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Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry invites applications for the position of


Applications are invited for a doctoral (PhD) student position that is part of the Novo Nordisk Foundation funded project MYCOFACT (The dual role of sugar transporters in plant biomass conversion by fungi to improve microbial cell factories), led by Dr. Miia Mäkelä. The doctoral student will focus on identification and functional characterization of filamentous fungal sugar transporters, by expression in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The appointee will also participate in the supervision of undergraduate students, and the teaching duties will cover a maximum of 5% of the total working hours.

The position is filled for a fixed term starting at the earliest from September 1st 2021. The appointed doctoral student is expected to work full time to achieve a doctoral degree in four years in accordance with the degree requirements of the University of Helsinki. Part of the project will be performed in the laboratories of a collaborator in the Netherlands.


The successful applicant will have
• A MSc degree in microbiology, microbial biotechnology or other relevant field
• Excellent communication and writing skills in English
• Ability to work both independently and as part of a research team

Previous experience with genetic engineering of yeast and/or filamentous fungi is a requirement, and experience with CRISPR genome editing, fungal physiology and regulatory mechanisms with respect to plant biomass degradation is appreciated.

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 salary component based on personal work performance. Doctoral students start from requirement level 2. In total, the starting gross salary of a doctoral student is typically about 2200-2400 EUR per month.

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

Application to the position

The application should include the following documents as a single pdf file in English:
• motivation letter (max. 1 page)
• CV with full contact details, education/previous degrees obtained, prior work/research experience, list of possible publications and theses with links to their online versions (if available)
• copy/copies of the diploma(s) of previous degree(s)
• contact details of at least two referees.

The appointee does not need to hold the right to study at the University of Helsinki at the beginning of the employment, but he/she must apply for the right and obtain it during the trial period. The position has a six-month trial period.

Please submit your application using the University of Helsinki Recruitment System via the Apply link. Applicants who are employees of the University of Helsinki are requested to submit their application via the SAP HR portal. The deadline for submitting the application is June 30th 2021 (23:59 EET).

Further information on the project and position may be obtained from Academy of Finland Research Fellow, docent Miia Mäkelä, miia.r.makela(at)

In case you need technical support with the electronic recruitment system, please contact HR coordinator Sari Aaltonen, sari.aaltonen(at)

• Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry:
• Application process to doctoral education (including demonstration of language proficiency):
• About doctoral schools and programmes:

Due date

30.06.2021 23:59 EEST