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Doctoral Researchers For Two Projects Dealing With Food Spoilage And Human Perception

Helsinki, Finland
Closing date
3 Dec 2023

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The positions will be at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Food Hygiene. We are located at Viikki Campus, together with the Faculties of Agriculture and Forestry, Biological and Environmental Sciences, Pharmacy, and life science research units. The research activities at Viikki are supported by state-of-the-art infrastructures including core facilities e.g. for genome and metabolome analysis.

The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine invites applications for TWO DOCTORAL RESEARCHERS (PhD students)

There will be two projects: 1) Longitudinal RNA-based food spoilage markers and 2) Human perception of volatilomes produced by microbiomes spoiling perishable foods. The appointments will be made for two to four years depending on the project. The starting date is as soon as possible after the recruitment decision is made. The positions are filled with a 6 month probationary period.

The appointments are either in the Novo Nordisk Foundation distinguished investigator project or Research Council of Finland consortium research project led by Professor Johanna Björkroth, in the Food Spoilage Research Group. We investigate the specific spoilage organisms and microbiomes developing in the course of time and how the microbial metabolites cause food spoilage and human rejection. For possible more details on our research, please contact Professor Johanna Björkroth.

The duties of the doctoral researcher include conducting research in the project framework with the aim of achieving a doctoral degree in accordance with the degree requirements of the University of Helsinki, supervision of undergraduate students, and other discipline-specific teaching. The teaching duties will cover a maximum of 5 % of the total working hours and are quite enjoyable due to our highly motivated students.

We offer

  • A compact, international research group with expert laboratory technicians and supervisors who have time and interest to supervise you
  • Extensive national and international collaboration network with experts on microbiology, molecular biology, bioinformatics, metabolomics, sensory evaluation, food science and veterinary medicine
  • Opportunity to obtain versatile skills, knowledge and experience in biological sciences, including food hygiene, microbiology and metabolomics, cutting edge laboratory methods, bioinformatics and data analysis, scientific communication, and collaborative research

We expect

  • MSc or licentiate degree in a relevant field
  • Fluent communication skills in English
  • Curiosity, genuine interest in science, initiative
  • Ability to work in a close team and with an extensive collaboration network, and effectively organize own work and the work of the technical staff
  • Motivation to learn new wet lab and data analysis methods (including Linux based bioinformatics tools and R programming) and understand a broad range of biological phenomena

We also appreciate experience in:

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular biology
  • Metabolomics
  • R scripting (or equivalent) and Linux based bioinformatics tools
  • Scientific writing

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

Right to pursue a doctoral degree

Please note that the appointee must obtain the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki and approval by a suitable doctoral programme by the end of the 6 month probationary period of the employment, unless having already existing study right. The research plan and other application material will be prepared together with the PhD supervisor(s) in the beginning of the employment period.

Salary and benefits

The salary is based on the job requirement scheme for teaching and research staff according to the salary system of the Finnish universities. In addition, the appointee will be paid a personal salary component. Doctoral researchers start from requirement level 2. In total, the starting gross salary of a doctoral researcher is typically around 2400 EUR per month, and raises gradually as the PhD work progresses.

The requirement level of a doctoral researcher is determined based on progressing in the studies. Doctoral researchers advance to level 3, when they are in the midpoint of completing the work required for the doctoral degree, and eventually to level 4, when the supervisor estimates that the researcher can publicly defend the dissertation in approximately one year.

Read about the employee benefits at the University of Helsinki:

Interested in the position?
Please submit your application and the required attachments preferably as a single PDF file through the University of Helsinki Recruitment System.

The application should include

  • a motivation letter (max 1 page) with research interests / plans
  • a detailed CV with full contact details, education/previous degrees obtained, prior work/research experience, link to the online version of the MSc/licentiate thesis (if available) and list of potential publications (if any), and contact information of one or more previous supervisors, employers, or other references/recommendations
  • copy/copies of the diploma(s) of previous degree(s)

The closing date for applications is 3 December 2023 (23:59 EEST).

Further information

Related to admissions to doctoral studies

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