The Department of Plant Physiology (Umeå University) which is part of Umeå Plant Science Centre invites applicants for two PhD positions in plant science in Stephan Wenkel’s group. The expected starting date is during the spring, 2023. Last day to apply: January 16, 2023

Project description: We are recruiting two PhD students to work on projects aimed at manipulating plant development using microProtein engineering. MicroProteins are small single-domain proteins that have been shown to control diverse biological pathways. While some microProteins are encoded as individual genes, we have evidence that other microProteins might be hiding in genes and are dynamically expressed in response to changes in the environment.

We aim to dissect respective signaling pathways to understand the biological function of these small proteins and aim to use them as tools to modify specific signaling pathways. In the projects we will employ genome-engineering approaches in tomato and Arabidopsis plants to modulate microProtein expression and activity.

Admission requirements: To be admitted for studies at third-cycle level the applicant must have completed a second cycle level degree, or completed course requirements of at least 240 ECTS, of which at least 120 ECTS are at second-cycle level and 30 clearly relevant to the project or have an equivalent education with relevant qualifications. To fulfil the specific entry requirements to be admitted for studies at third-cycle level in Plant Science at Umeå Plant Science Centre, the successful candidate must have completed 90 ECTS relevant to the doctoral thesis project. Out of this, at least 30 ECTS have to be in a subject closely related to the research topic of the graduate program. Applicants who have acquired equivalent skills in some other educational system in Sweden or abroad are also eligible.

For this position, we are looking for a person with an academic background in Plant biology, Agronomy, Biotechnology or a related field as well as having a strong and documented experience in computational analysis (e.g. statistics and bioinformatics).

The successful applicant should have good skills in written and spoken English. Strong merits include experience with the analysis of large-scale sequencing data and/or plant transformation. We are looking for a creative and initiative rich person who can work independently but who can also collaborate within a larger research group. Evaluation of candidates will be based on the application and on interviews.

Research Environment: Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC) is a centre of excellence for experimental plant research and forest biotechnology in Northern Sweden. Our mission is to perform excellent and innovative basic research and generate knowledge that benefits forestry, agriculture, environment and society. We work across a wide range of disciplines in plant science reaching from cell biology to ecophysiology and from basic research to industrial applications. Our common goal is to understand the plants’ ability to grow, adapt and acclimate to a changing world and how we can breed better plants.

UPSC belongs to two universities, Umeå University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). About 200 people from more than 40 different nationalities work here. We host some 30 principal investigators, and our researchers have access to state-of-the-art analytical platforms, unique tree germplasm resources and plant growth facilities. We strive for a collaborative work environment and support our scientists throughout all career stages by providing professional training opportunities and individual career mentoring.


You apply through our recruitment system Varbi on January 16, 2023 at the latest. The application is written in English, Swedish, Norwegian, or Danish and should include:

    A short (max 2 pages) description of why you are interested in the position


    Certified copies of certificates from higher education

    List of completed university courses and the grades

    Copy of publications/degree thesis

The application must be written in English or Swedish. The application is made through the electronic recruitment system from Umeå University:

Documents sent electronically must be in Word or PDF format. Log in to the system and apply via the button at the end of the page. The closing date is January 6, 2023.


If you have questions regarding the position, please contact Stephan Wenkel,,

About Umeå University: Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest institutions of higher education with over 37,000 students and 4,800 faculty and staff. We are characterised by world-leading research in several scientific fields and a multitude of educations ranked highly in international comparison. Umeå University is also the site of the pioneering discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 genetic scissors – a revolution in genetic engineering that has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. At Umeå University, everything is nearby. Our cohesive campus environment makes it easy to meet, collaborate and exchange knowledge, which promotes a dynamic and open culture where we rejoice in each other’s successes.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: