PhD Candidate in Biochemistry

Aalto University is a community of bold thinkers where science and art meet technology and business. We are committed to identifying and solving grand societal challenges and building an innovative future. Aalto has six schools with nearly 11 000 students and a staff of more than 4000, of which 400 are professors. Our campuses are located in Espoo and Helsinki, Finland.


The Biochemistry group ( develops energy-relevant biochemical transformations. We have several openings for PhD students and Postdocs that are funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. We are looking for a


PhD Candidate with strong knowledge in (bio)chemistry or microbiology


Our goal is to access the methanogen-specific Wood-Ljungdahl pathway for the conversion of CO2 to multi-carbon fuels and chemicals. To achieve our goals, we unravel metabolic principles and enzyme function in anaerobic archaea, and we apply synthetic biology to create useful pathways and enzymes.

Research is carried out at our excellent facilities at Aalto University, School of Chemical Engineering ( The laboratories are situated on the main campus of Aalto University in Otaniemi (short metro-ride from Helsinki) within the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems (

Job description

The project may be adjusted according to the talents and preferences of the applicants. Most experiments will be performed in anaerobic chambers with enzymes purified from wild-type methanogens or from genetically engineered strains. Tasks are:

  • Study new archaeal enzymes and elucidate their reaction mechanisms
  • Assay development to study anaerobic enzymes in vitro
  • Investigate substrate- and cofactor promiscuity in methanogenic enzymes
  • Discovery of new methanogens from environmental samples
  • Environmental genomics


  • MSc in a suitable field, such as biochemistry, proteins, organic chemistry, microbiology, environmental genomics, or bioinformatics with the desire for lab-work
  • Be highly committed to science and strive for excellence
  • Develop own smart ideas and think independently
  • Be able to focus on solving tough scientific problems
  • Have good written and oral communication skills in English

The applicants for the doctoral candidate position must fulfil the requirements for doctoral students at Aalto University, School of Chemical Engineering. For more details, see:

Skills, knowledge or interest in some of the following areas are highly appreciated:

  • Enzymology, protein purification
  • Genetics and Bioinformatics
  • (environmental) Microbiology
  • Spectroscopic methods (HPLC, NMR, EPR, Electrochemistry)
  • Organic chemistry/synthesis

We offer

  • High-end laboratory infrastructure and friendly colleagues
  • Opportunity to work in a newly established research group
  • Freedom to bring in own ideas
  • Funding for 4 years

For more information

For additional scientific information, please contact Prof. Silvan Scheller ([email protected]), in matters related to the recruitment process, HR Coordinator Sanni Mero ([email protected]).

How to apply

The application should include the following:

  • Cover letter (start as follows: “I am interested in this position because… “)
  • CV
  • PDF copy of candidate's MSc. thesis or equivalent
  • Diploma, transcript of course records with grades 
  • Names and contact details of references

All materials should be provided in English through the online recruitment system (link below).

The call is open until July 31st, but review of candidates starts July 1st, and the position may be filled before the end of the call. Aalto University reserves the right for justified reasons to leave the position open, to extend the application period and to consider candidates who have not submitted applications during the application period.

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