Doctoral Candidate in Algorithms for Biomolecular Nanotechnology

The Department of Computer Science at the Aalto University School of Science is presently looking for a

Doctoral Candidate in Algorithms for Biomolecular Nanotechnology (Helsinki, Finland)

We are searching for a Doctoral Candidate to work in the project Algorithmic Designs for Biomolecular Nanostructures (ALBION), led by Professor Pekka Orponen and funded by the Academy of Finland (2017-2021). The position belongs to the Aalto career system and the selected person will be appointed for a two-year fixed term with an option for renewal.

The area of DNA nanotechnology ( employs DNA -- and very recently also RNA -- as generic building material for assembling nanoscale objects with dimensions in the order of 10-100 nanometres. For instance, we recently presented a general technique for rendering almost arbitrary 3D wireframe designs into biomolecules folded from a single long DNA strand ( The project ALBION develops effective algorithmic methods and novel combinatorial models for this rapidly emerging new area. On the algorithmic side, the focus is on developing design methods and tools for 2D and 3D RNA nanostructures, with the goal of eventually transcribing and folding such designer molecules in a cellular environment. This work is complemented by mathematical and computational studies of the underlying process, fundamental to all life on Earth, whereby a linear sequence self-organises into a given highly complex and functional 3D shape. While the experimental work is pursued in collaboration with leading European laboratory partners, the design and modelling work requires first and foremost a solid background in algorithms and discrete mathematics.

For further information, see the research group webpage at "”.


In addition to research work, persons hired are expected to participate in the supervision of students and teaching following the standard practices at the department.


The candidate should have a M.Sc. or equivalent degree in computer science, mathematics, physics, or other suitable discipline with knowledge of the design and analysis of algorithms, discrete mathematics, and good programming skills. No background in biochemistry is required, but an interest and willingness to learn new things are essential for the successful pursuit of Ph.D. studies. Good command of English is a necessary prerequisite.

Compensation, working hours and place of work

The salary for the position starts at 2 424,72 EUR. In addition to the salary, the contract includes occupational health benefits, and Finland has a comprehensive social security system. The annual total workload of teaching staff at Aalto University is 1 624 hours. The position is located at the Aalto University Otaniemi campus.

Application material and procedure

Please send your application through the electronic recruitment system ‘Saima’ (see link at the bottom of the page). The review for the position begins on 1 December and the position remains open until filled. The application for the position should contain (in a single pdf document named as lastname_firstname_application.pdf):

  • A brief letter of motivation for the position (less than one page)
  • Curriculum vitae (including publications if any)
  • Contact details of at least 2 senior academics available to provide references
  • A transcript and degree certificate of Master’s studies

All material should be submitted in English in electronic format via the recruitment system. Candidates may be invited for an interview on the Otaniemi campus of Aalto University in Espoo or for an interview conducted via Skype. The candidates must have completed their M.Sc. degree before the start of the contract period. Should there be a lack of eligible outstanding applicants, the application period may be extended. While all applicants who have submitted an application by the deadline will be appropriately considered, Aalto University reserves the right to consider also other candidates for the announced position.

Further information

  • HR Coordinator Laura Kuusisto-Noponen , e-mail "" (recruitment process related information)
  • Professor Pekka Orponen, e-mail "" (research related information)

Espoo, November 17, 2017

Aalto University

About Helsinki

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