Doctoral Researcher in Molecular Nutrition

Helsinki, Finland
30 May 2023
End of advertisement period
12 Jun 2023
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

The Doctoral Researcher will be appointed for a fixed-term 4-year contract (Start date: September 1, 2023) to work in a project entitled “Fibre-rich protein sources for promoting gut friendly plant-based foods”. The position will be supervised by Associate Professor Anne-Maria Pajari (Department of Food and Nutrition), Docent Antti Karkman (Department of Microbiology), and Docent Susanna Kariluoto (Department of Food and Nutrition), from two of the six units of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry.

The project aims to improve fibre-rich plant protein sources by removing or reducing compounds causing unpleasant gut symptoms. This will be achieved by applying different processing techniques on food raw materials to identify the most effective treatments in reducing the symptom causing compounds. The efficiency of the treatments will be validated in gut symptom sensitive volunteers in a set of intervention trials, and the underlying molecular mechanisms will be elucidated by analysing the composition and metabolic activity of the gut microbiota.


We are looking for a highly motivated and skilled researcher with a Master’s degree and experience in nutritional physiology and molecular nutrition, or related field. Studies and experience in microbiology (human gut), food chemistry, statistical data analysis and bioinformatics are advantageous, and willingness to extend expertise to at least one of these areas is required. 

A successful candidate should be able to:

  • Design, conduct, and report research within the scope of the project
  • Contribute to undergraduate student supervision and teaching within the departments
  • Contribute to preparing funding and travel grant applications
  • Engage with the scientific community, research partners and the wider public through scientific publications and conference presentations

The candidate is expected to have:

Education, experience and technical skills

  • A relevant Master’s degree, including experience in working in a laboratory environment
  • Fluency in English and excellent writing skills
  • Personal attributes and competencies
  • Excellent analytical and innovative research planning skills
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, experienced in working within multicultural and multidisciplinary teams
  • High motivation for academic research, having initiative and capability of working independently as well as in team environments
  • Willingness to continuous improvement based on constructive evaluation, self-reflection and learning

The appointee should either already have the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki by the start of the appointment or apply for the right and obtain it within the probationary period of six months of their appointment. If the candidate does not already have the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki, it must be applied for separately, please see:

The starting salary of the Doctoral researcher will be based on level 2 of the demands level chart for teaching and research personnel in the salary system of Finnish universities. In addition, the appointee will be paid a salary component based on personal performance. The starting salary of the Doctoral researcher will be ca. 2200-2400 euros/month, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience.

The University of Helsinki offers comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care and health insurance, sports facilities, and opportunities for professional development. A six-month trial period will be applied.


Please submit your application as a single pdf file using the University of Helsinki Recruitment System.

  1. A concise cover letter explaining the applicant’s motivation for the research work.
  2. Curriculum vitae showing the applicant's education, completed qualifications, work experience, possible list of publications and contact information of 2 persons for references (max 3 pages).
  3. Copies of Master's, and Bachelor's degree certificates and official transcripts of the records, and their translations, if the originals are not in Finnish, Swedish or English.

External applicants, please submit your application using the University of Helsinki Recruitment System via the Apply Now button.

Applicants who have a username and a valid employment contract, a grant researcher's contract or a visiting researcher's contract at the University of Helsinki are requested to leave their application by using the employee login.

The University of Helsinki welcomes applicants from a variety of genders, linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

The closing date for applications is 12 June 2023 at 23:59 EEST.

Further information about the position may be obtained from Associate Professor Anne-Maria Pajari (, Docent Antti Karkman  ( or Docent Susanna Kariluoto (

About us

The Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry is located on the Viikki campus, ten kilometers 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.   

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