Karolinska Institutet, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Molecular Structural Biology

A doctoral position is an available doctoral education project to which a PhD student is to be recruited. After the selection process the process for admission to doctoral education will commence. An admission decision will not be taken until an individual study plan has been approved by the departmental admission board.

For more information regarding doctoral (PhD) education, see: http://www.ki.se/doctoral

Description of research group and project

The Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics conducts a broad spectrum of biomedical research and education within medical biochemistry and biophysics. Presently our department consists of 11 research divisions with a total of approximately 400 employees.

We are looking for a highly motivated PhD student that will work in Katja Petzold’s group at the Division of Molecular Structural Biology.

More than 50% of the human genome codes for non-coding RNA. These RNAs are ubiquitous among all life forms and the mechanisms how non-coding RNAs regulate these cellular functions are largely unknown.

Our research group is interested in understanding how RNAs change their structures in order to perform function. We employ liquid-state Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and other biophysical and biochemical techniques, to investigate the molecular mechanism of RNA function (“Visualizing transient low-populated structures of RNA” Nature 2012, “Visualizing transient Watson–Crick-like mispairs in DNA and RNA duplexes” Nature 2015). When function of these molecular machines becomes apparent, it also provides a variety of unique new drug targets. The lab also develops methods in NMR and RNA biochemistry to address these questions.

The student will elucidate the structure of a model RNA using different biophysical methods. The project includes large scale RNA production for structural characterization, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) elucidation and development of new methods in RNA biochemistry, NMR or computational tools for analysis. You will work in a team together with other lab members and regularly present the research work in lab-meetings, seminars and at international conferences.

Entry requirements for doctoral education at KI 
To be eligible for doctoral education following requirements has to be met:

General entry requirements
A person meets the general entry requirements for doctoral/third-cycle/PhD education (according to Higher Education Ordinance Chapt 7, section 39) if he/she:

  1. has been awarded advanced/second-cycle/master qualification (i.e. master degree) or
  2. has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second-cycle/master level, or
  3. has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

Specific entry requirements
Proficiency in English equivalent to the course English B/English 6 at Swedish upper secondary school:
Proficiency in the English language can be documented by an internationally recognized test such as TOEFL or IELTS, see web-link below for more information.
Applicants who meet the general entry requirements (1 or 2 above) from a university in one of the Nordic countries fulfill the requirements in English.

For more information regarding general and specific entry requirements: http://ki.se/en/education/entry-requirements-eligibility-for-doctoral-education

To qualify, the applicant should have a background in chemistry or physics with an interest in inter-disciplinary research. We are looking for a highly motivated, well organized, driven and enthusiastic person interested in our area of research, whom is ready to explore new avenues in science. The candidate should have a high degree of independence but should also show a collaborative approach to research and be able to work productively in a team. Experience with laboratory work in RNA biochemistry for structural sample preperation and previous work with Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), python programming and RNA structural biology are of great advantage. Fluency in English is a requirement (written and oral).

Assessment criteria
A selection will be made among qualified applicants on the basis of the ability to benefit from doctoral education. Karolinska Institutet uses the following bases of assessment:
- Documented subject knowledge of relevance to the area of research
- Analytical skill
- Other documented knowledge or experience that may be relevant to doctoral studies in the subject

Emphasis will be placed on personal suitability and previous experience of laboratory work. 

Terms and conditions
During the time between recruitment and admission a short-term employment can be offered for up to 6 months.

Application process
An application must contain the following documents in Swedish or English:

  • A personal letter (max. ½ page) and curriculum vitae (containing a list of relevant courses, work experiences, skills & competencies)
  • A copy of degree certificates and associated certificates
  • A copy of degree projects and any previous publications
  • contact information of two references,

The application is to be submitted through the MyNetwork recruitment system.

Type of employment PhD placement
Contract type Full time
Reference number 2-381/2016
  • Katja Petzold, PhD, Assistant Professor, +46 (0)8-524 800 00
Union representative
  • Anne Edgren, OFR/S, P, O, +46 (0)8-616 16 29
  • Biborka Bereczky Veress, SACO, +46 (0)70-173 85 75
  • Gunnar Stenberg, Seko, +46 (0)8-524 880 75
Published 28.Jan.2016
Last application date 29.Feb.2016 11:59 PM CET

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