Umeå University, Medicinska fakulteten

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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.

We are looking for a PhD student in Medical Science with an orientation towards Molecular Biology and a special interest in bacteriology and, infection biology The position at the Department of Molecular Biology at Umeå University is temporary for four years to start 1 February 2020 or as agreed.

The successful candidate will participate in activities provided by the 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, thus providing interaction with researchers from different research fields and access to various scientific and technical expertises.

Project description and work tasks

An employed doctoral student must primarily devote his or her time to his or her own doctoral research. The main focus of the project will be the characterization of the pathogenic bacteria Acinetobacter baumannii, studying the characteristics of its cell wall. Using state-of-art techniques, the purpose of this project is to gain a greater understanding of the cell wall of this microorganism, looking at processes like peptidoglycan synthesis, recycling, etc.

The aims of the project are to:

• study the biological processes that affect cell-wall composition in Acinetobacter baumannii

• look for novel candidates that could play a role in peptidoglycan synthesis/recycling

• find novel antibiotic targets or other targets that could have a clinical relevance for this pathogen

The selected candidate use techniques such as transposition-sequencing (Tn-seq), HPLC and UPLC analysis of the cell wall, use of mutant libraries for screening and other molecular biology lab procedures, and document and present the findings.


Applicants must hold a University degree equivalent to a European University Master degree of at least 240 credits (ECTS) in Biological and Health Sciences at the time of the recruitment, or equivalent levels of education otherwise acquired in Sweden or abroad. You need to be fluent in spoken and written English which will be evaluated by the postgraduate studies board of the department. Required is a minimum of 30 credits in the main field of chemistry, including at least 7.5 credits biochemistry; 45 credits in the major areas of biology or molecular biology with at least 7.5 credits in genetics and 22,5 credits in the fields of 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 should have documented experience in molecular biology and microbiology techniques, such as cloning, protein expression and purification, constructing allelic-exchange mutants and culturing and studying metabolic processes in diverse bacteria under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Particularly qualifying is previous experience in peptidoglycan sample preparation and analysis by UPLC-MS.

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.

Basis of assessment

The evaluation of the ability and potential to perform well is based primarily on:

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 employment

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 1 February 2020 or as agreed.

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 at the latest 19 December 2019. 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 two 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 (Felipe Cava,

More about us

The Cava lab is part of the Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR) and The Laboratory of Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS), interdisciplinary research centres devoted to top quality research and novel applications in the field of microbiology and infection biology.

You can find more information about us at:, and

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 2020-02-01 or as agreed
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-1889-19
  • Felipe Cava, associate professor,
Union representative
  • SACO, 090-786 53 65
  • SEKO, 090-786 52 96
  • ST, 090-786 54 31
Published 29.Nov.2019
Last application date 19.Dec.2019 11:59 PM CET

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