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Doctoral Researcher in Food Microbiology/Food Science

Helsinki, Finland
Closing date
10 Jun 2024

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The Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry at the University of Helsinki invites applications for the position of a Doctoral researcher in Food Microbiology/Food Science

The Doctoral researcher will be appointed for a fixed-term 2-year contract (start date: 1 September 2024 or as agreed)  to work in a project entitled “HealthFerm- Innovative pulse and cereal-based food fermentations for human health and sustainable diets” more information at  The position will be supervised by University Lecturer Rossana Coda, at the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry.

Fermented foods are widely consumed in Europe and across the globe because of their sensory characteristics, cultural value and – especially in the past few decades – nutritional and perceived health benefits. However, knowledge on the impact of food fermentation on human health and mechanisms behind such impact is limited due to the lack of dedicated and integrated studies. Such knowledge is required to start designing fermented foods with optimal health benefits instead of relying on spontaneous fermentation processes. Such designed foods will preferentially be plant-based (grain-based) as a shift from diets rich in animal-based products to plant-based diets is key in transitioning towards a more sustainable global food system. Fermentation technology provides opportunities to overcome the challenges associated with the incorporation of plant-based raw materials and, hence, supports the required shift. Rational design will require novel microbial resources and rethinking the approach towards food fermentations

Doctoral researcher: We are looking for a highly motivated and skilled researcher with a Master’s degree and experience in food microbiology, food science, or related field.

A successful candidate should be able to:

  • Identify, design, conduct, and report research within the scope of the project.
  • Contribute to undergraduate student supervision and teaching within the department.
  • Engage with the scientific community, research partners and the wider public, internationally and domestically through scientific publications, conference presentations, press releases, blogs etc.

The candidate is expected to have:

Education, experience and technical skills

  • A relevant Master’s degree including experience in food microbiology/microbiology/food science.
  • Fluency in English and excellent writing skills.
  • Experience in working with basic microbiological techniques.

Personal attributes and competencies

  • Interest in basic and applied food science/food microbiology.
  • Excellent analytical and innovative research planning skills.
  • Experience in microbial cultivation, phenotyping, PCR methods, and fermentation
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, experienced in working within multicultural and multidisciplinary teams.
  • High motivation for academic research, having initiative and capable of working independently as well as in team environments.
  • Values 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. 2400-2600 euros/month, depending on the appointees’ qualifications and experience. A six-month trial period will be applied.

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


Please submit your application as A SINGLE PDF FILE in English using the University of Helsinki Recruitment System.

  1. A cover letter explaining your motivation for the research work and a short research plan (e.g. approach, research materials and methods) (up to 3 pages).
  2. Curriculum vitae showing your education, completed qualifications, work experience, possible list of publications and contact information of 2 persons for references (up to 3 pages). In your CV, please state clearly your experience in microbial cultivation, phenotyping, PCR methods, and fermentation
  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 button.

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

The closing date for applications is 10 June 2024 at 23:59 EEST.

Further information

About us

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.

The Department of Food and Nutrition

The Department of Food and Nutrition is the largest food campus in Finland and provides a dynamic and innovative environment for education and research. The Department has strong chemistry and microbiology expertise. The competence in biotechnologies applied to plant-based food, such as cereals, faba bean, and side-streams, has led to participation to large national and international projects, putting UH team at the forefront of EU research.

Most of the members working in HealthFerm belong to the Grain Technology group. The group studies and imparts knowledge on the physical and chemical characteristics of cereal grains and grain legumes. Its goal is to contribute to the development of wholesome, delicious foods for the world's expanding population. Beta-glucan and other cereal fibers, cereal and pulse proteins, flavor, fermentation and bioprocessing of grain-based raw materials, and grain safety are the main areas of its current research.

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