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Doctoral Researcher in RNA-based mechanisms

Helsinki, Finland
Closing date
31 May 2024

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Academic Discipline
Biological Sciences, Life sciences
Job Type
Academic Posts, Postdocs
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

The RNAcious laboratory at the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, is recruiting a doctoral researcher to study how pathogens utilize RNA-based mechanisms to further infection in prokaryotic model organisms.

The RNAcious laboratory, led by Dr Peter Sarin, is at the forefront of exploring RNA-based mechanisms that modulate protein synthesis in response to abiotic and biotic stresses. We utilize state-of-the-art LC-MS and RNA-seq techniques to address significant questions in tRNA biology, for example how post-transcriptional tRNA modification dynamics influences host and pathogen translation during infection, how adaptation of tRNA modification affects neoplastic proliferation, and how tRNA modifications may be utilized to tune translation.

We are looking for a skilled doctoral researcher (PhD student) that will work in a vibrant and international research environment as part of a Research Council of Finland funded project on RNA-mediated pathogenicity mechanisms in prokaryotic models. The successful applicant will work on one of two focus areas: (i) characterizing the role and dynamics of viral RNA-based components during virus infection, or (ii) exploring virus infection-mediated changes in archaeal translation. The project entails collaborative aspects with other teams and universities and will be tailored together with the successful applicant based on their interest and prior experience.


Eligible applicants are required to have an applicable second-cycle university degree, an applicable second-cycle degree from a university of applied sciences, or an applicable education at an institution abroad providing eligibility for equivalent higher education in the country in question. The degree must be in a relevant field of research, such as molecular biology, microbiology and/or virology, biochemistry, genetics, or biotechnology, or provide equivalent skills and knowledge.

Prior experience in microbial characterization, translation studies, RNA-seq, and/or applicable bioinformatics is considered an advantage. Furthermore, successful applicants are expected to be competitive in national and international funding schemes. Good communication skills in English (oral and written) are essential, as are enthusiasm for the topic, strong motivation to learn and adapt new skillsets, and readiness to work with diverse teams.

Position details

A successful candidate will be employed initially on a full time, two-year fixed-term contract starting in September 2024 (or at a later date, by agreement). Upon positive evaluation, the contract may be extended to a total of four years (from the original start date of the position). A six-month trial period applies.

The appointee is expected to apply for the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki. The application periods for doctoral education at the University of Helsinki are in February and September. For more information on degree requirements and the application process, please visit

The salary is based on level 2 of the job requirement scheme 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 work performance, which is usually set at 10-18% at the onset of employment. The University of Helsinki offers comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care and health insurance, sports facilities, and opportunities for professional development. The doctoral researcher will also benefit from courses, funding opportunities, and training offered by the University of Helsinki Doctoral School.

Applications for the position should include:

  • A concise cover/motivation letter (no longer than one A4 page).
  • A curriculum vitae, structured as per TENK guidelines (applicable sections, see, including two references.
  • Research statement (max. two A4 pages) consisting of
    • i) a brief description of previous research experience,
    • ii) outline of research skills, and
    • iii) how these skills support one of the two focus areas.
  • Copy of M.Sc. diploma (or equivalent) and a transcript of completed credits.

The requested documents must be compiled in the above-specified order into a single PDF document. Note that compliance to given instructions constitutes a selection criterion.

Contact information

For more information on the position, please contact Dr Peter Sarin by email (

Please submit your application using the University of Helsinki Recruitment System via the Apply now link.

The application deadline is May 31st, 2024.

Discover more

The RNAcious laboratory

Molecular and Integrative Biosciences Research Program

The University of Helsinki ( is an international scientific community of 40,000 students and researchers. It is one of the leading multidisciplinary research universities in Europe. The Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences is Finland’s most high-profile and extensive hub of research and teaching in the field. The Faculty educates experts to meet the needs of universities, research institutes, government, schools and the business sector.

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