirements is made with reference to written application including curriculum vitae, copies of degrees and transcripts of academic records, one copy of the dissertation for masters or undergraduate degree, a list of at least two references familiar with the applicant's qualifications, certified knowledge of the English language and an interview.

Please observe that applicant/s chosen to participate in an interview shall hand in certified true copies of certificates, diplomas and transcripts from previous studies at an internationally recognized higher education institution (university or university college) and transcripts in connection to the interview. If the applicant is a foreign citizen we require a certified copy of the page in your passport with your personal data and photography.

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The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) develops the understanding and sustainable use and management of biological natural resources. The university ranks well internationally within its subject areas. SLU is a research-intensive university that also offers unique degree programmes in for example rural development and natural resource management, environmental economics, animal science and landscape architecture.

SLU has just over 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and a turnover of SEK 3 billion. The university has invested heavily in a modern, attractive environment on its campuses in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala.

SLU is an equal opportunity employer.

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