PhD position: Origin and Evolution of Synaptic Proteins

There is a vacancy for a PhD position at the Sars Centre in the research group headed by Dr. Pawel Burkhardt. The position is for a fixed-term period of 4 years and is subject to funding on the Sars Centre core budget. The Sars Centre belongs to the University of Bergen, and is partner of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL).

About the project/work tasks:
The goal of the Burkhardt group is to reconstruct the evolutionary origin of synapses and neurons. The group is particularly interested in studying synaptic protein homologs in choanoflagellates, sponges and ctenophores. We are looking for a highly self-motivated and enthusiastic PhD student with interests in evolutionary biology, neurobiology and cell biology. The project will focus on when the protein signalling complexes required for synaptic activity first evolved and how they functioned at a molecular level (Burkhardt et al, 2011 PNAS; Burkhardt et al, 2014 MBE; Bhattacharyya et al, 2016 eLife). The successful candidate will undertake research with the possibility to use a variety of techniques, ranging from super resolution immunofluorescence and electron microscopy, various biochemical methods to X-ray crystallography to study synaptic protein homologs in choanoflagellates. The successful candidate will work in close association with the group leader and other lab members with the aim to eventually contribute to the further development of the project in line with her/his interests.

Qualifications and personal qualities:

  • The applicant must hold a master's degree or the equivalent or must have submitted his/her master's thesis for assessment prior to the application deadline. It is a condition of employment that the master's degree has been awarded
  • Routine experience in standard molecular and cellular biology techniques is required
  • Practical experience in biochemical techniques (protein purification, Co-IPs) and with different fluorescence imaging techniques is highly desirable
  • Specific experience with choanoflagellates is beneficial, but not essential
  • The ability to work both independently and in a structured manner, cooperate with others and a possess high motivation and enthusiasm is essential
  • Proficiency in both written and oral English

About the PhD:
The duration of the PhD position is 4 years, of which 25 per cent of the time each year comprises required duties associated with research, teaching and dissemination of results. The employment period may be reduced if you have previously been employed in a recruitment position.

About the research training:
As a PhD Candidate, you must participate in an approved educational programme for a PhD degree within a period of 4 years. A final plan for the implementation of the research training must be approved by the faculty within three months after you have commenced in the position. It is a condition that you satisfy the enrolment requirements for the PhD programme at the University of Bergen.

We can offer:

  • A professional, challenging and international working environment
  • Well-equipped, modern laboratories and facilities
  • Salary at pay grade 50 (Code 1017/Pay range 20, alternative 8) in the state salary scale. Currently equal to NOK 436.900. Further promotions are made according to qualifications and length of service in the position
  • Enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund (SPK)
  • A position in an inclusive workplace (IA enterprise)
  • Good welfare benefits

Your application in English must include:

  • A brief account of the applicant's research interests and motivation for applying for the position
  • The names and contact information for two reference persons. One of these must be the main advisor for the master's thesis or equivalent thesis
  • CV
  • Transcripts and diplomas showing completion of the bachelor's and master's degrees, or official confirmation that the master's thesis has been submitted
  • Relevant certificates/references
  • A list of any works of a scientific nature (publication list)

The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be uploaded at Jobbnorge.

Send your application electronically via JobbNorge by clicking on the button “Apply for this job” - see here. Please note that applications will be assessed only with the information available in JobbNorge when the deadline expires. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all relevant attachments are submitted by the deadline.

Applications by e-mail only will not be considered.

Application deadline: 02 May 2018.

For further information about the position please contact Group Leader Pawel Burkhardt,tlf. +47 5558484357 / email

The State sector staff shall to the extent possible reflect the diversity in the population at large. The state personnel policies aim at a balanced age and gender composition and recruit people with immigrant backgrounds. People with immigrant backgrounds or reduced work capacity are encouraged to apply for the position.

We encourage women to apply. If multiple applicants have approximately equivalent qualifications, the rules pertaining to moderate gender quotas shall apply.

The University of Bergen applies the principle of public access to information when recruiting staff for academic positions.

Information about applicants may be made public even if the applicant has asked not to be named on the list of persons who have applied. The applicant must be notified if the request to be omitted is not met.

The successful applicant must comply with the guidelines that apply to the position at all times.

More information about the appointment process here.

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Sars International Centre for Marine Molecular Biology
University of Bergen: Unifob AS  ||  Partner of EMBL