Doctoral Student Positions in Breast Cancer Genetics and Functional Modelling Team

University of Oulu



Applications are invited for two full-time doctoral student positions for a maximum of four years, starting at the earliest on 01.01.2020 in a Biocenter Oulu research project headed by Adjunct Professor Katri Pylkäs and Professor Robert Winqvist in the Cancer and Translational Medicine Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine.

The project aims to identify novel genetic defects predisposing to breast cancer and to resolve the molecular mechanisms behind this. Large patient cohorts collected form the genetically isolated Northern Finnish population are used for genetic analysis with the latest sequencing technologies. For functional modelling various genomics and transcriptomics approaches are used combined with gene editing, biochemical assays and cell culture based disease modelling (

Two positions are filled and are supervised by Adjunct Prof. Katri Pylkäs and Prof. Robert Winqvist. The methodologies used in the research project include high-throughput sequencing technologies, bioinformatics, CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, cell culture and molecular biology assays. Prior knowledge of at least one of these methodologies is considered as an advantage.


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 genetics, genetic epidemiology, bioinformatics, biochemistry or molecular biology. The degree must have been completed with good grades by the application deadline 16.9.2019. 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 1st of January 2020. A six-month trial period is applied in the positions.


Applications must be submitted using the electronic application form by 16.9.2019, 24:00 (Finnish local time), with the following attachments as three separate pdf files:

  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, 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.


Adjunct Professor Katri Pylkäs, e-mail: katri.pylkas (at)

Professor Robert Winqvist, e-mail: robert.winqvist (at)

In your application, please refer to


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