Lund University, Faculty of Science, Department of Chemistry (Nfak)

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.

PRISMAS - PhD Research and Innovation in Synchrotron Methods and Applications in Sweden – is a new doctoral network training the next generation of 40 leading synchrotron experts and is co-funded by the Horizon Europe MSCA COFUND Programme.

As a PRISMAS PhD student, you will have the chance to conduct cutting-edge research in your field, taking advantage of state of the art tools that will lead to attractive future job opportunities in academia or industry. Moreover, you are part of designing the future of synchrotron technology and instrumentation and using these to tackle some of the most significant global challenges the world faces today while acquiring interdisciplinary and intersectoral knowledge. Being part of the PRISMAS programme gives you the one-of-a-kind experience in form of a secondment at the world’s first 4th generation synchrotron, MAX IV in Lund, Sweden. With a tailored training programme, including courses to build scientific and technical competence as well as strengthen transferrable skills, PRISMAS provides you with the skills, knowledge and competence needed to successfully achieve your doctoral degree.

Description of the workplace

The research project will be conducted at the Department of Chemistry at Lund University which belongs to both the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Engineering (LTH). The Department of Chemistry has a unique strength for Sweden with education in all areas of chemistry and research by internationally leading research groups which ranges from basic to applied research areas. The PhD student will be part of a collaborative network of students and researchers at the division of Physical Chemistry ( at Lund University.

The project will be in the research group of Associate Prof. Felix Roosen-Runge. The research group is working on protein science using scattering methods, focusing on protein structure and dynamics, protein diffusion, phase behavior in protein solutions and assembly processes.

What we offer

Lund University is a public authority which means that employees get particular benefits, generous annual leave and an advantageous occupational pension scheme. Read more on the University website about being a Lund University employee Benefits for employees | Lund University.

The MSCA COFUND project PRISMAS offers you outstanding opportunities as well as a stimulating and inspiring surrounding for performing cutting-edge research. By supporting your mobility, it creates perfect conditions for strengthening your international network.

Work duties and responsibilities

Biophysical chemistry involves research directed towards molecular questions in biological systems. The experimental and theoretical methods used often have their origins in physics. The biophysical chemistry research within the division of Physical Chemistry (Department of Chemistry), include experimental and theoretical research on soft and biological matter. Significant work is devoted to protein self-assembly and co-assembly and interactions with other biomolecules.

The current project focuses on proteins from plant seeds as promising opportunities to replace animal-derived food proteins with a more sustainable, healthy and affordable protein source. A central challenge is the physicochemical difference of seed proteins to typical animal proteins which require novel approaches to create comparable food properties. The overall research goal is the understanding of assembly processes of proteins as triggered by changes in temperature and chemical environment, including in particular the time-resolved monitoring of structure and dynamics during assembly.

The PhD project targets the question of how to best exploit the potential for tunable structure formation from plant proteins. This work is part of a larger research program that aims to translate conceptual and methodological developments in soft matter and protein biophysics into food science.

In this project, we aim to apply modern scattering and microscopy techniques to study structure and mutual interactions in polydisperse solutions of food proteins as resulting from different extraction protocols from plant seeds, and explore subsequent assembly processes and resulting hydrogel properties.

Structural characterization using small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) presents the core of the project. We plan to use in particular BioSAXS characterization, including online size-exclusion chromatography and automated mixing for protein solutions from different plant sources. In the later stage of the project, we will monitor gelation processes using time-resolved SAXS, as induced by mixing or temperature jumps.

Experiments at synchrotron beamlines such as CoSAXS will be complemented with laboratory techniques such as light scattering, microscopy and rheology to reach a conclusive understanding of structuring potentials for sustainable proteins.

To analyze the large multimodal data sets resulting from the project, we will employ data science approaches and establish new analysis frameworks. This integrative approach promises impact not only on the food sector, but also on formulation science and biomedicine.

The project will provide opportunities to improve experience and expertise with a broad range of characterization techniques relevant for soft and biological matter, and protein science. The division of Physical Chemistry offers a well-equipped shared laboratory with a broad range of modern characterization techniques, including small-angle X-ray and light scattering instruments, rheology, calorimetry, AFM, NMR, optical spectroscopy, and optical microscopy. The laboratory techniques are complemented with state-of-the-art scattering techniques at national and international neutron and X-ray facilities.

The research group has a deep expertise and a strong track record with large-scale facility research at synchrotron and neutron facilities, such as MAX IV and ESS in Lund. You will have the opportunity to experience these unique and world-leading scientific environments during experimental campaigns, and strengthen general soft skills by co-managing these team-based experimental campaigns and writing competitive proposals for measurement time. The research project also offers the opportunity to develop expertise in data analysis and scientific computing as a key academic skill in the era of big data sets.

The training implies a secondment of 3-12 months at MAX IV laboratory in Lund, Sweden. Additional secondments and/or short stays may be arranged in agreement with the supervisor of the research project. Moreover, you will attend international conferences, participate in periodical project meetings and training schools as well as in specialised courses at different universities to complement your knowledge. A certain amount of travelling is foreseen in relation to these activities.

The work will be performed in a team of PhD and project students, postdocs and the supervisors. We aim for an interactive and team-based research program, in which each member is encouraged to actively contribute with ideas and competence to a common scientific progress. You will have the opportunity to participate in national and international workshops, summer schools and conferences - not only to present and disseminate the research, but also to strengthen the personal network with other researchers and collaborators.

We aim for you to become an active and independent researcher at the interdisciplinary boundary of food science and soft matter.

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to research studies, which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties will also include teaching and other departmental duties (not more than 20%).


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 work duties.
  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 of biophysical studies of proteins.

Other assessment criteria:

  • Documented experience with proteins in solution or polymer hydrogels is a merit.
  • Hands-on and theoretical knowledge of one or several of the following experimental methods are a strong merit: light, neutron or X-ray scattering; data analysis of larger data sets; scientific scripting (e.g. python, matlab); microfluidic environments; video optical microscopy.
  • Motivation and documented ability to actively contribute to an interdisciplinary and international research environment at the boundary between food science and soft matter science are a merit.

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


To comply with the mobility rule of the MSCA COFUND programme, you are eligible if you have not resided in Sweden for more than 12 months during the period 2020-10-30 to 2023-10-31 for work or studies as main occupation.

A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if he / she / they :

  • has been awarded a second-cycle 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, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

Additional requirements:

  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.
  • Good knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the work duties.
  • Ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems.

Job assignments
Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 §§.

The position is a full-time, fixed term employment for four years, foreseen to start on 2024-03-01 Admission to the doctoral studies takes place at Lund University.

Instructions on how to apply

Applications are to be submitted via the Varbi portal at Lund University and must include the following documents:

  • CV in Europass format
  • A two-page cover letter, justifying your interest in the position and how it matches your qualifications as well as the prioritization in case of applying to several PRISMAS positions.
  • at least one reference letter
  • an evidence of English 3 proficiency (minimum B2 level)
  • Copy of academic records ,including marks for all coursework with a transcript of diploma in English.
  • and any other document to which you would like to draw attention (details of referees, letters of recommendation, etc.)

All documents should be uploaded (pdf) in the job application portal. Exam certificates and other documents on paper should be scanned or photographed before being uploaded.

In regard to incomplete applications (especially if lacking the abovementioned documents), the PRISMAS Management reserves the right to exclude them in the selection process, without any additional notification to the applicant.

The application will be evaluated based on scientific excellence, the adequacy of your career plan and your thesis project as well as your research experience.

Details on the novel, unique and common selection process for all the PRISMAS positions can be found here: How to apply – MAX IV (


For more detailed information on the position or the research project, please contact:

Assoc. Prof. Felix Roosen-Runge Divison of Physical Chemisty, Lund University

If you have questions on the selection process, please contact:

For questions on the employment conditions and the university, please contact:

Erik Andersson Jardby, Human Resources Administrator,

Type of employment Temporary position
First day of employment 2024-03-01 or as agreed
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2023/2760
  • Felix Roosen-Runge, +4640-6657969
  • Erik Andersson Jardby,
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-2229362
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet,
Published 01.Sep.2023
Last application date 31.Oct.2023 11:59 PM CET

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