Doctoral Student Position in Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine

University of Oulu



The University of Oulu ( is one of the largest universities in Finland, with approximately 15 000 students and 3 000 employees. The University of Oulu Graduate School (UniOGS) ( provides the framework and conditions for high-quality, research-driven doctoral education at the University of Oulu, and field-specific doctoral training is provided by its multidisciplinary doctoral programmesBiocenter Oulu (BCO) ( offers a high-level international multidisciplinary environment supplied with cutting-edge infrastructures.  Under this framework, the Health and Biosciences Doctoral Programme (HBS-DP) ( offers doctoral training in clinical medicine, biomedicine, biochemistry, molecular medicine, dentistry, health sciences, medical technology.

Applications are invited for two full-time doctoral student positions for a maximum of four years, starting at the earliest on 01.01.2020in a Biocenter Oulu research project headed by Professors Gonghong Wei and Aki Manninen in the cancer genomics research unit, Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine.

Our work aims to discover the roles of novel transcription factors and epigenetic regulators in cancer predisposition and progression, and to explore how these proteins misregulate genome-wide gene expression in particular during prostate cancer development. We also focus on the identification of causal genetic variants, genes and relevant pathways as well as their functional and biological effects on prostate cancer susceptibility, initiation and progression.

The positions will be supervised by Professors Gonghong Wei and Aki Manninen and are focused on mapping genome-wide binding sites (cistrome) for novel transcriptional regulators in prostate cancer cells and tissues. We will further investigate the cistrome-enriched prostate cancer risk-associated variants and thus integrate the eQTL, epigenome and three-dimensional (3D) genome data to unravel the biological roles of causal variants and genes. Functional validation of selected genetic variants, target genes and other relevant risk factors will be performed using genetically engineered prostate cancer models. The projects utilize 3D cell culture models, potential patient-derived prostate organoids/xenografts, mouse models, advanced microscopy techniques, viral gene transfer-based genomic engineering, and CRISPR-Cas9-mediated genome editing as well as other molecular cell biology methods and functional genetics/genomics approaches.


To successfully occupy the position of a doctoral student, the candidate must possess a Master’s degree or an equivalent degree (e.g. licentiate) preferably in molecular cell biology, biochemistry and molecular medicine, genetics, functional genomics and so forth. Degree must have been completed with good grades by 31.12.2019. Ability to pursue independent research and excellent writing and fluency in English is expected. The doctoral student position is intended for an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) who, according to the ”European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers”, is defined as a researcher in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of his/her research activity, including the period of research training. Applicants will be either starting their doctoral training, or will have completed no more than two full years of training (adjusted for possible previous part-time status) at the time the position is filled. The selected candidate will carry out his/her doctoral studies in the Health and Biosciences Doctoral Programme of the University of Oulu Graduate School (UniOGS) and must meet the minimal requirements to receive doctoral study rights as defined in


The salary of selected doctoral students will be initially set on level 2, and later on levels 2 – 4 of the national salary scale for the teaching and research staff of Finnish universities. In addition, a supplementary remuneration is given for personal achievement and performance (max. 50 %). In practice, the salary is roughly 2200 – 2700 € per month for an early stage researcher, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and progress of the doctoral thesis.

Since this call is for starting doctoral researchers, the positions are filled for a four-year period, beginning on 1 January 2020. A six-month trial period is applied in the positions.

Application Procedure

Applications must be submitted using the electronic application form by 31 August, 2019, 24:00 (Finnish local time). Applications sent by email will not be considered.

The following documents must be attached to the application (in English):

  1. Complete CV containing contact information of at least two referees (Max. size limit of the attachment: 5 Mbytes)
  2. Motivation letter (maximum 1 page) describing prior knowledge and research interests and career plans (1-2 pages; max. size limit of the attachment: 2 Mbytes).
  3. Certificates/Diplomas: Scanned electronic copies of diplomas and transcripts of the records of relevant previous degrees. If the original documents are not in English, Finnish or Swedish, each document must be accompanied by an official certified translation into English or Finnish. (Max. size limit of the attachment: 2 Mbytes)

Other Relevant Information

The eligible applicants fitting best in the research profile expected for the position may be invited to an on-site or remote interview. All applicants will be notified when the selection process is completed.


Prof. Gonghong Wei, email: gonghong.wei(at) or Prof. Aki Manninen, email: aki.manninen(at)

In your application, please refer to