“Excellence by Choice” Postdoctoral Programme in Life Science

31 Jan 2023
19 Mar 2023
Life Science
Job Type
Employment - Hours
Full time
Fixed term

"Excellence by Choice" Postdoctoral Programme in Life Science

Umeå University is one of Sweden's largest institutions of higher education with over 35,000 students and 4,200 faculty and staff. We are characterised by world-leading research in several scientific fields and a multitude of educations ranked highly in international comparison. Recent breakthroughs at Umeå University include deciphering the molecular mechanisms of the bacterial CRISPR-Cas9 system and its repurposing into a tool for genome editing, a method developed at Umeå university that was awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Umeå University is currently running the "Excellence by Choice" Postdoctoral Programme in Life Science research to train outstanding young researchers and stimulate cutting-edge research (read interviews with current postdocs: Gabriel Torrens, Joram Kiriga Waititu). As a collaboration between the two national Centres of Excellence - Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR) and Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC) - the programme aims to encourage new synergies in Life Science with a focus on molecular and translational research and to strengthen world-class research activities in Umeå. Patron for the programme is Nobel laureate Emmanuelle Charpentier, who discovered the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology during her time as a scientist and group leader in Umeå.

In this second call, several fellowships are open for outstanding postdoctoral candidates interested to do research in the highly interactive and multidisciplinary research environments of UCMR and UPSC. In the scope of the "Excellence by Choice" Postdoctoral Programme, we aim to recruit up to six postdoctoral scientists in this round.

The programme is open to all nationalities. The "EC" Postdoctoral Fellows will:

  • Develop a collaborative project under supervision of at least two PIs
  • Obtain 2-year full-time fellowship exempt from tax (672,000 SEK), as well as grants for project running costs (320,000 SEK) and the fellow’s career development (25,000 SEK)
  • Access to UCMR/UPSC-affiliated core facilities and technical platforms such as Chemical Biology Consortium Sweden (CBCS), Protein Expertise Platform, metabolomics, proteomics, X-ray, NMR (850-400 MHz), The Computational Life Science Cluster (CLiC) – a node in NBIS (National Bioinformatics Infrastructure Sweden), Umeå Core Facility for Electron Microscopy (UCEM), and Biochemical Imaging Centre Umeå (BICU) that form a node in the National Microscopy Infrastructure (NMI)
  • Participate in activities to strengthen networks and collaborations in academics and industry
  • Involve in a strong postdoc community with the Umea Postdoc Society (UPS) which fosters networking amongst postdocs, organizes social and career development events


To qualify as a postdoctoral fellowship holder, the postdoctoral fellow is required to have completed a doctoral degree or a foreign degree deemed equivalent to a doctoral degree in the relevant field. These qualification requirements must be fulfilled within six months after the closing date of the application.

Preference should be given to applicants who received their degree no more than three years before the end of the application period. Applicants who received their doctoral degree earlier may be considered in special circumstances. Special circumstances include absence due to illness, parental leave, clinical practice, elected positions in trade unions, or similar circumstances.

Candidates are encouraged to consider one of the project ideas listed below. The candidates' merits and motivation for choice of project idea will be assessed by the PIs of each project respectively. A short list of applicants will then be requested to submit a short research proposal based on the chosen project idea, followed by an invitation to an interview by a panel of UCMR/UPSC researchers.


The application should be submitted online including:

  1. A Curriculum Vitae
  2. A motivation letter including research interests, qualifications, and motivation for applying for the position with the particular project idea selected from the list (max 2,000 characters with space)
  3. A publication list including both published papers and preprints with web/DOI
  4. A description of up to a total three (3) of your publications and/or preprints that you consider at present to represent your scientifically most valuable work, answering the following questions (max 3,000 characters with space):
    a. Why you consider a particular publication to be the scientifically most valuable?
    b. What was your specific contribution(s) to this published research work?
    c. What was your role in the manuscript writing and publishing of the work?
  5. Names and contact details of at least two references
  6. A verified copy of doctoral degree certificate or documentation that attests when the doctoral degree is expected to be obtained

Step 1:

The application must be submitted electronically through the online application system. For details of the projects and application please go to the Umeå University web page with details of project ideas and link to the application system: Details and link to the online application: https://www.umu.se/en/ucmr/ec-postdoc-programme/excellence-by-choice-postdoctoral-programme-in-life-science/.

Online application deadline: 19 March 2023.

Step 2:

A short list of candidates will be invited to submit a short proposal based on the project idea and participate in the final interview.

Date of final interview: 26 April 2023.


For further information, please contact Ingrid Söderbergh, research coordinator, Ingrid.soderbergh@umu.se

List of projects:

  1. Chemo-optogenetic engineering of cellular metabolism for microbial chemical production
    PIs: Yaowen Wu, Anita Sellstedt
  2. The identification of essential enzymes and genes of resistance that regulate herbivore infections in plants
    PIs: Peter Marhavy, Sandra Jämtgård
  3. Elucidating the role of cuticle on epidermis morphogenesis
    PIs: Stéphanie Robert, Stéphane Verger
  4. Developing data-driven structural refinement of neutron reflectometry data to understand processes at biological membranes
    PIs: Gerhard Gröbner, Magnus Andersson
  5. The effects of horizontal gene transfer on cell decision making
    PIs: Eric Libby, Peter Lind
  6. Regulation of host cell epitranscriptome in Salmonella infection
    PIs: Teresa Frisan, Francesca Aguilo
  7. Linking molecular structure and function with ultrafast multidimensional spectroscopy
    PIs: André Mateus, Nicolò Maccaferri
  8. Structure-function characterisation of the plant COP9 signalosome multiprotein
    PIs: Catherine Bellini, Karina Persson
  9. Interactions between bacterial membrane vesicles and enteric viruses
    PIs: Sun Nyunt Wai, Annasara Lenman
  10. Role of mitochondrial dysfunction in host cell-autonomous immunity against Chlamydia
    PIs: Barbara Sixt, Paulina Wanrooij
  11. Mechanism of assembly at the tip of a Yersinia injectisome
    PIs: Magnus Wolf-Watz, Matthew Francis
  12. Illuminating the virological origin of type 1 diabetes
    PIs: Anna Överby Wernstedt, Ulf Ahlgren
  13. Across kingdoms exploration of evolutionarily conserved uncharacterized process essential for cell proliferation
    PIs: Totte Niittylä, Bernt Eric Uhlin
  14. Viral infections and pregnancy-related complications
    PIs: Anne-Marie Fors Connolly, Sophia Harlid
  15. Extracellular membrane vesicles from Gram-positive bacteria: biogenesis and host
    PIs: Aftab Nadeem, Jan Oscarson
  16. Detecting infections in elderly populations
    PIs: Mattias Forsell, Anders Johansson
  17. Pushing the resolution of intracellular co-localization by correlative fluorescence and electron microscopy
    PIs: Linda Sandblad, Richard Lundmark
  18. Mosquito-pathogen interactions at single cellular resolution
    PIs: Oliver Billker, Magnus Evander
  19. Mode-of-action of a novel anti-Cryptosporidium compound family
    PIs: Christian Hedberg, Lars-Anders Carlson
  20. Interaction circuits of epithelia and neutrophils during mucosal infection
    PIs: Constantin Urban, Andrea Puhar

At Umeå University, everything is nearby. The cohesive campus environment makes it easy to meet, collaborate and exchange knowledge, which promotes a dynamic and open culture where we rejoice in each other’s successes. If you are interested in knowing about Umeå University as a workplace, read more at: https://www.umu.se/en/work-with-us/.

Umeå University also offers a strong postdoc community with the Umeå Postdoc Society (UPS) which fosters networking amongst postdocs, organises social and career development events and works towards improving the postdoc experience at Umeå University campus. Check out their website and do not hesitate to get in contact with them early on: https://umeapostdocsociety.se/!

We welcome your application!

Umeå University wants to offer an environment where open dialogue between people with different backgrounds and perspectives lay the foundation for learning, creativity and development. In each recruitment we aim to increase diversity and the opportunity to affirmative action. We kindly decline offers of recruitment and advertising help.

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