Postdoctoral Researcher in Trans-Generational Stress Responses
University of Helsinki Helsinki Institute of Life Sciences

The University of Helsinki, founded in 1640, is one of the world’s leading universities for multidisciplinary research. The university has an international academic community of 40,000 students and staff members. The University of Helsinki offers comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care and health insurance, sports facilities, and opportunities for professional development. The International Staff Services office assists employees from abroad with their transition to work and life in Finland.

HiLIFE is a life science institute at the University of Helsinki established in 2017 supporting high quality research across campuses and life science faculties. HiLIFE builds on existing strengths and new recruits and partnerships to create an attractive international environment for solving grand challenges in health, food, and environment.

The Helsinki Institute of Life Sciences invites applications for a


in an integrative project to address the role of trans-generational effects in stress tolerance for a fixed term of two and a half years. There will be a trial period of six months in the beginning. The starting date is 1.10.2020, but a later starting date can be negotiated.

The post doc will join the Life-history Evolution Research group led by Associate Professor Marjo Saastamoinen ( The research group of M. Saastamoinen is also part of the Research Centre for Ecological change (REC), and thus the post doc will have an opportunity to interact within the dynamic and highly international research environments at HiLIFE (, REC ( and the Research Programme of Organismal and Evolutionary Biology ( at University of Helsinki.

The overreaching aim of the project is to understand the potential adaptive role of trans-generational impacts and underlying epi(genetic) mechanisms to environmental stress using the Glanville fritillary butterfly as a study organism. The project builds on an on-going work (in collaboration with Dr Vicencio Oostra at University of Liverpool, UK) indicating that both individual’s own developmental conditions and those experienced by its mother shape its phenotype. Furthermore, epigenetic and transcriptomic analyses suggest that within- and transgenerational responses are mediated by distinct pathways.

We are now seeking a post doc to continue this project in order to understand the potential adaptive nature and/or the impact of paternal condition in the trans-generational stress responses. The successful candidate will participate in planning and conducting the experiment(s), analyse the phenotypic and genomic (transcriptomic and ATAC-sequencing) data, and lead the writing of the resulting manuscript(s). There is also potential for analysing part of the existing data. The successful candidate is expected to have demonstrable experience in bioinformatic analyses of genomic data as well as strong background in evolutionary ecology and experimental approaches. Thus, the postdoctoral researcher will work at the interface of evolutionary ecology and genomics.

The successful applicant should have completed a PhD in evolutionary ecology or a related field, and have bioinformatics and statistical skills. We seek candidates with excellent written and verbal communication skills, and the ability to conceive, execute and complete research projects, and to think independently and creatively. The post doc will work as a part of a team and thus good social skills are required.
For more information, contact assoc. prof. Marjo Saastamoinen by email:

The salary of the successful candidate will be based on level 5 of the demands level chart for teaching and research personnel in the salary system of Finnish universities. In addition, the appointee will be paid a salary component based on personal performance. The starting salary will be ca. 3300–3800 euros/month, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience.

Application should include the following documents as a single pdf file: motivational letter (max 1 page), CV (max 2 pages) and publication list. Include also contact information of two persons who can provide a reference letter based on request.

Please submit your application using the University of Helsinki Recruitment System via the Apply link. Applicants who are employees of the University of Helsinki are requested to leave their application via the SAP HR portal.

The deadline for submitting the application is 10 August 2020.

Due date

10.08.2020 23:59 EEST


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