Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology

Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest higher education institutions with over 37 000 students and about 4 700 employees. The University offers a diversity of high-quality education and world-leading research in several fields. And the groundbreaking discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool, which was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was made here. At Umeå University, everything is close. Our cohesive campuses make it easy to meet, work together and exchange knowledge, which promotes a dynamic and open culture.

The ongoing societal transformation and large green investments in northern Sweden create enormous opportunities and complex challenges. For Umeå University, conducting research about – and in the middle of – a society in transition is what it is all about. But also about delivering education to enable regions to expand quickly and sustainably. This is simply where the future is built.

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One PhD position in plant science with a focus on cell wall dynamics

The Department of Plant Physiology (Umeå University, Umeå Plant Science Centre, Sweden) invites applicants for a PhD position in plant science. The expected starting date is late spring 2023 or according to agreement. 

Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC) is one of the strongest research environments for basic plant research in Europe. Research at UPSC covers a wide range of disciplines in plant biology including ecology, computational biology, genetics, physiology, biochemistry, cell biology and molecular biology (see A PhD student position is open at the Department of Plant Physiology, which is part of Umeå Plant Science Centre. Application deadline is 18 April, 2023.

Project description

We are searching for a highly motivated and talented PhD student to join our research group, which focuses on investigating the dynamic behavior of plant cell walls, specifically the role of the cell wall integrity (CWI) monitoring system in response to environmental changes. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work on a cutting-edge research program that aims to overcome limitations in our understanding of the CWI monitoring system using innovative techniques such as Brillouin microscopy, gene editing, and computational modelling. Depending on the interests of the successful candidate, different research directions, from biophysics to molecular biology, are available for exploration. Our program offers excellent training and career development opportunities in a stimulating and collaborative research environment.

Admission requirements

To fulfill the general entry requirements for studies at third-cycle level, the applicant must have qualifications equivalent to a completed degree at second-cycle level, or completed course requirements of at least 240 ECTS credits including at least 60 ECTS credits at second-cycle level.

To fulfill the specific entry requirements to be admitted for studies at third-cycle level in Plant Science at Umeå Plant Science Centre, the successful candidate must have completed 90 ECTS relevant to the doctoral thesis project. Out of this, at least 30 ECTS have to be in a subject closely related to the research topic of the graduate program. Applicants who have acquired equivalent skills in some other educational system in Sweden or abroad are also eligible.

For this position, we are looking for a person interested in plant biology. We expect the candidate to have an academic background in Plant Biology, Agronomy, Biotechnology or a related field. The following achievements, skills and/or knowledge are required:

  • Experience in standard molecular biological techniques.
  • Very good written and oral English language skills.

Other preferred qualifications 

  • Familiarity with microscopy techniques, especially confocal microscopy.
  • Experience working with cell walls from plants or other organisms.
  • Skills in computational biology, biological modelling and/or biostatistics.
  • Knowledge of biophysics and/or plant biochemistry.
  • Experience with different model plants including Arabidopsis thaliana.
  • Involvement in science communication and outreach activities.

We do not expect the selected candidate to be proficient in all these since the beginning, but they should be eager to learn the required techniques.

On a personal level, we are looking for a good team player who can also work on their own when required. Other personal skills we would like our colleague to have are:

  • Organized and structured.
  • Reliable.
  • Proactive.
  • Self-motivated.

Terms of employment

The employment is expected to result in a doctoral degree and the main assignment for the student is thus to be part of the research education, which includes participation in research but also taking relevant courses. Teaching and other departmental activities (up to a maximum of 20% time) are typically included as well. Employment is limited to four years at full time or up to five years if teaching and other departmental work is performed. The salary is fixed according to the established salary level for doctoral students. 


You apply 18 April 2023 at the latest. The application should be written in English (preferably) or Swedish and should include:

  1.  A motivation letter (max. 2 pages).
  2. A brief research statement (1 page) discussing your research interests (for example, when did you become interested in the field, what knowledge have you gained so far, what research questions in the field you find more interesting, what are your career goals in the long term, etc.).
  3. CV.
  4. Certified copies of certificates from higher education.
  5. List of completed university courses and the grades.
  6. Copy of publications (if any)/degree thesis. 

Documents should be sent electronically, in MS Word or PDF format, through the recruitment system. The procedure for recruitment for the position is in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance (chapt. 12, 2 §) and the decision regarding the position cannot be appealed. 


If you have questions regarding the position, please contact Laura Bacete ( 

The Department of Plant Physiology values the qualities that an even gender distribution brings to the department, and therefore we particularly encourage women to apply for the position.


We look forward to your application!


Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment Senare delen av våren 2023
Salary Månadslön
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-502-23
Union representative
  • SACO, 090-7865365
  • SEKO, 090-7865296
  • ST, 090-7865431
Published 20.Mar.2023
Last application date 18.Apr.2023 11:59 PM CEST

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