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Doctoral Researcher in Virus-host interactions

Employer
UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI
Location
Helsinki, Finland
Closing date
17 Jun 2024

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

The research group of Dr. Tero Ahola, studying RNA virus replication and antivirals, in the Department of Microbiology, University of Helsinki, is recruiting a doctoral researcher to study virus – host cell interactions in alphaviruses.

Viruses with RNA genomes cause most of the emerging and re-emerging infectious disease epidemics. Alphaviruses are mosquito-borne viruses causing febrile disease, found both in tropical and temperate regions. The project aims to establish a comprehensive view of host interaction during alphavirus replication by identifying host proteins that assist in virus replication. We aim to understand the specific actions that each host factor performs during virus replication. The proteins could assist e.g. in the modification of host cell membranes, as viruses rearrange the membranes to create protective replication vesicles. The host proteins important for virus replication are attractive new targets for antiviral drugs. The starting point of the project is a large proteomics dataset, so the project can be tailored together with the successful applicant based on their interest and prior experience. The work could include detailed virological, cell biological, or biochemical/structural characterization of the selected protein(s). We are supported by top-level local core facilities in proteomics, as well as light and electron microscopy and sequencing. The project entails collaboration with other teams and universities. 

Qualifications

Eligible applicants are required to have an M.Sc. or equivalent degree, which must be in a relevant field of research, such as molecular biology or cell biology, microbiology and/or virology, biochemistry, genetics, or biotechnology, to provide applicable skills and knowledge.

Prior experience in molecular or cell biology, biochemistry or virology is considered an advantage. The appointee is also expected to have the readiness to apply for 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

The doctoral researcher (PhD student) will be appointed for four years, at the maximum, on a fixed term employment contract starting in September 2024 (or later, by agreement) and extending until August 2028. A six-month trial period will be applied.

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. The starting salary is typically ca. 2400-2600 euros/month. The University of Helsinki offers comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care, sports facilities, and opportunities for professional development. The doctoral researcher will benefit from courses, funding opportunities, and training offered by the University of Helsinki Doctoral School.

The appointee should apply for 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: https://www.helsinki.fi/en/research/doctoral-education/the-application-process-in-a-nutshell. For more information on degree requirements and the application process, please visit https://www.helsinki.fi/en/research/doctoral-school.

How to apply

Please submit your application as a single pdf file in English using the University of Helsinki Recruitment System. Include the following:

  1. A concise cover/motivation letter (no longer than one page), including the names and contact information for two references
  2. A curriculum vitae, structured as per TENK guidelines (applicable sections, see https://tenk.fi/en/advice-and-materials/template-researchers-curriculum-vitae)
  3. Research statement (max. two pages) consisting of
    1. a brief description of previous research experience,
    2. outline of research skills, and
    3. how these skills could support this research
  4. 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.

The closing date for applications is 17 June 2024.

We will process applications already during the application period.

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

Applicants who have a helsinki.fi 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. 

Further information

Discover more

The PI, Dr. Tero Ahola: https://researchportal.helsinki.fi/en/persons/tero-ahola

The University of Helsinki (https://www.helsinki.fi/en) is an international scientific community of 40,000 students and researchers. It is one of the leading multidisciplinary research universities in Europe. The Viikki campus (https://www.helsinki.fi/en/about-us/university-helsinki/campuses/viikki-campus) is one of the largest hubs of bioscience in Europe, with four faculties, research institutes and core facilities. The department of Microbiology focuses on microbial ecology and evolution, as well as the application of microbiology in agriculture and forestry, food production, medicine, environmental sciences and microbial biotechnology https://www.helsinki.fi/en/faculty-agriculture-and-forestry/research/microbiology.

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