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Doctoral Researcher in Super-Resolution Microscopy

Helsinki University
Helsinki, Finland
2400-2600 euros/month, depending on the appointees qualifications and experience

The University of Helsinki is one of the world s leading universities for multidisciplinary research. HiLIFE Helsinki Institute of Life Science is a research institute that supports high quality life science research across University campuses and faculties. The research activities at the Institute of Biotechnology consist of several research teams focusing on a specific area of molecular biology, cell biology, or biotechnology. For more information, please visit (

TEMPADAPT (Single-molecule visualization of temperature adaptation in sub-cellular dynamics and organization across bacteria) is a 5-year ERC-funded project in the laboratory of Jarno M kel at the Institute of Biotechnology. Most microorganisms lack homeothermic regulation which subjects them to unpredictable fluctuations in environmental temperature. Yet many organisms can withstand severe environmental changes and grow across large temperature ranges while maintaining cellular homeostasis and sub-cellular organization. The project will aim at understanding how temperature affects the cytoplasmic state in bacteria and what the consequences to cellular processes are. To study this, we use state-of-the-art super-resolution microscopy and single molecule tracking to record the movement of individual molecules, such as ribosomes, inside individual live cells. Single molecule dynamics reports on the molecular interactions in real-time, acting as a probe for changes in the cellular environment. The obtained knowledge will help us to understand microorganisms adaptation to different temperatures and the limits of cellular life. 

The HiLIFE - Institute of Biotechnology, M kel Laboratory of Temperature Adaptation in Bacteria, invites applications for

A Doctoral Researcher in Super-Resolution Microscopy

The position will be offered for up to 4 years fully funded. The start date is flexible from June 2023 onwards.

Position description

We are looking for an enthusiastic and motivated doctoral researcher, who is interested in super-resolution microscopy and single-particle tracking, to join our research group for an ERC project. In addition to super-resolution microscopy, the project will apply genetic engineering, RNA-sequencing, machine learning, and modelling to analyze, integrate, and make sense of single-cell and molecule level data. Our team will work on multiple topics at the interface of physics, chemistry, and biology: intracellular spatial organization, macromolecular crowding, liquid-liquid phase separation, heat- and cold-shock protein dynamics, and gene regulation. 

The appointee is expected to work full time on the Ph.D. thesis and to complete the thesis and the associated studies in four years. The successful applicant will apply to be a Ph.D. student in the appropriate Faculty. The Ph.D. degree consists of the student s research project resulting in peer-reviewed publications, studies specific to the research field, as well as transferable skills training.

Selection criteria

A successful candidate will have an MSc (or equivalent) in biophysics, microbiology, computational biology, or other relevant fields, and has demonstrated a keen interest in quantitative approaches. Experience in fluorescence microscopy data analysis and/or modelling of biological systems is recommended. Previous experience with advanced fluorescence microscopy techniques, working with bacteria, and coding skills in Python/R/Matlab or a similar language is considered an advantage. Excellent communication and writing skills in English and the ability to work both independently and collaboratively as part of a multidisciplinary international team are essential. The candidate is expected to meet deadlines and manage their own academic research and associated activities.

Salary and benefits

The starting salary of the doctoral researcher will be 2400-2600 euros/month, depending on the appointees qualifications and experience. A trial period of 6 months will be applied. The University of Helsinki offers comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care, support in access to high quality sports facilities, and vast opportunities for professional development.

How to apply

Please submit your application as a single pdf file, which includes the following documents in English: 

  • A motivation letter including a description of your research interests (max 1 page) 
  • CV (max 2 pages) including a list of publications
  • Contact information of two persons who are willing to provide a reference letter by separate request

Please submit your application, together with the required attachment, through the University of Helsinki s recruitment system by clicking on the Apply for job button.

The deadline for the applications is 31st of May, but the position will be filled once a suitable candidate has been identified.

For more information, please contact the Principal Investigator Jarno M kel (jarno.p.makela(at) or visit our lab website (

Why work with us?

Finland is a member of the EU, has high quality free schooling (also in English), generous family benefits and healthcare, and was recently ranked as the best country in the world for expat families and in the world s top ten most livable cities. Finland and the Helsinki region possess top expertise in sciences in terms of a vibrant talent pool, leading research, strong support services and functioning collaboration networks. For more information about working at the University of Helsinki and living in Finland, please see

Helsinki Institute of Life Science

Helsinki Institute of Life Science (HiLIFE) is an institute established in 2017 that supports high quality life science research across the University campuses and faculties. HiLIFE builds on existing strengths and new recruits and partnerships to create an attractive international environment for researchers to solve grand challenges in health, food, and environment. HiLIFE coordinates research infrastructures in life sciences and provides research-based interdisciplinary training.

University of Helsinki

The University of Helsinki (UH), founded in 1640, is a vibrant scientific community of 40,000 students and researchers. It is one of the leading multidisciplinary research universities and ranks among the top 100 international universities in the world. It is currently investing heavily in life sciences research. UH offers comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care and health insurance, sports facilities, and opportunities for professional development.

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