Jobs in Structural Biology and Related Fields

Postdoctoral position in Molecular Biophysics

Uppsala University, Sweden
Application deadline: 30 Oct 2020

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. This position is located at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology starting as soon as possible. The Cell and Molecular Biology department at Uppsala University has a strong and international research and teaching environment and is organized in six major research programs; Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, Microbiology, Molecular Biophysics, Molecular Evolution, Molecular Systems Biology, Structure and Molecular Biology. In total the department has over 200 scientists, including 60 PhD students.

The current position is located within the research group of Filipe Maia within the Molecular Biophysics. More information can be found at and

Project description:

Detecting the atomic structure of biomolecules is the basis for understanding biological function at the molecular level. This knowledge has led to enormous scientific advances, important drugs, and disruptive technologies. Structural methods exist, but many biomolecules have escaped structure determination; structural changes due to interactions cannot be easily characterized, and enzymatic mechanisms are hard to detect due to an insufficient time-resolution.

The project will develop fluctuation correlation X-ray scattering (FXS) with powerful X-ray free-electron lasers (XFEL), capable of producing extremely intense and ultra-short X-ray pulses radiation, which promises to determine the structure of biomolecules in biologically native conditions with light-triggered pump/probe experiments. The method is a natural extension of traditional small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). It has been demonstrated in 1977 by Kam for macroscopic objects based on scattering by visible light. Recent reports indicate that it is in principle possible to determine the structure of proteins in solution with FXS. If successful, this project will establish FXS as a new method for structure determination of biomolecules in native, ‘biological‘, conditions.


The applicant is expected to drive multiple ambitious projects within the area. The position involves carrying out FXS experiments on biological samples at leading XFELs along with all the associated preparation and analysis of the resulting data. The project aims to build up a new experimental setup, the position therefore also involves work on designing and developing this new setup. Oral presentation and writing/editing of scientific papers and grant applications are part of the position.


To qualify for an employment as a postdoctor you must have a PhD degree or a foreign degree equivalent to a PhD degree in physics, biophysics or in a area similar to these. The PhD degree must have been obtained no more than three years prior to the application deadline. (The three year period can be extended due to circumstances such as sick leave, parental leave, duties in labour unions, etc.)

The ideal candidate will be highly-motivated, able to work independently and have a strong interest in coherent X-ray imaging and method development. You are expected to take your own initiatives as well as being able to collaborate with other colleagues both within and outside the research group. The position is in an international context so good oral and written communication skills in English are essential. Finally, significant weight will be given to personal suitability such as; analytical and organizational skills, personal maturity, ability to work with others, take initiatives, and to show good judgement.

Additional qualifications:

- Documented experience with fluctuation X-ray scattering (FXS) is an advantage.
- Documented experience with gas dynamic virtual nozzles (GDVNs) is an advantage.
- Documented experience with X-ray experiments, specially at XFELs, is an advantage.

Find out more, including how to apply, on the Uppsala University website.

Uppsala University, Sweden

Postdoctoral position in Molecular Biophysics