The Department of Separation Science of LUT School of Engineering Science is hiring a postdoctoral researcher in the new project MicroPoly, funded by Academy of Finland.

This project is led by Prof. Amit Bhatnagar who is the head of the “Water Treatment and Algal Biotechnology” research group in LUT’s Mikkeli campus. The project aims to investigate interactions between microalgae & synthetic polymers (e.g., microplastics). We expect the candidate to conduct high quality research and publish the results in the best international peer-reviewed journals.

Job description / Main responsibilities

You are expected to carry out independent, organized research under the guidance of Prof. Amit Bhatnagar (your supervisor). Major responsibilities include:

  • To conduct research independently in this project,
  • To conduct field sampling to collect wastewater during the project duration,
  • To establish and conduct laboratory experiments on the identification and analysis of synthetic polymers (e.g., microplastics) in municipal wastewater by various analytical techniques,
  • To conduct laboratory experiments to study the interactions between synthetic polymers (e.g., microplastics) and microalgae (according to the project requirements),
  • To plan, conduct, interpret and communicate the research and results,
  • To be responsible for data delivery and data security, maintaining documentation and adhering to best practices in quality assurance and quality control,
  • To undertake few research visits abroad for 3-6 months in project collaborators’ laboratories in Europe during the project period,
  • To assist in the supervision and training of B.Sc, M.Sc. and doctoral students
  • To contribute to teaching few courses,
  • To publish in international peer-reviewed journals and attend conferences to disseminate project’s results,
  • To assist in writing the project funding applications.

Your Profile

  • Completed scientific university studies with a doctorate (PhD) in environmental chemistry, environmental sciences, toxicology or related fields with a good record of publications in peer-reviewed journals,
  • Relevant experience with synthetic polymers (e.g., microplastics) analysis under clean and controlled conditions in environmental matrices and down to the low µm scale,
  • Experience with relevant experimental methods related to monitoring and evaluation of chemical/biological substances in wastewater, water quality indicators would be assets,
  • Strong skills in conducting laboratory experiments on the identification and analysis of synthetic polymers (e.g., microplastics) in wastewater,
  • Previous experience in microplastics characterization techniques (e.g., SEM-EDS, TEM, ATR-FTIR, micro FTIR etc.), including data analysis for successfully identifying different microplastics,
  • The ability for independent scientific work and teaching skills for the performance of the duties,
  • Desirable: basic hands-on experience in algal biotechnology,
  • Desirable: talent for scientific project management,
  • Desirable: Knowledge of data management and statistical analysis. The ability to use Microsoft Excel with a high level of competence is necessary, and proficiency in other statistical data packages (including but not limited to SPSS, R, MATLAB) is desirable,
  • Excellent skills in spoken and written English are required,
  • High level of intercultural competence and the ability to work independently as well as in a team is required.

The start date is 1 November 2022 (or as agreed), and the location is LUT’s Mikkeli campus.  

The employment relationship is fixed-term with a six-month trial period. The position will start with a one-year term that can be extended for another three years, provided that the research has progressed satisfactorily (as planned in the project). 

The salary is based on the current collective agreement for Finnish universities and determined according to the salary system for university teaching and research personnel (including holiday bonus) depending on the qualifications and experience of the candidate. The annual salary range of post-doctoral researchers is approximately 46700–54500 euros (plus a holiday bonus) depending on the qualifications and experience of the candidate.

The deadline for applications is 10 September 2022 at midnight, Finnish local time (UTC + 3 h). 

To apply for this position, please fill out the online application form and attach the following documents in English:

  • Cover letter, explaining your goals and interests, and how they are aligned with this position
  • A curriculum vitae (max. 3 pages) – degrees and other completed courses, work experience
  • A research proposal/ statement that includes a description of your research approach
  • A copy of your academic degree certificate and transcript of records. If the original documents are not in English, each document must be accompanied by an official certified translation in English
  • Complete list of publications (indicate maximum 5 publications relevant to this project) to ensure state of the art standards
  • Contact information for 3 persons who may be contacted to provide a reference letter.

The applications are only to be submitted online by using the “Submit an application” button below.

For further information, please contact Professor Amit Bhatnagar,

Clean energy, water and air are life-giving resources for which we at LUT University seek new solutions with our expertise in technology, business and social sciences. We help society and businesses in their sustainable renewal. Our international community consists of 7 500 members. Our campuses are in Lappeenranta and Lahti, Finland. We are the world’s ninth best university for climate action. 

Technical support for using recruitment system: recruitment(at)


Application period starts: 2022-07-06 09:00.  Application period ends: 2022-09-10 23:59

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