PhD Studentship in Medical Sciences

Uppsala University has an opening PhD position in biology. Citizens of any country are eligible to apply. Applications are invited up to March 20, 2015.

We are searching for a highly motivated person interested in becoming a graduate student (PhD) in the field of tick-born zoonotic diseases at Uppsala University, Sweden. Our research concerns zoonotic viruses, bacteria and parasites, i.e. infectious agents that cause disease in other species than their normal reservoir. The aim of this project is to study the role of migratory birds that carry ticks play in the epidemiology and epizootology of tick-borne viruses, bacteria and parasites.

Millions of birds migrate from wintering grounds in Africa to nesting areas in Europe and Asia every spring, many of which are infested with ticks that may carry or be infected with zoonotic infectious agents. A pilot study in which several hundred ticks were collected from springtime migratory birds captured at two bird observatories in the Mediterranean Sea revealed that ticks carried several species of virus that are endemic to parts of Africa and also cause outbreaks in Europe and the Middle East. By collaborating with a number of bird observatories throughout the Mediterranean Basin where birds are regularly captured, ring marked and released, we aim to perform large scale collections of ticks presumably of African origin en route to Europe and Asia.

We would like to employ a person for graduate studies within our tick project. The main role of this person will be to administer and organize the tick collection by collaboration with ornithologists in several Mediterranean countries, develop new as well as utilizing available molecular analysis methods in order to identify the prevalence of pathogens in the tick material. These finding will subsequently be used in order to more clearly understand the role and impact of tick borne disease in a global perspective, explain outbreaks and identify potential emerging pathogens that could spread to new areas or species.
Application Requirements
- The applicant should have a degree in biology with an in depth orientation in infectious diseases. Experience in virology, bacteriology and molecular biology as well as phylogentic analyses is a requirement. Practical experience in BSL-3 level laboratory work is also required. In depth knowledge of bird and tick biology and ecology is desirable. Proficiency in English is required. Emphasis is placed on personal characteristics and the applicants 'suitability for the position.
- For employment the applicant must be or will be admitted to a doctoral program, and the applicants ability to assimilate this education is crucial. Information concerning doctoral education, requirements and rules of admission can be found at The length of the study period for full time employment is a maximum of four years. Terms for graduate studies can found in Högskoleförordningen 5 kap 1-7 § §.
- The holder of the graduate position will primarily engage in research work and doctoral studies. Other duties at the institution comprised of administration and teaching may be included in the employement at a maximum lever of 20%. Salary is subject to established local guidelines.
How to apply?
- The application should include a statement of research interest, CV, and a verified list of course grades. If available, a Master's thesis (finished or in draft form) can also be included. Also two letters of recommendation should be included in the application.
- For more information, please contact: Erik Salaneck,, Björn Olsen, or Anna Foyer, personal coordinator,
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