Postdoctor in Microbiology University of Gothenburg Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology Sweden

Postdoctor in Microbiology



Diary id:

PAR 2019/651

Employment level:

Fixed term


Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology

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Research and graduate education at the department of chemistry and molecular biology comprises a wide scientific field from the atomic and molecular levels all the way through cells to intact organisms. Much of the phenomena studied here impact on our natural environment and living systems. We participate in undergraduate programs in chemistry, molecular biology, medicinal chemistry, biology, marine sciences, and pharmacy.


Wastewater treatment is an essential biotechnical process in a modern society. Demands on more efficient treatments increase, especially on nitrogen removal, in order to reduce eutrophication problems in recipients.  Our research group investigates processes, populations dynamics, cellular activities and community composition of microbial organisms primarily in biofilm systems such as for example MBBRs (Moving Bed Biofilm reactors), which are important in biological wastewater treatment. The overall aim is to improve processes.


The project focuses on nitrification and anammox processes in biofilm MBBR systems and on MBBR biofilm structure and activity. The project is financed by FORMAS and is a co-operation between University of Gothenburg and Chalmers Technical University.




Subject area


Metagenomics- and transcription analyses of partial nitritation-anammox (PNA) processes for nitrogen removal from wastewater.

Job assignments


Tasks involve design of experiments and sampling campaigns in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), sampling at WWTPs, specifically from nitrification- and nitritation-anammox biofilms for nitrogen removal. DNA and RNA isolation and sequencing (NGS) is carried out for further metagenomics- and transcription analyzes to study bacterial community composition, population structure and activity. Sequence analyses are carried out using various bioinformatics and multivariate statistics tools.


Biofilms are analyzed using cryo-sectioning/FISH/confocal microscopy to localize and quantify specific microbial populations. Data from WWTP reactors are linked to microbial data and are analyzed to understand the treatment process, but also to understand underlying general ecological mechanisms.



To qualify as a postdoctoral fellow, the applicant must have completed a Swedish doctoral degree or must have a foreign degree corresponding to a Swedish doctoral degree.


Preference will be given to candidates who have been awarded the degree no more than three years before the application deadline and who have not held a post-doc position within the same or similar subject area at the University of Gothenburg for more than one year. Applicants with a degree obtained earlier than the stipulated three years may be preferred if special reasons exists. Special reasons in this context include, but are not limited to, leave due to illness and parental leave.


We seek a highly enthusiastic and motivated person. The successful candidate will be selected based on documented experience in: Design of relevant microbial ecology experiments; DNA and RNA isolation from environmental samples; NGS sequencing of DNA and RNA and analyses of sequences and statistical evaluations; use of R for bioinformatics and multivariate statistics.


The successful candidate should also have documented experience in PCR of microbial populations samples using 16S rRNA, key enzymes and/or 16S rRNA transcripts as target, and in design of PCR-primers for relevant enzymes and populations.


The successful candidate should have documented experience in preparing biofilm samples for cryo-sectioning, fluorescence in situ hybridization  (FISH), design of FISH probes and expertise in advanced confocal-microscopy. Furthermore, we seek a candidate with documented knowledge about nitrogen transformation processes in WWTPs, and physiology and ecology of organisms involved in nitrogen transformations, as well as knowledge on biofilm microbiology and ecology.


The successful candidate has excellent oral and written communication skills in English.



Regulations for the evaluation of qualifications for academic positions are given in Chapter 4, Section 3 - 4 of the Higher Education Ordinance.



Type of employment: Fixed-term employment, 2 years

Extent: 100 %

Location: Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology, Gothenburg

First day of employment: 190801

Appointment procedure


Please apply online


The application shall include:

Cover letter with an explanation of why you apply for the position


CV including scientific publications

Copy of exam certificate

Two references (name, telephone no, relation)

For further information regarding the position


Malte Hermansson, PI, 031-786 2574,



Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg:

How to apply


In order to apply for a position at the University of Gothenburg, you have to register an account in our online recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline. The selection of candidates is made on the basis of the qualifications registered in the application.


Closing date: 2019-05-24




The University of Gothenburg promotes equal opportunities, equality and diversity.


Salary is determined on an individual basis.


Applications will be destroyed or returned (upon request) two years after the decision of employment has become final. Applications from the employed and from those who appeal the decision will not be returned.



The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 47 500 students and 6 400 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract scientists and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future.

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