PhD student in infrared spectroscopy with a focus on proteins and bacteria

Applied physicsCivil EngineeringElectronics EngineeringMaterials Science and EngineeringNanoscienceTechnical Medicine
Sep 01, 2023 21:59:00 GMT+00:00
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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 54,000 students, more than 7,500 employees and a turnover of around SEK 8 billion.

Read more about our benefits and what it is like to work at Uppsala University

At the Department of Materials Science, we work to find technical solutions in sustainability and energy and other things that improve living conditions for people. We have dedicated and knowledgeable employees who together lead research and development in a number of different areas. The department are: solid state physics, medical technology, microsystems technology, nanotechnology and functional materials, solar cell technology, applied materials science, applied mechanics and Myfab – infrastructure for cleanroom-based research.

Meet some of our researchers here

The Division of Applied Materials Science (AMS) is part of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Ångström Laboratory. Researchers at AMS have extensive experience in materials science, materials analysis, materials synthesis and nanostructuring of materials. We develop materials and tailor their properties for a wide range of applications, and our research activities are of predominately experimental nature. Research groups are specialized in Materials in Medicine, Tribomaterials, Electron Microscopy and Nanoengineering, and Diamond Optics.

The Materials in Medicine and Diamond Optics groups are looking for a Ph.D. student to join our multidisciplinary team at the intersection of materials science, optics, and biomedicine. The Materials in Medicine group studies the interaction between synthetic materials and living tissues. By understanding this interaction, we can use it to develop biomaterials for medical devices and drug delivery systems. The Diamond Optics group focuses on applications of diamond within astronomy and life sciences. By leveraging our unique diamond micro- and nano-structuring techniques we open up new uses for this fantastic material for infrared optics. Our expertise in optical simulations lets us optimize our designs at the nanometer scale. Our groups are formed by a multidisciplinary staff with backgrounds in materials science, chemistry, physics, and biotechnology.

The project you as a PhD student is part of, is about analyzing proteins and bacteria using IR spectroscopy, with a special focus on bacteria with antimicrobial resistance. One aim is to realize quick analysis of bacteria in their surroundings, including tracking the interaction between bacteria and antibiotics and antimicrobial materials. Another aim is to measure changes in proteins connected with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s, in order to develop a method for early diagnosis.


The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. For a doctoral degree, the equivalent of four years of full-time doctoral education is required. The work duties can also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

In addition to performing IR spectroscopy of relevant analyzes with our state-of-the-art equipment, your duties within the project include, among other things

  • nanofabrication of diamond waveguides in our clean room
  • optical setup of lasers, waveguides and possibly microfluidic platforms, which together forms a new type of biosensor
  • modify the surface chemistry on different materials
  • statistics and machine learning to interpret small changes in the IR-spectrum. 


Master’s or civil engineering degree with studies in materials science, technical physics, physics, electronics, micro- and nanosystems technology, or equivalent. We require good oral and written skills in English.

To meet the entry requirements for doctoral studies, you must

  • hold a Master’s (second-cycle) degree or
  • have completed at least 240 credits in higher education, with at least 60 credits at Master’s level including an independent project worth at least 15 credits, or
  • have acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way.

Rules governing PhD students are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala University’s rules and guidelines.

Additional qualifications

  • research experience in one or more of the following fields: IR spectroscopy, optics, biomaterials, machine learning or micro- and nanofabrication in a clean room environment.
  • experience in measurement technology and integration of microsystems, especially chemical and optical characterization of materials and systems.
  • practical experience in building and manufacturing things relevant to the project, mechanical shaping such as 3D writing and milling

It is also meritorious to have a broad education in, for example, physics and technical physics together with, for example, nanosystem technology, which gives a greater understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of the research area.

Great emphasis will be placed on personal qualities such as the ability to independently plan and carry out work. You have good communication skills, where through this quality you cooperate well with others. You also have a good ability to write scientific and academic text.

Your application must include,

1) A short cover letter in which you describe yourself, why you want to do a PhD and why you are suitable for this position.

2) CV (max 2 pages)

3) A certified copy of your master’s degree/civil engineering degree and your course grades.

4) Copies (or drafts) of your master’s thesis and other documents, such as publications, that you wish to refer to.

5) Names and contact details of at least two contact persons who have accepted to be references for you, with any additional letters of recommendation. It must also be stated what relationship you have had with the respective referent.

The application is to be written in English. We will continuously read applications and call for interviews.

About the employment

The employment is a temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7. Scope of employment 100 %. Starting date as soon as possible or as agreed. Placement: Uppsala

For further information about the position, please contact: Associate professor Mikael Karlsson (

Please submit your application by 1 of September 2023, UFV-PA 2023/2515.

Are you considering moving to Sweden to work at Uppsala University? Find out more about what it´s like to work and live in Sweden.  

Please do not send offers of recruitment or advertising services.

Submit your application through Uppsala University’s recruitment system.

Placement: Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position

Pay: According to local collective agreement

Number of positions: 1

Working hours: 100 %

Town: Uppsala

County: Uppsala län

Country: Sweden

Union representative: ST/TCO tco@fackorg.uu.seSeko Universitetsklubben seko@uadm.uu.seSaco-rådet

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2023/2515

Last application date: 2023-09-01