PhD position in Data-Driven Life Science (DDLS Research School)

Linköping University

Application deadline

June 16, 2024

PhD position in Data-Driven Life Science

The research group of Prof. Björn Wallner is looking to recruit a PhD student in Data-Driven Life Science, with a focus on Biomolecular Structures and Dynamics with AI and AlphaFold

Your work assignments

We are focused on understanding biomolecular structures, their dynamics, and ensembles at the molecular level. As part of our team, you will develop computational approaches to analyze and predict protein structures, incorporating experimental data to enhance our models. A key component of this project is utilizing AI, particularly AlphaFold, to optimize and enhance our structural predictions and understand the true dynamic nature of biomolecules.

As a PhD candidate, you will:

  • Utilize computational methods, AI techniques, and tools like AlphaFold to analyze and model biomolecular structures, dynamics, and ensembles.
  • Expand on our work that achieved top-1 rank in CASP15 and improve its performance using sampling techniques.
  • Develop algorithms and software for predicting protein structures, protein-protein interactions, protein-ligand binding, and integrating experimental data to refine models.
  • Collaborate with interdisciplinary teams of experts in computational biology, biophysics, biochemistry, structural biology, and artificial intelligence.
  • Share your research findings through scientific publications and conferences.

As a PhD student, you devote most of your time to doctoral studies and the research projects of which you are part. Your work may also include teaching or other departmental duties, up to a maximum of 20% of full-time.

Your qualifications

You have graduated at Master’s level in a relevant scientific discipline or completed courses with a minimum of 240 credits, at least 60 of which must be in advanced courses. Alternatively, you have gained essentially corresponding knowledge in another way.

If you can say yes to some of the below points it is highly beneficial:

  • Proficiency in programming languages, preferably Python.
  • Knowledge of AI and machine learning techniques
  • Experience in the AI application to structural bioinformatics or related areas.
  • Familiarity with the AlphaFold platform and its applications in protein structure prediction.
  • Experience of BASH and command line.
  • Background in structural biology, molecular modeling, protein dynamics, and understanding of ensembles.
  • Experience with molecular modeling and simulation software, such as GROMACS, NAMD, or Rosetta.

Scientific curiosity and the ability to think independently are essential personal qualities in a candidate. You will be expected to engage with colleagues and cooperate in supporting the activities of the research group. You must also have excellent oral and written communication skills in English. You should enjoy working as part of a team, and be willing to learn from your co-workers and to share your knowledge and experience with them in return.

You should not hesitate to get in touch if you have questions about an application, for example regarding eligibility/suitability for the role (see contact details below).

Your workplace

The position is placed in the Structural Bioinformatics Group at the Bioinformatics Division, IFM (Department of Physics, Chemistry, and Biology) at Linköping University. The group is composed of dedicated and motivated researchers, including PhD students, postdocs, and senior scientists, all committed to advancing the field of structural bioinformatics. The team emphasizes mentorship and professional development, providing personalized guidance and support to help researchers reach their full potential. The position is funded by the Data-Driven Life Science (DDLS) Research School program, providing access to national computational resources, expertise and training opportunities. The location of the Swedish national supercomputer centre on the Linköping university campus provides additional access to computational resources.

As a part of the Structural Bioinformatics Group, you will have the opportunity to contribute to groundbreaking research in a supportive and inspiring environment. You will be surrounded by like-minded individuals who are passionate about using computational methods and AI to solve complex problems in structural biology and make a lasting impact on our understanding of life at the molecular level.

Data-driven life science (DDLS) uses data, computational methods and artificial intelligence to study biological systems and processes at all levels, from molecular structures and cellular processes to human health and global ecosystems. The SciLifeLab and Wallenberg National Program for Data-Driven Life Science (DDLS) aims to recruit and train the next-generation of data-driven life scientists and to create globally leading computational and data science capabilities in Sweden. The program is funded with a total of 3.1 billion SEK (about 290 MUSD) over 12 years from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg (KAW) Foundation. During 2024 the DDLS Research School will be launched with the recruitment of 20 academic and 7 industrial PhD students. During the course of the DDLS program more than 260 PhD students and 200 postdocs will be part of the Research School. The DDLS program has four strategic areas: cell and molecular biology, evolution and biodiversity, precision medicine and diagnostics, epidemiology and biology of infection. For more information, please see The future of life science is data-driven. Will you be part of that change? Then join us in this unique program!

The employment

When taking up the post, you will be admitted to the program for doctoral studies. More information about the doctoral studies at each faculty is available at Doctoral studies at Linköping University

The employment has a duration of four years’ full-time equivalent. You will initially be employed for a period of one year. The employment will subsequently be renewed for periods of maximum duration two years, depending on your progress through the study plan. The employment may be extended up to a maximum of five years, based on the amount of teaching and departmental duties you have carried out. Further extensions can be granted in special circumstances.

Starting date by agreement.

Salary and employment benefits

The salary of PhD students is determined according to a locally negotiated salary progression.

More information about employment benefits at Linköping University is available here.

Union representatives

Information about union representatives, see Help for applicants.

Application procedure

Apply for the position by clicking the “Apply” button below. Your application must reach Linköping University no later than June 16th 2024.

Applications and documents received after the date above will not be considered.

We welcome applicants with different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives – diversity enriches our work and helps us grow. Preserving everybody’s equal value, rights and opportunities is a natural part of who we are. Read more about our work with: Equal opportunities.

We look forward to receiving your application!

Linköping university has framework agreements and wishes to decline direct contacts from staffing- and recruitment companies as well as vendors of job advertisements.

Contact persons

Björn Wallner


+46 13 28 27 59

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Last updated: 2024-05-16

Content Responsible: Johan Inganni(