PhD Scholarship Position Single Dna Molecule Biophysics

Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden is inviting excellent candidates to apply for a PhD position in molecular biology. The initial contract for this position is 4 years. The deadline to apply is February 29, 2020.

Information about the research project

Studies of single DNA molecules have revolutionized the understanding of how proteins interact with DNA. A plethora of techniques, including magnetic and optical tweezers have been used, but they all have one common limitation. They all require the attachment of the DNA to a bead or a surface at at least one of the ends. This means that it is difficult to study processes occurring on the DNA ends and in particular processes where two DNA ends meet. There are however biological processes that are based on such interactions that until now have been impossible to study, for example regarding DNA-repair and in particular DNA double strand breaks.

One way to study DNA ends is to suspend long single DNA molecule in nanofluidic channels. In such channels, single DNA molecules can be stretched and analysed without any tethering. The focus of this PhD project is on studying DNA protein interactions involved in repair of DNA double strand breaks in tailor-made nanofluidic devices.

Major responsibilities

The PhD student will work with studies of DNA-protein interactions in nanofluidic channels using fluorescence microscopy. We will both work on proteins produced in the lab as well as proteins obtained from collaborators.

- Fluorescence microscopy

- Design of nanofluidic devices

- Amplification and purification of tailored DNA in bacteria

- Production of proteins in E.coli

- Image analysis

Your major responsibilities are to pursue your own doctoral studies. You are expected to develop your own scientific concepts and communicate the results of your research verbally and in writing, both in Swedish and in English.

In addition, duties at the department, mainly teaching in the undergraduate or masters courses, distributed over the whole time of the position, can be included.

Full-time temporary employment (salary according to Chalmers policy).The position is limited to maximum 4 years full-time research studies. In addition, duties at the department, mainly teaching in the undergraduate or masters courses, distributed over the whole time of the position, can be included.


To qualify as a PhD student, you must have a master’s level degree in Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology or similar. Hands on experience with fluorescence microscopy would be beneficial but not mandatory. Hands on experience with producing proteins in E. coli would be beneficial but not mandatory. Knowledge of/experience with image analysis in Matlab would be beneficial but not mandatory.

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the work, the candidate is expected to have good collaboration skills and be able to communicate in English, both orally and in writing.

If Swedish is not your native language, you should be able to teach in Swedish after two years. Chalmers offers Swedish courses.

Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the dynamic city ofGothenburg.

Read more aboutworking at Chalmersand ourbenefitsfor employees.

Application procedure

The application should be marked with Ref 20200002 and written in English.

CV: (Please name the document: CV, Family name, Ref. number)


Other, for example previous employments or leadership qualifications and positions of trust.

Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter: (Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number)

- Introduce yourself

- Describe your previous research fields and main research results

- Describe your future goals and future research focus

Copies of bachelor and/or master's thesis.

Attested copies and transcripts of completed education, grades and other certificates, eg. TOEFL test results.

Application deadline: 29 February 2020

For further information concerning this posting contact Professor Fredrik Westerlund,

The Department of Biology and Biological Engineering

The Department was founded January 1 2015, and started off with high ambitions. The aim was to grow and become a leading center of innovation by combining the latest research in life sciences with biochemistry. And the department got off to flying start. In its first year, the numbers for publication, citation and external funding have been excellent.

The department consists of four divisions, each conducting outstanding research in the areas of industrial biotechnology, systems biology, chemical biology and food science. The overall goal is to help build a sustainable society and improve human health.

Nearly 200 people from 20 countries are currently working at the department. The working environment is characterized by respect, cooperation, responsibility, creativity and job satisfaction.

- To be an attractive environment for top-level researchers in biological engineering

- To deliver top-level research results and innovative solutions for use in a sustainable society

- To offer excellent education that develops creative engineers and scientists

- To be a major contributor to international visibility of Chalmers


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