Post-doctoral fellow in Computational Chemistry

Location: Sweden
Application Deadline: 18 March 2024
Published: 2 weeks ago

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Lund University, Department of Chemistry (Nfak)

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top universities. The University has around 45 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.

Subject description

This post-doctoral position is part of the EU cofund research project AMBER, Advanced Multiscale
Biological imaging using European Research infrastructures, will address scientific and sectoral gaps in biological imaging ranging from molecular, through cellular, to tissue, organ, and organism levels of organisation, and is coordinated by LINXS Institute of advanced Neutron and X-ray Science.

AMBER is funded by the EU Marie Sk odowska-Curie (MSCA) COFUND scheme. Around 14 postdocs will be recruited in the first call, with each fellowship lasting 36 months.

AMBER has six core partners: Lund University/MAX IV, Sweden, the European Spallation Source
(ESS), Sweden, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Institute Laue-Langevin (ILL),
France, the International Institute of Molecular Mechanisms and Machines, (IMOL), Poland, and the Leicester Institute of Structural and Chemical Biology, United Kingdom.

Your work will include clinical and biomedical projects. It will also include technique development work aimed at combining imaging techniques and data analysis to provide a more integrated picture of life processes in the context of health and disease. To be a postdoc fellow at the AMBER programme you will get unprecedented medical, biological, and methodological capabilities, with a profound potential impact for Europe’s next generation of research and researchers. When you have completed the AMBER programme you will be extraordinarily well equipped to further your career in academia, at infrastructures, in the health and MedTech sectors, and beyond.

For more information about the total announced post-doctoral positions within in the AMBER co-fund project please visit: https://www.euraxess.se/jobs/178170.

The interviews will start in April. For more information about AMBER, application, and evaluation
process etc please visit: https://www.ambercofund.eu.

The research of the PI, prof. Jan Forsman, encompasses a broad range of areas within the discipline of Statistical Thermodynamics, including fundamental theoretical research (often resulting in novel theories and simulation techniques), as well as more targeted studies, with applications within Material Science, Colloidal Science, Energy Science and Biophysical Chemistry. Lifting the perspective to a broader level, the Division of Computational Chemistry conducts research within Quantum Chemistry, Statistical Thermodynamics, Physical Chemistry, and Biophysical Chemistry.

Work duties

The main duties involved in a post-doctoral posistion is to conduct research. Teaching may also be included, but up to no more than 20% of working hours. The position shall include the opportunity for three weeks of training in higher education teaching and learning.

We have developed a mean-field theory to treat mixtures of nanoparticles imbedded in polymer solutions, where the polymers for instance may be intrinsically disordered proteins. The theory is based on a many-body polymer-mediated potential of mean force between the particles and remains accurate even in the so-called “protein regime”, where the particles’ diameters cannot be considered small compared to the polymer radius of gyration.  We have already used the theory to calculate phase diagrams for a binary mixture of unequal-sized particles, both adsorbing and non-adsorbing. The aim of the new project is to extend and improve the theory, and to utilise these developments to predict interactions and phase behaviours in crowded environments, such as (models of) a biological cell.  It should be emphasised that the oft-used approach assuming pairwise-additive potentials of mean force produce quantitatively, and sometimes qualitatively, different phase diagrams.

We hope to verify our theoretical predictions with data from SAXS experiments on crowded model systems, in which interactions are mediated either by synthetic model polymers or existing intrinsically disordered proteins. The theoretical predictions will be compared with experimental data. The project is mainly focused on theories and calculations, but will likely also include some experimental work.

Qualification requirements

Appointment to a post-doctoral position requires that the applicant has a PhD, or an international degree deemed equivalent to a PhD, within the subject of the position, completed no more than three years before the date of employment decision. Under special circumstances, the doctoral degree can have been completed earlier.

Additional requirements:

  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.
  • Documented research and strong competence within the field of Statistical Thermodynamics.

Additional assessment criteria: 

  • Experience of constructing and utilising coarse-grained theoretical models.
  • Experience of writing computationally efficient computer codes for scientific calculations.

Assessment criteria and other qualifications

This is a career development position primarily focused on research. The position is intended as an initial step in a career, and the assessment of the applicants will primarily be based on their research qualifications and potential as researchers.

Particular emphasis will be placed on research skills within the subject.

For appointments to a post-doctoral position, the following shall form the assessment criteria:

  • A good ability to develop and conduct high quality research.
  • Teaching skills.

Additional assessment criteria:

  • Experience from constructing and using theories of many-body interactions in coarse-grained models of colloidal systems.
  • Experience from SAXS experiments, including interpretation of data.
  • Competence within the field of scattering, and scattering theories.

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant’s experience and skills complement and strengthen ongoing research within the department, and how they stand to contribute to its future development.

Terms of employment

This is a full-time, fixed-term employment of 3 years. The period of employment is determined in accordance with the agreement “Avtal om tidsbegränsad anställning som postdoktor” (“Agreement on fixed-term employment as a post-doctoral fellow”) between Lund University, SACO-S and OFR/S, dated 1st February 2022.

Instructions on how to apply

For more information please visit www.ambercofund.eu.

If you are interested in applying for more than one position (maximum 3) you must be prepared to make a full application for each individual position.

Applications shall be written in English and compiled into a PDF-file containing:

i) A Curriculum Vitae (europass format). This is created by registering and using the Europass portal here: https://europa.eu/europass/en/create-europass-cv. Your CV can then be exported to a PDF file that you use in your application.

ii) A detailed research plan including any foreseen secondments (candidates can suggest more than the mandated one, they can also suggest their own secondments), schools and conferences as well as a templated budget plan. (as concise as possible, recommended about 3-5 pages, but at an absolute maximum 10 pages. The research plan should include a half page of summary/abstract. The template can be downloaded from the “For applicants” page, here: https://www.ambercofund.eu/for-applicants.

Additional texts to include in the PDF are:

iii) Letter of Commitment from any additional secondment partners the candidate wishes to bring onboard.

iv) Evidence of English proficiency (minimum CEFR B22, also checked at interview).

v) A draft Individual Career Development Plan (ICDP).

vi) Two reference letters.

vii) Any additional documents to support the application.

viii) Ethical questionnaire (HE ethics checklist + research ethics commitment) link will be provided at the “For applicants” page, here: https://www.ambercofund.eu/for-applicants.

In addition, the application will require:

ix) Any candidate can apply for maximum of 3 positions. You must apply for each individual position. A list with order of preference of positions should be sent to the AMBER management. amber@linxs.se The template can be downloaded from the “For applicants” page, here: https://www.ambercofund.eu/for-applicants.

x) A pre-recorded video presentation (questionnaire-guided, via online video tool, about 10 min). Upon successful completion of the rest of the application procedure eligible candidates will be sent a link.

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