Lund University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top universities. The University has around 47 000 students and more than 8 800 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.

Subject description
Every ecosystem on our planet is composed of a complex community of organisms. The function of these ecosystems is often dependent on interactions – or symbioses – between community members. In the microbial world, symbiotic interactions based on syntrophy (i.e., a type of mutualistic symbiosis where nutrients are exchanged between organisms to allow for metabolic division of labour) are common, especially between prokaryotic organisms in anoxic environments. Such interactions are essential drivers of biogeochemical processes like global carbon, nitrogen, and sulphur cycling. Whether similar roles can be attributed to single-cell eukaryotes (protists) occupying these environments remains unclear owing in large part to our limited understanding of the biology, syntrophic potential, and metabolism of anaerobic eukaryotes.

Work duties
The prospective post-doctoral fellow will be hosted by Dr. Courtney Stairs with support of the European Research Council funded project ‘TANGO2’ in the Biology Department at Lund University. The fellow will develop a genetic tool to perform massively parallelized mutagenesis of bacterial symbionts of anaerobic protists to uncover genes essential for symbiotic interactions. These data will be used to approximate metabolic interactions between the organisms.  The candidate will have the potential to develop experimental detection methods to test these predictions in collaborations with Dr. Ryan Gawryluk (U. Victoria, Canada).

The work focuses on the development of genetic tools to study protist:bacteria interactions. Some of the planned methodology include anaerobic culturing, development of genetic tools in Arcobacteracea transposon mutagenesis and bioinformatic analysis. 

The main duties involved in a post-doctoral position is to conduct research. Teaching may also be included, but up to no more than 20% of working hours. The position shall include the opportunity for three weeks of training in higher education teaching and learning.

Work duties include:

  • The successful candidate will work on the above outlined research project. It is expected that she/he will apply and optimize methodologies to pursue the overall project goals, and design and interpret experiments. All work will be carried out embedded in a research team, requiring sharing of expertise, open discussion of results and facilitating experiments of other team members. International collaboration is planned in the project, including work visits to at least one foreign lab
  • Active participation at international conferences is expected, as well as dissemination of results in peer reviewed international publications
  • Opportunities for supervision of degree projects (Bachelor and Master) as well as co-supervision of PhD projects may be provided and would be encouraged
  • The successful candidate is expected to actively seek independent research funding during the employment period, to provide an opportunity to transition towards an independent researcher position
  • Finally, the position may include limited duties in administration related to the work duties listed above

Qualification requirements 
Appointment to a post-doctoral position requires that the applicant has a PhD, or an international degree deemed equivalent to a PhD, within the subject of the position, completed no more than three years before the date of employment decision. Under special circumstances, the doctoral degree can have been completed earlier. 

Additional requirements:

  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.
  • A degree in molecular biology, molecular genetics, molecular cell biology including anaerobic organisms as study material, or similar
  • Documented ability in nucleic acid extraction and bacterial transformation and/or development of genetic tools in non-model organisms
  • Documented experience in bioinformatics and gene and protein database work.
  • A good track record of publishing peer-reviewed academic papers
  • Evidence of ability to work efficiently both independently and as a member of a team.
  • Evidence of ability to organize resources, plan and progress work activities, and meet deadlines effectively and consistently.
  • Ability to communicate scientific results and knowledge to non-specialists and students.

Assessment criteria and other qualifications
This is a career development position primarily focused on research. The position is intended as an initial step in a career, and the assessment of the applicants will primarily be based on their research qualifications and potential as researchers. Particular emphasis will be placed on research skills within the subject.

For appointments to a post-doctoral position, the following shall form the assessment criteria:

  • A good ability to develop and conduct high quality research.
  • Teaching skills. 

Additional assessment criteria:

  • Documented abilities and experiences of working with genetic, cell biological and biochemical methods that will be used in the project (see above)
  • Documented ability and experience in wet and in silico work with non-model organisms or environmental microorganisms
  • Documented ability and experience of supervising students, individually and in groups

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant’s experience and skills complement and strengthen ongoing research within the department, and how they stand to contribute to its future development.

Terms of employment
This is a full-time, fixed-term employment of 3 years. The period of employment is determined in accordance with the agreement “Avtal om tidsbegränsad anställning som postdoktor” (“Agreement on fixed-term employment as a post-doctoral fellow”) between Lund University, SACO-S and OFR/S, dated 1st February 2022. Preferred start date in May 2023.

Instructions on how to apply
Applications shall be written in English and be compiled into a PDF-file containing:

  • CV (maximum of 2 pages)
  • List of publications
  • Cover letter (maximum of 2 pages): - A general description of your past and future research interests, including methodological knowhow; - A clear explanation of how your skills can be applied to the enclosed project; - Contact information of 2-3 references, including previous main supervisors
  • Copy of the doctoral degree certificate, and other certificates/grades that you wish to be considered. 
Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment Fixed-term employment for 3 years. Preferred start date in May 2023
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2023/566
  • Courtney Stairs, Associate senior lecturer,
  • Helena Skönvall, HR,
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-2229362
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet,
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-2229366
Published 21.Feb.2023
Last application date 11.Apr.2023 11:59 PM CEST

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