We are now inviting applications for one Early Stage Researcher (PhD Student) position in the EU-funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie Cofund Doctoral Programme project Neuro-Innovation: Research and innovation for brain health throughout life.The position in the A.I.Virtanen Institute for Molecular Sciences will start earliest in October 2022. Read more below and submit your application no later than 5 June 2022.
Role and salary
We are seeking for a highly motivated and talented Early Stage Researcher (PhD student) to join our team for PhD research topic on Combination of electrophysiological recordings with functional MRI in rodent disease models in memory research. The research topic aims at visualizing the hippocampal – cortical network that normally activates during sleep at hippocampal ripple and theta oscillations and how it is affected by epileptic hippocampal spikes. This is done in the mouse by combining hippocampal electrophysiological recording and stimulation with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and by using the electric signal as the trigger. Detection of fast event with fMRI applies novel zero-echo time pulse sequences with advanced fMRI image reconstruction, making project truly multidisciplinary. The project can result in a scientific breakthrough in basic memory research and provide new therapeutic targets and biomedical MRI applications that have commercial potential as diagnostic tools for Alzheimer’s disease and other memory disorders.
You may modify this research topic or suggest your own topic in your motivation letter. Suggested topic must be in the research area of the Neuro-Innovation DP and the hosting research group.
The selected ESR will work in the Neurobiology of Memory research group. The research group aims to unveil mechanisms of long-term memory encoding at the systems level and pathophysiological mechanisms that disrupt this ability in the most important memory disorder, Alzheimer’s disease. To this end we employ multiple modern neuroscience techniques. As a disease model we use transgenic mice carrying human APP and PSEN1 mutations combined with local gene transfer with viral vector microinjection. We assess the function of neural networks by multichannel electrophysiological recordings in freely moving mice and rats and by advanced functional MRI. At the behavioral level the memory function is assessed with standard memory tests. All functional data are correlated with careful histopathological examination of the brain.
The host research team closely collaborates with the Biomedical Imaging group at A. I. Virtanen Institute as well as with the Computational Physics and Inverse Problems research group at Department of Applied Physics. All these groups have open position in this call. We encourage all eligible, highly talented applicants to apply all these open positions.
The research profile of the Tanila lab:
This position is one of the five (5) positions available highly motivated Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) in the Neuro-Innovation project in the Kuopio campus of the university. Neuro-Innovation doctoral training is a novel effort at University of Eastern Finland to integrate the University’s world class neuroscience with top-level innovation management, social sciences, law, data sciences and applied physics. This integration will produce unique inter/multidisciplinary competence that contributes to brain health innovation in Europe and beyond by training future leaders in this area of research and practice. Neuro-Innovation training will address the translation of research results into clinical adaptation and commercial outcomes in three multidisciplinary research areas:
1. The societal impact of prediction and early diagnosis research area
2. The co-innovation for prevention and treatment research area
3. The transfer of technologies, methods and models research area
In the Faculty of Health Sciences, a total of three Early Stage Researcher positions will be filled in this call. This position will be filled by a person selected for the Doctoral Programme of Molecular Medicine (DPMM). The selection of the ESRs in Faculty of Health Sciences will be determined during the selection process of the Neuro-Innovation project and may change from what has initially been announced based on the eligibility of the applicants and the scoring of the applications.
The main duty of the ESR is to complete their doctoral dissertation in accordance with their research proposal written in the beginning of the employment period. In the University of Eastern Finland, the objective is to complete the doctoral degree in a maximum of four years of full-time study. The position will be filled for a fixed term of four years starting earliest from October 2022 or as agreed upon with the candidate. ESR positions are always filled for a fixed term. A probationary period is applied to all new members of the staff.
The salary of the position is based on the salary system for the teaching and research staff at universities. The salary consists of the job-related salary element and the personal performance salary element. For this position, the job requirement level used to determine the job-related salary element is 2–4, and the personal performance salary element is 6–50% of the job-related salary element. The estimated monthly salary in the beginning of the employment will be 2,288.17 – 3,163.95 €/per month. The salary of an ESR depends on the phase of the doctoral dissertation and postgraduate studies as well as personal performance.
ESRs will be employed as staff with relevant benefits, such as a pension scheme and benefits for employment injuries, occupational diseases and unemployment. They have a legal right to a leave of absence, for example for maternity, paternity and parental leaves. ESRs enjoy many government-funded benefits in Finland, including free health care for families, low-cost day care and other benefits for families with children.
What we expect and wish from you
This research project needs the participation of people with passion for excellence in research, innovation, and impact. For this position, we look for candidates with a background in electrophysiology, in vivo imaging and/or signal analysis and who are open to multi/interdisciplinary approaches in research. The PhD candidate needs manual skills, basic understanding of the physics of electricity, and readiness to use and modify custom-made computer algorithms in Matlab or Python for the analysis of large data sets. In addition, good communication skills in English are necessary to enable team work in an international research environment and to search necessary information in user manuals and scientific literature. As far as soft skills are concerned, we welcome candidates with a proactive, collaborative attitude who are enthusiastic about working and sharing expertise in teams. Excellent candidates actively participate in various intersectoral activities offered by the PhD programme, and are willing to spend some time abroad with our international academic partners and outside the university at our non-academic partner institutions.
The person appointed as an ESR must hold an appropriate higher university degree or an equivalent degree that would qualify the person for doctoral studies.
Requirements for doctoral candidates:
- hold a Master’s Degree (or equivalent) and a research thesis (or equivalent) in Neuroscience, Applied Physics, Biomedical Engineering or in another related relevant field
- should not hold a doctorate or PhD
- should have less than 4 years of research experience after graduation (Master’s Degree or equivalent based on which you are applying for this position) by 5 June 2022
- excellent command of the English language is required
Mobility requirements for doctoral candidates:
- fulfil the mobility requirement of the MSCA actions, i.e. ESRs must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies) in Finland for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately 5 June 2022 Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not considered.
What we can offer you
- An interesting position in an international, creative, participatory and engaging university community
- The possibility of flexible multi-location work
- Staff benefits of the University of Eastern Finland, including comprehensive occupational health care, versatile staff training opportunities, affordable campus restaurant lunches and Sykettä sports services
How to apply
The application shall be submitted no later than5 June 2022 by 24:00 hours Finnish time (11:00 pm CEST) by using the electronic application form.
The objective is to offer the position to the most merited applicant by the end of August 2022.
Please note that the application is required to include the following appendices:
- certified copies of BSc and MSc degree diplomas/certificates and copies of these relating to applicant’s language proficiency (if not indicated in the academic degree), transcripts of these records in English
- if the proof of English language skills has not been demonstrated in an academic degree and the applicant has not taken the English language test, the English language skills will be assessed in the interview for the position
- curriculum vitae (CV) (https://tenk.fi/en/advice-and-materials/template-researchers-curriculum-vitae)
- Master’s thesis (in any language), electronic copy (in zip file)
- two-page summary of the Master’s thesis in English (in pdf file)
- motivation letter (max three pages) describes the applicant’s motivation to pursue PhD studies in the chosen research area and topic. When suggesting your own research topic or modifications to the given topic, the research idea needs to be described as part of the motivation letter and research ethics and infrastructure forms provided on the programme website must be attached to the application (for more specific instructions on the motivation letter, see www.uef.fi/neuro-innovation)
- full name, mobile phone number and e-mail addresses of at least 2 referees