PhD Position in Medical Bacteriology

Uppsala University Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology


PhD position in Medical Bacteriology - focusing on bacterial biofilms and antibiotic resistance

Published: 2021-05-04

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our ultimate goal is to conduct education and research of the highest quality and relevance to make a long-term difference in society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has over 45,000 students, more than 7,000 employees and a turnover of around SEK 7 billion.

The Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology (IMBIM) at Uppsala University provides a broad international environment for research and teaching. The Department's research covers Three collaborative and partially integrated sections: Cancer, infections and immunity as well as genetics and genomics. More info: Researchs areas - Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology - Uppsala University, Sweden (

We are seeking a highly motivated candidate with the ability to work independently and with a strong interest in pursuing a PhD degree in Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology with specialization on Medical bacteriology at Uppsala University.

This position is partly funded by the Uppsala Antibiotic Center (UAC), and the recruited PhD student will be part of UAC’s graduate research school. UAC is a center for research, education, innovation & awareness founded in 2015 to bring together, stimulate and support important research on antibiotic resistance from all three disciplinary domains at Uppsala University: Medicine and Pharmacy, Science and Technology, and Humanities and Social Sciences. The doctoral student positions and graduate school are central parts of UAC with the goal of educating a new generation of researchers with broad knowledge and willingness to contribute to combating the problem of antibiotic resistance. For more information about UAC: Start - Uppsala Antibiotic Center - Uppsala University, Sweden (

Project description and working tasks: The position is within the research group of Linus Sandegren at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology. The focus of the research group is on fundamental aspects of antibiotic resistance evolution and how resistance plasmids are maintained and disseminated between pathogenic bacteria and serve as platforms for evolution of antibiotic resistance. This PhD position is focused on how bacterial biofilm formation affects antibiotic resistance development and spread of resistance plasmids. In the proposed projects we will study how newly identified mutations affecting K. pneumoniae biofilm formation affect bacterial susceptibility to antibiotics, how different antibiotics and antibiotic concentrations affect biofilm formation, and how biofilms affect the evolution and spread of antibiotic resistance. We will use this knowledge to design and test antibiotic combination treatments with better effects against biofilms. The project involves collaboration with researchers at Uppsala University hospital.

In this position the applicant is expected to independently drive scientific projects within the area, with help from the supervisor. Duties include general bacteriological laboratory work, antibiotic susceptibility testing, molecular biological work including advanced bacterial genetics and recombineering, biofilm model systems including staining and fluorescent microscopy, Flow cytometry, Sanger and NGS and bioinformatic analyses. Scientific writing and editing as well as research presentations are a natural part of the position so good written and oral skills in English is a requirement. Teaching (up to 20%) as a laboratory assistant can be included in the position if there is a need in the research program.

Qualifications: We are looking for an excellent candidate with a M.Sc. degree or equivalent with a strong focus on Infection biology, Microbiology or Molecular biology/biotechnology. You should be a highly-motivated individual, with the ability to work independently and a strong interest in pursuing a PhD degree in medical bacteriology. Laboratory experience in bacterial genetics, work with pathogenic bacteria, molecular biology and knowledge in NGS, basic sequence-related bioinformatics and statistics is a requirement. Previous laboratory experience with bacterial biofilms, flow cytometry, microscopy, antibiotic susceptibility testing and plasmid biology. Very good oral and written communication skills in English are required. Ability to teach in Swedish is meriting. Emphasis will also be given on personal qualities such as collaboration and communication skills as well as analytical capacity. The candidate is expected to take own initiatives as well as to collaborate with national and international colleagues both within and outside of the group.

The selection is based on the following criteria: completion of the above qualifications, grades in relevant courses, suitability of the courses to the research program, previous experience in working and/ or performing research in the wider area that relates to the project described above. An integrated assessment of the applicant is generated in order to employ the best possible candidate that can succeed in the doctoral studies and contribute to a positive development of the research program. Significant weight will be given to personal suitability for the position such as personal maturity, working well with others, have good problem-solving ability, and ability to structure work adequately and use good judgement.

To be employed as a PhD student, the applicant must be accepted in the postgraduate program. Information concerning doctoral education, requirements and rules of admission can be found in: Medicine and Pharmacy - Uppsala University ( The length of the study period for full time employment is a maximum of four years. Terms for graduate studies can be found in Högskoleförordningen 5 kap § §1-7.

Formal Duties: The successful candidate will engage in research and doctoral studies. Other duties at the department, i.e. administration and teaching, may be included in the employment up to a maximum level of 20 %.

Application: Please submit your application by using the Uppsala University application portal, and by including:

  • a CV
  • a letter describing your research interests, skills and motivation to apply for the position
  • transcript of education records
  • publications and/or a copy of master thesis or equivalent, together with
  • up to two reference letters (including phone numbers and e-mail addresses to referees)

Salary: According to local agreement for PhD students.

Starting date: As soon as possible or as otherwise agreed.

Type of position: Temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 §
§ 1-7.

Scope of employment: 100 %

For further information about the position please contact: Linus Sandegren (

Please submit your application by June 7, 2021, UFV-PA 2021/1769.

Are you considering moving to Sweden to work at Uppsala University? If so, you will find a lot of information about working and living in Sweden at You are also welcome to contact International Faculty and Staff Services at

In the event of any disagreement between the English and the Swedish versions of this announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.

Please do not send offers of recruitment or advertising services.

Submit your application through Uppsala University's recruitment system.

Placement: Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology

Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position longer than 6 months

Pay: According to local agreement

Number of positions: 1

Working hours: 100 %

Town: Uppsala

County: Uppsala län

Country: Sweden

Union representative: Saco-rådet
Seko Universitetsklubben

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2021/1769

Last application date: 2021-06-07

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