Lund University, Faculty of Engineering, LTH, Kemiska institutionen (LTH)

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

The research at the division for Biophysical Chemistry is dedicated to the study of biomolecular interactions, structure and dynamics, with the aim of understanding biological systems and processes at the molecular level. The emphasis is on experimental and theoretical studies of the physical properties of proteins in solution. The division for Biophysical Chemistry is part of Center for Molecular Protein Science.

Work duties

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and PhD courses. The work duties will also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20% on average). The division is responsible for courses in physical chemistry, NMR spectroscopy and biophysical chemistry.

The biological function of many proteins is regulated by specific modifications of amino acid side chains. The modifications are often reversible and made in response to different types of cellular stress. Our research is focused on obtaining detailed knowledge of how specific posttranslational modifications (PTMs) of proteins regulate protein function and change the properties of proteins. We study whether PTMs make proteins prone to aggregation or prevent them from misfolding, as a means to unravel the role of PTMs in amyloid formation associated with protein misfolding disease.

The overall goal of this graduate student project is to characterize the molecular effects of specific PTMs of the enzyme superoxide dismutase 1 in amyloid formation. The work will require development and implementation of novel bacterial expression systems to produce posttranslationally modified proteins, as well as detailed biophysical characterization. A combination of biophysical methods will be applied to obtain a molecular understanding of protein self-assembly and amyloid formation. The methods will include NMR-spectroscopy, optical-spectroscopy (fluorescence and circular dichroism) and cryogenic electron microscopy.

Admission requirements

An applicant meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle (PhD) courses and study programmes if the applicant:

  • has been awarded a second-cycle (MSc) qualification, or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle (MSc), or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

An applicant meets the specific admission requirements for third cycle (PhD) studies in Biophysical Chemistry if the applicant has:

  • a MSc in Engineering, a one-year Master’s degree or other comparable knowledge with significant components of mathematics, molecular sciences and life sciences. Depending on the student’s research project, second-cycle (MSc) courses in physical chemistry, biophysical chemistry, protein science and/or molecular spectroscopy may be required.

Finally, the student must be judged to have the potential to complete the program.

Additional requirements:

  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.
  • Demonstrate good communication skills.

Assessment criteria

Selection for third-cycle studies is based on the student’s potential to profit from such studies. The assessment of potential is made primarily on the basis of academic results from the first and second cycle. Special attention is paid to the following:

  1. Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of study.
  2. An assessment of ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems.
  3. Written and oral communication skills
  4. Other experience relevant to the third-cycle studies, e.g. professional experience.

Other assessment criteria:

  • Experience with biophysical chemistry.
  • Demonstrates good molecular understanding.
  • Experience with laborative experimental project work.
  • Experience with recombinant protein production.

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through own experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme.

Selected candidates will be called for interview and may be asked to complete qualification tests.

Students with basic eligibility for third-cycle studies are those who- have completed a second-cycle degree- have completed courses of at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits are from second-cycle courses, or- have acquired largely equivalent knowledge in some other way, in Sweden or abroad.

The employment of doctoral students is regulated in the Swedish Code of Statues 1998: 80. Only those who are or have been admitted to PhD-studies may be appointed to doctoral studentships. When an appointment to a doctoral studentship is made, the ability of the student to benefit from PhD-studies shall primarily be taken into account. In addition to devoting themselves to their studies, those appointed to doctoral studentships may be required to work with educational tasks, research and administration, in accordance with specific regulations in the ordinance.

Terms of employment
Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be employed in the doctoral studentship position. Third cycle study at LTH consists of full-time study for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of a maximum of 5 years (including 20% departmental duties). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 §§.

Instructions on how to apply

Application shall be written in English and include a cover letter (1 page) stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate(s) or equivalent including grade transcripts, a copy of the applicant’s master thesis or diploma thesis (pdf), contact information for two references and other documents you wish to be considered (e.g. letters of recommendation).


Type of employment Temporary position
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2023/1550
  • Kristine Steen Jensen, +46462228243,
  • Mia Hedin,
Published 04.May.2023
Last application date 15.Jun.2023 11:59 PM CEST

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