Umeå University, Medicinska fakulteten

Umeå University is dedicated to providing creative environments for learning and work. We offer a wide variety of courses and programmes, world leading research, and excellent innovation and collaboration opportunities. More than 4 300 employees and 33 000 students have already chosen Umeå University. We welcome your application!

The Faculty of Medicine, which consists of 13 departments, is responsible for biomedical research and courses in the field of nursing and health care and has an extensive research and graduate education in more than 80 subjects.

PhD position in Molecular Biology

We are looking for a PhD student in Medical Science with an orientation towards Molecular Biology and a special interest in Malaria parasite – host interactions. The position at the Department of Molecular Biology at Umeå University is temporary for four years to start immediately or as agreed.

The PhD student will participate in activities provided by the Department of Molecular Biology, the Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS), Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR) and the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine.

PhD project

The malaria parasite invades and proliferates within red blood cells. The disease outcome for any one malaria infection is determined by the interplay between the host and parasite. The ability of the parasite to adhere and sequester to organs is critical for the parasite to cause disease, and is in turn dependent on the export of a large number of parasite proteins. In our lab we are interested in the role of exported proteins in host-parasite interactions using primarily the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei.

A genome-wide KO screen in P. berghei has highlighted the essential nature of protein export mechanism for parasite growth. However, the diverse cargo exported by the parasite is characterised by a high level of redundancy.  Exported proteins are at the coalface of this interaction, and thus diversity is required to interact with a variable host and environment. The PhD project aims to test the hypothesis that the role of a subset of exported cargo proteins will only become measurable under pressure of host immune system. Techniques like mutant barcode sequencing will be employed to in-depth explore the function of exported proteins using a series of immune-competent, immune-compromised and immune-boosted mouse genetic backgrounds. Furthermore, we will build on positive preliminary data showing that this method can be used to quantify barcoded mutants sequestered to different organs.


To be admitted for studies at third-cycle level the applicant is required to have completed a second-cycle level degree, or completed course requirements of at least 240 ECTS credits, of which at least 60 ECTS credits are at second-cycle level, or have an equivalent education from abroad or equivalent qualifications. Required is a minimum of 30 credits in chemistry, including at least 7.5 credits biochemistry; 45 credits in biology or molecular biology with at least 7.5 credits in genetics and 22,5 credits in microbiology, physiology and cell-and molecular biology. Additionally, at least 45 credits from second cycle studies in cell- and molecular biology including an independent work of at least 15 credits is required. You also need to be fluent in spoken and written English, which will be evaluated by the postgraduate studies board of the department.


You should be highly motivated and able to work productively in a team as well as independently. Excellent communication skills for interacting effectively with senior colleagues and peers are required.

The successful applicant has experience in molecular biology including DNA handling and manipulation. Previous experience in working with and transfecting malaria parasites is an advantage.

Basis of assessment

  1. Knowledge and skills relevant to doctoral studies within the research area
  2. The ability to formulate and solve scientific questions.
  3. Skills in written and oral communication in English.
  4. Other experience relevant to doctoral studies, such as professional experience.

Good collaborative skills, drive and independent work ability are considered as positive merits.

A selection will be made among qualified applicants on the basis of their qualifications and their ability to benefit from studies at the doctoral level. After the selection of the suitable candidate, the process for the admission to doctoral studies will commence. An admission decision will not be taken by the faculty’s director of studies until an individual study plan has been approved by the departmental admission board.

About the position

The position is intendent to result in a doctoral degree and is limited to four years full-time. If part-time teaching (max. 20%) can be offered, the employment period can be extended.

Access as soon as possible or by appointment.

Wage placement takes place according to the established salary ladder for doctoral student employment. According to the Higher Education Ordinance (Chapter 12, Section 2), the decision on employment cannot be appealed.

How to apply

You apply through our recruitment system. Your application must contain the following documents written in English or Swedish:

  • A CV with information on education, a list of previous and current employments, and a list of publications.
  • Copies of relevant degrees
  • A cover letter describing research experience and interests, motivation for applying for the position
  • Contact details of one to three references.


Union information is available from SACO, +46-(0)90-786 53 65, SEKO, +46-(0)90-786 52 96 and ST, +46-(0)90-786 54 31.

For questions regarding the position contact Ellen Bushell,

More about us

The Bushell lab is based at Department of Molecular Biology part of The Laboratory of Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS, ), which is the Swedish node within the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine.

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment Start immediately or as agreed
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-272-19
  • Ellen Bushell, Forskare,
Union representative
  • SACO, 090-786 53 65
  • SEKO, 090-786 52 96
  • ST, 090-786 54 31
Published 14.Feb.2019
Last application date 28.Feb.2019 11:59 PM CET

Return to job vacancies