PhD-student in Molecular Biophysics Uppsala University Department of Cell and Molecular Biology Sweden

PhD-student in Molecular Biophysics


Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our mission is to pursue top-quality research and education and to interact constructively with society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has 44.000 students, 7.100 employees and a turnover of SEK 7 billion.


The Department of Cell and Molecular Biology is one of the most international, broad and distinguished molecular bioscience departments in Europe. The department is located at the Biomedical Center (BMC) in Uppsala ( and comprises seven research programs with about 230 employees. Please read more at (


Project summary

Significant changes are taking place in photon science through the development of powerful X-ray lasers, capable of producing extremely intense and ultra-short X-ray pulses ( These are the most brilliant sources of X-rays to date, exceeding the peak brilliance of conventional synchrotrons by a factor of 10 billion. Our aim is to study structural heterogeneity in biology and to observe the conformational landscape of complex proteins for the first time. Theory predicts that with an ultra-short and extremely bright coherent X-ray pulse, a single diffraction pattern may be recorded from a large macromolecule before the sample explodes and turns into a plasma, something we have successfully demonstrated for viruses and living cells.


Many proteins are dynamic structures that fluctuate between conformational states and these transitions are key to its function. Given the ultra-short pulse length and high data-rate of free-electron lasers, collected data could give access to the conformational states and thus be used to study protein dynamics at a very high time resolution. This does, however, pose great challenges in terms of data analysis and machine learning, to be able to sort through hundreds of thousands of diffraction patterns and from there determine a three-dimensional structure. This challenge will be the focus of the PhD studies. This is a truly interdisciplinary research area that brings together physics, biology and data science.



The Ph.D. student shall primarily focus on postgraduate studies, but other duties related to teaching and administrative work may be involved, up to a maximum of 20 % of the time. Information about doctoral education, eligibility requirements and admission rules can be found at the faculty website, http://www.



Motivated candidates with an academic degree at the Masters level in natural sciences are invited to apply for this position. A good background in physics, mathematics, or biophysics is required, however, due to the interdisciplinary nature of the project other areas may also be considered. Excellent knowledge of spoken and written English is an absolute requirement. Personal characteristics such as interpersonal skills and independence are also important factors.



Knowledge of machine learning and previous programming experience are considered an advantage.


The application

Your application must be written in English and include:


    A personal letter where you describe yourself, your research interest, your experiences and why you are interested in the position (max. 2 pages).

    A CV containing your education and other qualifications and a copy of diplomas, list of publications.

    Candidates are encouraged to provide letters of recommendation or contact information to two reference persons.


Rules governing PhD students are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala University's rules and guidelines


Uppsala University strives to be an inclusive workplace that promotes equal opportunities and attracts qualified candidates who can contribute to the University’s excellence and diversity. We welcome applications from all sections of the community and from people of all backgrounds.


Salary: According to the local agreement for PhD students and teaching assistants.


Starting date: from 2019-06-01, or by agreement as soon as possible thereafter.


Type of position: Temporary full-time position.


For further information about the position, please contact Filipe Maia, tel: +46 70 425 0171,, for administrative questions contract Hr-generalist Frida (Nilsson) Österdahl, tel. +46(0) 18471 4416, e-mail


Please submit your application by 2019-05-31, UFV-PA 2019/1076


Are you considering moving to Sweden to work at Uppsala University? If so, you will find a lot of information about working and living in Sweden at You are also welcome to contact International Faculty and Staff Services at


Please do not send offers of recruitment or advertising services. Applications must be submitted as described in this advertisement.


Placement: Department of Cell and Molecular Biology


Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position longer than 6 months


Pay: Fixed salary


Number of positions: 1


Working hours: 100 %


Town: Uppsala


County: Uppsala län


Country: Sweden


Union representative: Seko Universitetsklubben




Number of reference: UFV-PA 2019/1076


Last application date: 2019-05-31


If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Bioloxy


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