Postdoctoral Researcher, NMR Research Unit

The University of Oulu in Northern Finland, with approximately 15000 students and 3000 employees, is an international, multidisciplinary research university with a rich pool of creative and intellectual talent. The strengths of the University are broad, multidisciplinary research interests, a modern research and study environment, and wide cooperation with international research and educational institutes (


We are now looking for a Postdoctoral Researcher related to research on development of metal-free catalytic systems for parahydrogen-based NMR hyperpolarization techniques.


The faculty and the research group

The position is located at the NMR Research Unit (, in the Faculty of Science. We are an internationally established, combined experimental and theoretical team of about 20 people, of which 50% with a PhD degree. We develop experimental, theoretical and computational research methods based on magnetic resonance phenomena and apply those methods to topical problems in molecular and materials sciences. Our particular strength is in the tight connection between state-of-the-art measurements and calculations. We have an open and encouraging working atmosphere and have a substantial track record in successful funding applications both at the Academy of Finland and in EU programmes. We are a key user of the NMR laboratory facility of the University of Oulu, furnished with six spectrometers (300-600 MHz) suited for an unusually broad variety of studies (wide range of nuclei, gas/liquid/solid, different sample sizes, imaging capabilities, diffusion probe, micro CryoProbe, remote detection, spin-exchange optical pumping/parahydrogen-induced/SABRE hyperpolarization), two low-field, mobile NMR spectrometers as well as nuclear magneto-optic instrumentation. CPU-intensive computational research is carried out mainly using the facilities of the national supercomputer center. Local Linux clusters belonging to the Finnish Grid and Cloud Infrastructure are used for high-throughput production calculations.

Open position

The position is a part of Academy Project “Parahydrogen biosensors for hypersensitive NMR analysis” provided by the Academy of Finland.

The research direction of the position is briefly described in the following: The project aims at development of metal-free activators of H2 molecules capable of producing nuclear spin hyperpolarization upon activation of parahydrogen, increasing NMR sensitivity by orders of magnitude. Typically, metal-containing activators/catalysts are used in parahydrogen-based hyperpolarization techniques. We develop more biogenic metal-free catalytic systems that can be used to create hypersensitive NMR chemosensors for biomolecular studies.

Qualification requirements

The successful applicant must have a completed PhD in physics, chemistry, materials science, or a related field. The applicants must show a visible scientific profile. Significant experience in experimental NMR spectroscopy and other physical methods of analysis are to be documented for this position. Strong skills in synthetic and experimental organic chemistry are valuable to the project. Experience in the application of computational methods for studies of chemical reactivity is considered as an advantage. The project requires computer experience in data analysis (Excel, Origin, Matlab).

Fluent English, good communication skills and good teamwork skills are required. Further, demonstrated potential in acquiring supplementary (extramural) funding, and teaching experience will be taken as a merit when choosing the scientist. When assessing the applicant’s qualifications, issues to be considered will include scientific publications, thesis supervision, activity in the scientific community, practical familiarity with the field in question, scientific work abroad, and other international activities.

As part of the NMR Research Unit, the duties also include supervising scientific research of BSc, MSc and PhD students as well participation in important research activities of the group. Participation in teaching within the physics curriculum and acquiring research funding are naturally expected.

What we offer

  • We offer you a place in a highly talented research group, working to solve globally significant research problems.
  • University´s wide variety of support services are at your disposal, allowing you to focus on your research work.
  • In addition to modern research facilities, we offer you personnel benefits such as free occupational healthcare, affordable sport services and endless opportunities to develop your skills and competences.
  • Regular salary is paid 12 months per year, including paid leave and an additional holiday bonus in the summer.
  • The successful candidate will receive also benefits provided by the Finnish government to residents, for example possibility to obtain access to the national healthcare system, tax benefits for employees with children and high-quality, affordable childcare services.


A salary in accordance with the Finnish universities salary system (for teaching and research personnel): level 5-6. In addition, a salary component based on personal work performance will be paid (maximum of 50% of the job-specific component). The salary is thus in practice roughly 3400–4000 € per month, depending on the appointee’s qualifications, experience and the progress in the research. A trial period of six months is applied in the position.


How to apply

Applications, together with all relevant enclosures, should be submitted using the electronic application form by 10th of May 2021. The application should be written in English and include the following:

1)     A motivation letter (max. 2 pages) summarizing applicant’s professional experience and expertise and describing why applicant is interested in about this position. Also, information on personal research interests, experience and career plans are valuable to provide here

2)     Curriculum vitae (max. 4 pages) in accordance with the guidelines of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity

3)     List of publications based on the guidelines of the Academy of Finland: [with ten most important indicated]

4)     A research plan, max. 3 pages

5)     Certificates/Diplomas: Scanned copy of the original doctoral degree certificate and transcript of records and, when necessary, official translations to Finnish or English

6)     Contact information of two senior/experienced researchers who may be asked to give a statement on the candidate

Only applications containing all relevant appendices and submitted through the online recruitment system will be considered. Top candidates will be invited to an on-site or remote interview.


Further information

The position is fixed-term for 2 years as of 1 June 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter. A trial period of 6 months is applied in the position.

For further information, please contact Assoc. Prof. Vladimir Zhivonitko, Faculty of Science, NMR Research Unit, vladimir.zhivonitko(at)

About Oulu, Finland

Finland is one of the most livable countries in the world, with a high quality of life, safety, excellent education system, and competitive economy. The Oulu region is home to over 200 000 people making it the largest urban centre in the Nordics and one of the fastest growing regions in northern Finland. Oulu is a combination of beautiful, northern nature, vivid cultural life and modern technology. Oulu is also known for its highly-educated people and friendly, easy-going atmosphere. Living in Oulu is easy – everything is only max. 20 minutes away! Find out more about Oulu:

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