Doctoral Researcher, Effects of maternal microbial metabolites and EVs on fetal development

The position will be at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Veterinary Biosciences, connected to the multidisciplinary HOH Helsinki One Health research network. We are located at Viikki Campus, together with the Faculties of Agriculture and Forestry, Biological and Environmental Sciences, Pharmacy, and life science research units. The research activities at Viikki are supported by state-of-the-art infrastructures including core facilities e.g. for genome analysis, extracellular vesicle research, proteomics and microscopy, as well as the Viikki Research Farm.


The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine invites applications for the position of a


DOCTORAL RESEARCHER (Effects of maternal microbial metabolites and extracellular vesicles on fetal development)


The appointment is until 31 August 2026. The starting date is as soon as possible after the recruitment decision is made. The position is filled with a 6 month probationary period.


The appointment is in the Academy of Finland research project led by docent Mikael Niku, in the Developmental Interactions Research Group. We investigate the impacts of metabolites and extracellular vesicles generated by maternal microbiota on the fetal development of the immune system, in cell culture models, laboratory mice and large animals (including humans).


For more details on our research, please see the website of the Research Group (below).


The duties of the doctoral researcher include conducting research in the project framework with the aim of achieving doctoral degree in accordance with the degree requirements of the University of Helsinki, supervision of undergraduate students, and other discipline-specific teaching. The teaching duties will cover a maximum of 5% of the total working hours and are quite enjoyable due to our highly motivated students.


We offer


• A compact research group with expert laboratory technicians and supervisors who have time and interest to help you
• Extensive national and international collaboration network with experts on metabolomics, extracellular vesicles, data analysis, microbiology, veterinary and medical research
• Opportunity to obtain versatile skills, knowledge and experience in biological sciences, including immunology, microbiology and metabolomics, cutting edge laboratory methods, bioinformatics and data analysis, scientific communication, and collaborative research


We expect


• MSc or licentiate degree in a relevant field
• Fluent communication skills in English
• Curiosity, genuine interest in science, initiative
• Ability to work in a close team and with an extensive collaboration network, and effectively organize own work and the work of the technical staff
• Motivation to learn new wet lab and data analysis methods (including Unix based bioinformatics tools and R programming) and understand a broad range of biological phenomena


We also appreciate experience in:

• Animal cell culture
• Microbiology, especially anaerobic culture methods
• Immunology
• Metabolomics
• Extracellular vesicle research
• R scripting (or equivalent) and Unix based bioinformatics tools
• Writing (also non-academic)


The University of Helsinki welcomes applicants from a variety of genders, linguistic and cultural backgrounds, and minorities.


Right to pursue a doctoral degree


Please note that the appointee must obtain the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki and approval by a suitable doctoral programme by the end of the 6 month probationary period of the employment, unless having already existing study right. The research plan and other application material will be prepared together with the PhD supervisor(s) in the beginning of the employment period. Alternatively, the Doctoral Researcher may be hired as a Research Assistant until admission to a doctoral programme (if it does not seem possible to obtain the study right to doctoral degree within 6 months because of application periods); the salary will be similar to a Doctoral Researcher position.


Salary and benefits


The salary is based on the job requirement scheme for teaching and research staff according to the salary system of the Finnish universities. In addition, the appointee will be paid a personal salary component. Doctoral researchers start from requirement level 2. In total, the starting gross salary of a doctoral researcher is typically about 2300-2400 EUR per month, and raises gradually as the PhD work progresses.


The requirement level of a doctoral researcher is determined on the basis of progressing in the studies. Doctoral researchers advance to level 3, when they are in the midpoint of completing the work required for the doctoral degree, and eventually to level 4, when the supervisor estimates that the researcher can publicly defend the dissertation in approximately one year.

Occupational health care is provided for university employees. Read more about the employee benefits at the University of Helsinki:


Interested in the position?
Please submit your application and the required attachments through the University of Helsinki Recruitment System.


The application should include
• a motivation letter (max 1 page) with research interests / plans
• a detailed CV with full contact details, education/previous degrees obtained, prior work/research experience, link to the online version of the MSc/licentiate thesis (if available) and list of potential publications (if any), and contact information of one or more previous supervisors, employers, or other references/recommendations
• copy/copies of the diploma(s) of previous degree(s)


The closing date for applications is August the 14th 2022 (23:59 EEST).


Further information


• Position and research project: docent, senior lecturer Mikael Niku, mikael.niku(at), +358294157029
• Recruitment system and applying: HR Specialist Heidi Kauppinen, heidi.m.kauppinen(at), +358504155341 (on vacation in July)

Working at the University of Helsinki
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
HOH Helsinki One Health
Developmental Interactions Research Group (the website will be updated in early July)
Support for international staff

Related to admissions to doctoral studies


Application process to doctoral education (including demonstration of language proficiency)
About doctoral schools and programmes

Do you have a username and a valid employment contract, a grant researcher's contract, a visiting researcher's or visiting professor's contract at the University of Helsinki? Log in here to apply to our open positions.

Deadline: 2022-08-14 at 23:59
Unit: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

Read the job description at the university homepage or apply.

Post expires on Sunday August 14th, 2022