Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology

The Department of Chemistry is opening a PhD position in Chemistry with a specialization in biochemistry. The thesis project will focus on characterizing protein glycosylation in a major group of species of the human microbiome. The position is for four years of doctoral studies, including participation in research and postgraduate courses. The last day to apply is May 31, 2024. Expected starting date is beginning of September/2024 or by agreement.


Project description and tasks

The species that compose the human gut microbiome are poorly characterized at their molecular level, despite their important roles to keep a healthy state. The presence of pathogenic species or imbalances in the composition of commensal species are associated with disease. The doctoral studies are aimed at a doctoral degree where the main task is research within our effort to understand how microbial communities assemble and can be modulated towards healthy states.

In your PhD studies, you will use molecular biology/biochemistry and analytical chemistry approaches to characterize the glycosylation patterns that are prevalent in surface proteins of one of the major species groups of the human microbiome (species of the Bacteroidota phylum). This will involve using mass spectrometry and NMR based approaches, as well as synthetic biology techniques, to gain molecular insight into this protein modification. You will also identify and characterize the enzymatic pathways responsible for this modification. You will learn how to use advanced bacterial culture conditions to grow the species of the human gut microbiome in the absence of oxygen. You will also learn how to analyze large datasets.

At Umeå University, you will be immersed in a strong research environment at the Department of Chemistry and the Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS), and have the chance to use the multiple facilities (e.g., NMR, metabolomics, protein expression, cryoEM) for a successful PhD. In addition to the research assignment, participation in postgraduate courses is also included.


To be admitted for studies at third-cycle level you are 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.

To fulfil the specific entry requirements to be admitted for studies at third-cycle level in chemistry, you are required to have completed first-cycle courses of at least 90 ECTS credits within the field of chemistry or another subject considered to be directly relevant to the specialization in question. Of those 90 ECTS credits, at least 15 ECTS credits shall have been acquired at second-cycle level within the specialization or an equivalent subject. The eligibility requirements must be met at the time of admission, but do not need to be met when you submit your application.


Additional required qualifications are:

  • Basic experience in the lab
  • Background knowledge of chemistry, biochemistry, or related areas
  • Background knowledge of NMR and mass spectrometry
  • Good oral and written proficiency in English

Merits are:

  • Hands-on experience with NMR and/or mass spectrometry
  • Hands-on experience with biochemistry/molecular biology techniques (e.g., bacterial culture, cloning)
  • Programming skills (e.g., in R or python)


Consideration will also be given to candidates that strive to work independently, take initiative, and cooperate with the research group. You should also have good oral and verbal skills to communicate your science. Finally, you are engaged to enjoy pursuing a 4-year degree.


About the employment

The position is intended to result in a doctoral degree. The main task of the PhD student is to pursue their doctoral studies, including participation in research and doctoral courses. The duties can include teaching and other departmental work (up to 20%). The employment is limited to the equivalent of four years of full-time (48 months) or up to five years for teaching part-time. Salary is set in accordance with the established salary levels for PhD positions. The employment starts at the beginning of September/2024 or according to agreement.

As employees at Umeå University PhD students are granted social benefits, such as parental leave, holiday leave, and occupational health services. Read more about the benefits of being an employee at Umeå University here:


You apply via our e-recruitment system Varbi. Log in and apply via the button at the bottom of the page. The deadline for applications is May 31, 2024.

The application, written in English, should include:

  • a personal letter with a brief description of why you are applying for the position, and how your qualifications and research interests are relevant to the doctoral project described above (no more than 2 pages),
  • a curriculum vitae,
  • copies of degree certificates, diplomas or equivalent, including documentation of completed academic courses, grades obtained, and other certificates of relevance to the described project,
  • contact information for at least two reference persons.


Further information

Further information is provided by assistant professor André Mateus,


Welcome with your application!

About us
The Department of Chemistry is one of the largest departments within the Faculty of Science and Technology with approximately 200 employees and strong and expanding research. The Department has four major research areas: Biological Chemistry, IBEAM, Organic chemistry and Technical Chemistry. We are also a strong partner in the KBC, Chemical-Biological Center. Information about the postgraduate education can be found on the Faculty of Science and Technology website: For more information about working at Umeå University,

Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment Tillträde under september 2024, eller enligt överenskommelse
Salary Månadslön
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-439-24
  • André Mateus, 090-7865000
Union representative
  • SACO, 090-7865365
  • SEKO, 090-7865296
  • ST, 090-7865431
Published 26.Mar.2024
Last application date 31.May.2024 11:59 PM CEST

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