Postdoc­toral Re­searcher in Car­bo­hydrate En­zymo­logy

Helsinki, Finland
09 Jul 2021
End of advertisement period
15 Aug 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

The University of Helsinki (UH) is an international scientific community of 40,000 students and researchers. It is one of the leading multidisciplinary research universities in Europe and ranks among the top 100 international universities in the world. We are an equal opportunity employer and offer an attractive and diverse workplace in an inspiring environment with a variety of development opportunities and benefits.

The Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry is located on the Viikki campus, ten kilometres from the Helsinki city centre. The mission of the faculty is to promote the sustainable use of renewable natural resources through scientific research and research-based teaching. We focus on agricultural and forest sciences, food and nutrition, microbiology, as well as on economics and management. We cover the full natural resource chain from farm to fork, the entire field of forest sciences from soil chemistry to marketing, as well as the environmental effects of related activities. Graduates from the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry are versatile experts in biosciences and business, able to meet the needs of both the business sector and society at large.

Professor Maija Tenkanen’s research group works at the Department of Food and Nutrition, one of the six units of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry. The department carries out high quality and internationally acknowledged research in its fields and houses up-to-date equipment and laboratories. The department values good connections to industry.

Applications are invited for a position of


in the area of enzymatic oxidation carbohydrates and aryl-alcohols.

Position is for a fixed-term period ending in June 30, 2022 and starting as soon as possible, preferably in September 2021. Possibility for continuation, when further funding is secured.

Professor Maija Tenkanen’s group is working in collaboration with a research team from Aalto University, Finland in developing novel biocatalysts that sustainably generate functional building blocks from oligosaccharides, such as plant-derived hemicellulose fractions, and other renewable molecules, such as lignin-derived compounds, permitting their further uses, for example assembly into novel biopolymers. The specific focus is on extracellular carbohydrate oxidoreductases, but some of the enzymes have interestingly proven to be active also on aryl- and other alcohols.

The successful candidate will become part of a collaborative project team. The main duties will include research (enzyme purification and characterization), dissemination of results including talks and article writing, student supervision and teaching (about 10 % of the annual working time), and participation in suitable external funding applications.

We are looking for a highly motivated, curiosity driven and skilled postdoctoral researcher with a doctoral degree and knowledge in biotechnology, biochemistry, microbiology, organic or analytical chemistry, or other related fields, supported by fluency in English and excellent writing skills.

A successful candidate is expected to be interested in academic research, and to be initiative and capable of research planning and working independently as well as in team environments. The candidate should have a proven capability to publish in scientific journals, have excellent laboratory and methodological skills, and possess teaching skills. We appreciate applicants with a proven track record in multidisciplinary collaboration and genuine interest for applied research and development.

The salary for the position is based on level 5 of the job requirement scheme for teaching and research personnel in the salary system of Finnish universities. In addition, the appointee shall be paid a salary component based on personal work performance. The annual gross salary range varies between 40,000 and 45,000 euros, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience. There is a five-month trial period for the position.

At the Department of Food and Nutrition we offer an opportunity to work in an international, multidisciplinary and well equipped modern research environment supported by skillful technical staff. You would also have possibility to develop your own professional skills and apply for further own funding.

Information on the university as an employer, please see:
10 reasons to work in Helsinki:
Finnish way of life:

Application must have the following enclosures as a single pdf file in English:

  1. A motivation letter including how your expertise fits and could contribute to the specified research area (max 2 pages),
  2. A curriculum vitae (max. 2 pages),
  3. A list of publications,
  4. At least two recommendation letters.

Please submit your application, together with the required attachments, through the University of Helsinki Recruitment System via the Apply for the position link below. Applicants who are employees of the University of Helsinki are requested to leave their application at

The deadline for applications is 15.8.2021.

Further information on the position can be obtained from professor Maija Tenkanen,

In case you need assistance with the University’s electronic recruitment system or SAP HR portal, please contact or

Due date

15.08.2021 23:59 EEST

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