PhD in Oulu

Doctoral student, Parahydrogen biosensors for hypersensitive NMR analysis
The University of Oulu in Northern Finland, with approximately 15000 students and 3000 employees, is an international, multidisciplinary research university with a rich pool of creative and intellectual talent. The strengths of the University are broad, multidisciplinary research interests, a modern research and study environment, and wide cooperation with international research and educational institutes (
The open doctoral student position is in the field of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), in the following specific topic: Development of metal-free catalytic systems for parahydrogen-based NMR hyperpolarization techniques.
The position is located at the NMR Research Unit (, in the Faculty of Science. We are an internationally established, combined experimental and theoretical team of about 20 people, of which 50% with a PhD degree. We develop experimental, theoretical and computational research methods based on magnetic resonance phenomena and apply those methods to topical problems in molecular and materials sciences. Our particular strength is in the tight connection between state-of-the-art measurements and calculations. We have an open and encouraging working atmosphere and have a substantial track record in successful funding applications both at the Academy of Finland and in EU programmes. We are a key user of the NMR laboratory facility of the University of Oulu, furnished with six spectrometers (300-600 MHz) suited for an unusually broad variety of studies (wide range of nuclei, gas/liquid/solid, different sample sizes, imaging capabilities, diffusion probe, micro CryoProbe, remote detection, spin-exchange optical pumping/parahydrogen-induced/SABRE hyperpolarization), two low-field, mobile NMR spectrometers as well as nuclear magneto-optic instrumentation. CPU-intensive computational research is carried out mainly using the facilities of the national supercomputer centre (2300 TFlop/s total capacity). Local Linux clusters belonging to the Finnish Grid and Cloud Infrastructure are used for high-throughput production calculations.
Subject field and description of the position
The position is a part of Academy Project “Parahydrogen biosensors for hypersensitive NMR analysis” provided by the Academy of Finland. The research direction of the position is briefly described in the following: The project aims at development of metal-free activators of H2 molecules capable of producing nuclear spin hyperpolarization upon activation of parahydrogen, increasing NMR sensitivity by orders of magnitude. Typically, metal-containing activators/catalysts are used in parahydrogen-based hyperpolarization techniques. We develop more biogenic metal-free catalytic systems that can be used to create hypersensitive NMR biosensors for biomolecular monitoring.
The length of the position is four years, from September 2, 2019 (or as soon as possible thereafter) to August 31, 2023.
Required qualifications and assessment
The successful applicant must have completed MSc (or equivalent) in physics, chemistry, materials science, or a related field, with very good/excellent grades, by the application deadline. Experience in experimental NMR spectroscopy and other physical methods of analysis is to be documented. Experience in synthetic, experimental organic or/and physical chemistry will be considered as a valuable advantage.
The project requires computer experience in data analysis (Excel, Origin, Matlab).
Fluent English, as well as good communication and teamwork skills are required.
A six-month trial period will be effective in the beginning of the four-year contract.
It is required that the students are eligible for and acquire PhD study rights in physics in the Technology and Natural Sciences Doctoral Programme ( of the University of Oulu Graduate School (, within the trial period. The detailed requirements for the admission can be found here:
When assessing the applicants’ qualifications, issues to be considered will include the grades obtained during BSc and MSc studies, suitability of the earlier studies for embarking on a PhD degree programme in physics, prizes received during undergraduate studies, scientific publications and presentations, activity in the scientific community, practical familiarity with the field in question and international activities.
The doctoral student will carry out research work within the NMR Research Unit under the guidance and supervision of one or more of the senior researchers, publish research results in leading international scientific journals, attend doctoral courses and complete her/his doctoral thesis within 4 years. Other duties include teaching undergraduate courses (5% of the total of 1,624 working hours per year) and supervising undergraduate theses. In addition, she/he may be obligated to participate in administrative tasks of the Research Unit and University.
The salary will be based on the levels 2-4 of the demand level chart for university–level teaching and research staff of Finnish universities. In addition, a salary component based on personal work performance will be paid (maximum of 50 % of the job-specific component). The salary is thus in practice roughly 2300–2900 € per month (before taxes), depending on the appointee’s personal work performance and progress in her/his PhD studies.
Application Procedure
In your written application please provide clearly the following information and appendices:
1) Brief curriculum vitae in English (including list of publications)
2) Scanned copies of undergraduate degree certificates (BSc and MSc)
3) Extract of the study record(s)
4) Brief description of research interests, experience and motivation, in English
5) Your availability (starting time)
6) Contact information of two persons whom may be asked to give a statement of the candidate
Send your application using the electronic form by August 7, 2019 23:59 (Finnish local time).
The potential candidates for the positions may be called for interview.
For further information regarding the filling of this post:
Dr. Vladimir Zhivonitko, NMR Research Unit, University of Oulu, tel. +358-41-495 7904, email: vladimir.zhivonitko(at)

See also the application link: