Postdoctoral position in virology

Umeå University

Application deadline

February 8, 2024

Postdoctoral position in virology

Umeå University, Faculty Office of Medicine

Postdoctoral fellow (2 years) in virology with a focus on metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) in the Pettersson & Tuiskunen Bäck laboratories

Department of Clinical Microbiology, Umeå University are looking for a  motivated postdoctoral fellow with interests in sequencing and virology.  We offer a welcoming, stimulating, and collaborative research environment to promote scientific career development and networking. The employment is two years at 100% of full time. 

Description of the project

The principal investigators Lisa Pettersson and Anne Tuiskunen Bäck are both researchers from Umeå University and clinically active researchers at Umeå University Hospital.

The major focus area in the project involves the development of metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) methods for diagnostics and epidemiological monitoring to prevent viral pandemics. The project is a collaboration between Umeå University, the County Council of Västerbotten and a national collaboration within the Pandemic Laboratory Preparedness (PLP) program at SciLifeLab an initiative of the Swedish government:

The project aims to develop and implement targeted mNGS methods that utilizes a hybrid-capture and amplification approach for sensitive and accurate detection of viral pathogens. The focus will be on two panels: 

1.)     A comprehensive enrichment panel constructed using > 3,000 viral species 

2.)    A focused hantavirus enrichment panel for broad detection and identification of hantavirus species.

The department of Clinical Microbiology at the Umeå University  is the main Swedish reference laboratory for hantavirus diagnostics; hence we have excellent conditions for research on hantaviruses which is one of our major research areas of interest. Our team collaborates with other leading researchers in the field of pandemic preparedness and hantavirus research both locally and internationally. 

The postdoctoral fellow will gain genomic sequencing expertise when contributing to the development of a comprehensive protocol for genomic sequencing of PUUV and related hantavirus. You will  contribute to enhanced national preparedness for potential hantavirus pandemics, offering valuable insights for effective outbreak response. Another aim of the project is constructing a genomic database of PUUV genotypes in Sweden. This repository will fuel research on hantavirus virulence, disease mechanisms, and transmission patterns, contributing to the development of diagnostic tools.

Work responsibilities

Some of the tasks will involve laboratory work, but there is also a substantial theoretical, modelling, and bioinformatic aspect. It is essential that you possess considerable practical bioinformatics skills. 

We expect you to present and discuss results with other researchers within and outside the group. We also anticipate the fellow to be actively involved in compiling and publishing research results. We expect you to act in accordance with the university’s policy on equal opportunities and data protection.


A doctoral degree or a degree deemed equivalent to a doctoral degree in the field of biomedicine, medicine, microbiology, molecular biology, bioinformatics or equivalent (in related fields). This qualification requirement must be fulfilled no later than at the time of the appointment decision.

  • Competence and experience in NGS. Some of the tasks will involve laboratory work, but there is also a substantial theoretical, modelling, and bioinformatic aspect. It is essential that you possess considerable practical bioinformatics skills.
  • Excellent communication skills, including fluency in spoken and written English.
  • Be able to work independently, as well as collaboratively with others and be motivated.
  • Good time management skills and organizational abilities are required.
  • Be able to focus on goals and results and be willing to take on scientific and methodological challenges.
  • Experience with bioinformatics in virology including experience with phylogenetic analyses, quasispecies within virus populations and virus kinetics. 
  • Experience with metagenomics analysis.

Additional useful qualifications 

Since appointment as a postdoctoral researcher is a career-development position for junior researchers, we are primarily interested in applicants who completed their doctoral degree no more than three years before the application deadline. If there are special reasons, an applicant who has completed their degree earlier than that may be considered. Special reasons include absence due to illness, parental leave, clinical practice, appointments of trust for a trade union organisation or other 

  • Meritorious if the applicant has experience in handling of infectious agents both in cultures and clinical samples is considered as a strong merit.

More information about the position

The appointment is a full-time, fixed-term position for two years in accordance with the terms of contract for fixed-term employment as a postdoctoral researcher from 1 February 2022. 

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The department of clinical microbiology  conducts research and teaching at the medical faculty. In addition to department-wide grants for research and education, the department’s research groups have a large number of national and international research projects with external funding. We are an international workplace with employees from all over the world. The department’s operations have expanded rapidly in recent years, not least due to research into Covid-19.

The application must include:

  • A brief description of your research interests and a statement describing why you are interested in the position.
  • CV maximum two pages
  • List of publications
  • Degree certificate from doctoral studies and other relevant degrees
  • Contact details of two reference persons

The application must be written in Swedish or English. The application must be made via our e-recruitment system Varbi and must be received latest 8 February 2024. 

We look forward to receiving your application!

Last updated: 2024-01-23

Content Responsible: Hampus Persson(