Doctoral student, the Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine

 

The North changes the world – more sustainable, more intelligent, more humane. We, at the University of Oulu, work as part of the international science community to produce new scientific information and science-based solutions. We are committed to educate future pioneers to build a more sustainable, intelligent and humane world. Creating new, taking responsibility and succeeding together are values that build a strong foundation for all our actions. We offer a working environment where individuals can cultivate their skills, do meaningful work, and develop professionally. Our university's several specialized research and service units enable extensive and diverse development and career opportunities for experts in various fields.

 

We are now looking for a motivated Doctoral student in a project addressing the roles and molecular interactions of collagen XIII (ColXIII) in the neuromuscular junction (NMJ).

Description

Applications are invited for a full-time Doctoral student (max. 4 years) position, starting at the earliest on 1.10.2021 in a research project headed by Professor Taina Pihlajaniemi in the Extracellular matrix & Hypoxia Research Unit, operating at the Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine. Molecular and environmental basis for lifelong health is one of the strategic focus areas of the University.  The doctoral student is enrolled in the Health and Bioscience Doctoral Programme of the University of Oulu Graduate school, which provides support in theoretical and practical training.

We are now looking for a motivated Doctoral student in a project addressing the roles and molecular interactions of collagen XIII (ColXIII) in the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Using murine models we have shown that ColXIII is an essential NMJ component and others have recently shown that mutations in the human gene cause congenital myasthenic syndrome type 19 (CMS19). Using mouse and cell culture models we will identify the network of molecules and the events whereby ColXIII operates in the normal NMJ and the developmental events that lead to CMS19. We will also determine the occurrence of anti-ColXIII autoimmune antibodies in patients with acquired generalized and ocular myasthenia gravis and assess their effects on the NMJ. The studies provide unique opportunities to enhance the understanding of critical motor synapse molecules and facilitate personalized therapies in genetic and acquired myasthenia. The position is fixed-term for 4 years in an Academy of Finland-funded project and it targets to completion of a Doctoral thesis and multiple publications in high-ranked international journals. Besides research, the position includes some teaching duties in an international Master's Programme in Biochemistry.

Qualification requirements

The successful candidate for the Doctoral student position must possess a M.Sc. degree in the field of biochemistry, molecular or cell biology, medical science or related fields. We also invite applications from pre-graduate students from these fields of university studies. In this case, to be eligible for application, the candidate must demonstrate that he/she will graduate at home University not later than 31.12.2021 and also provide 1) an official statement from the home University attesting that all the courses, exams and other qualifications needed for graduation have already been obtained, 2) an official statement from the home University attesting that thesis has been submitted for evaluation and, 3) a letter of support from the candidate’s Supervisor (the minimum acceptable level for supervision is docent / assistant professor).

Prior experience in molecular biology and cell culture-based experiments is required, and proficiency in microscopy is expected. Prior experience in generating or working with experimental mouse models, and knowledge of the research field in question is considered an advantage. Good communication and teamwork skills are appreciated. Fluency in both written and spoken English is required. Most importantly, we expect the candidate to have a high motivation to conduct high-level biomedical research.

What we offer

We offer a research environment with excellent technological facilities and a motivating and supporting international community at the Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, University of Oulu. We can also offer access to state-of-the-art facilities and special expertise through visits to collaborative laboratories outside Oulu when needed. You will have a place in a highly talented research group, working to solve globally significant research problems. University´s wide variety of support services are at disposal, allowing to focus on studies and research work. The position is fixed-term for 4 years as of 1.10.2021 or as soon as possible thereafter. A trial period of 6 months is applied in the position.

Salary

The initial salary for the new Doctoral student will be based on the demand level 2 of the national salary scale for teaching and research personnel of Finnish universities.  In addition, a salary component based on personal work performance will be paid (maximum of 50 % of the job-specific component) and upgraded based on qualification in research work and progress in PhD studies. In practice, the salary of a new doctoral student will be roughly 2300-2500 € / month before taxes. The salary will be evaluated yearly.

How to apply

Applications, together with all relevant enclosures, must be submitted using the electronic application form by August 15, 2021, at 23:59 (Finnish local time, EEST), with the following attachments as three separate pdf files:

1. Complete CV containing contact information of at least two referees (Max. size limit of the attachment: 5 Mbytes)

2. Motivation letter summarizing professional experience and expertise, reasoning interest in this position and describing career plans (1-2 pages; max. size limit of the attachment: 2 Mbytes).

3. Certificates/Diplomas: Scanned electronic copies of diplomas and transcripts of the records of relevant previous degrees. For the candidates who do not yet hold the M.Sc. degree, please provide: 1) an official statement from the home University attesting that the coming graduation date of the candidate is 31.12.2021 at the latest; 2) an official statement from the home University attesting that all the courses, exams and other qualifications needed for graduation have already been obtained; 3) an official statement from the home University attesting that thesis has been submitted for evaluation and, 4) a letter of support from the candidate’s Supervisor (the minimum acceptable level for supervision is docent / assistant professor). (Max. size limit of the attachment: 2 Mbytes)

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. Applications sent by email will not be considered. The eligible applicants fitting best in the research profile expected for the position may be invited to an on-site or remote interview. All applicants will be notified when the selection process is completed.

 

Further information

For further information, please contact Prof. Taina Pihlajaniemi, e-mail: taina.pihlajaniemi (at) oulu.fi or Dr. Anne Heikkinen; e-mail: anne.heikkinen (at) oulu.fi



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