Integrated Structural Biology (ISB) postdoctoral program, 2019

This is a call for Principal Investigators with a structural biology project (coupled to the ISB research environment) Umeå University to suggest project ideas for our 2019 recruitment of new postdoctoral researchers. 

With the aim to strengthen the research activities within the integrated structural biology (ISB) research environment at Umeå University, we will this year offer up to two two-year postdoctoral fellowships (300 kkr/year) with running costs (100 kkr/year).  The aim is to bring new researchers to the ISB environment and also to encourage new and bold projects at the interfaces between structural biology techniques. We are not primarily directing this effort at individuals already in Umeå. Furthermore, projects must be put forward by new constellations of PIs, who have not previously published together on the project. We anticipate a second call to open in 2020 and which may then support up to three two-year postdoctoral fellowships with running costs.

Research constellations

The postdoc program aims at fostering new collaborations and all projects must therefore combine different areas of structural biology. New biological questions are also encouraged, and we therefore ask interested researchers outside the ISB environment to approach an ISB group leader with ideas. Research projects can thus involve 2-3 PIs in the following constellations: (1) Two structural biologists, where the added value of the collaboration comes from lead and co-applicant bringing together complementary expertise covering two or more of the four areas of structural biology. (2)  Two ISB PIs with complementary expertise, joined by a co-PI from outside the ISB. For both two- and three-party constellations the participating PI’s must be based in Umeå.


The four areas of structural biology are broadly defined as: x-ray diffraction/scattering, electron microscopy, NMR spectroscopy and computational structural biology. The PI:s within structural biology are listed at: under “principal investigators”

Who can participate as main applicant?To be eligible to act as main PI you need to fulfil both of the following criteria:

  1. You are a PI active within ISB at Umeå (defined by the presence on 
  2. You are a PI with support (during the last year) as main applicant from the Swedish Research Council for research (or equivalent) of relevance to the area of structural biology.

Recruitment committee and call.

The recruitment process will be chaired by Professor Oliver Billker at the Department of Molecular Biology and director of MIMS. The recruitment committee will consist of Professor Magnus Wolf-Watz and Dr. Ronnie Berntsson and one additional Umeå based group leader.

The eligible PIs considering to participate are asked to provide the following by using the template. Name the document firstname.lastname_ISB_postdoc (of main applicant)

  1. A project title. 
  2. Participating PI:s
  3. A description of the project idea that a postdoc candidate should be developing. Carefully explain the benefit and expected synergy of the collaborative effort. Provide a plan for how the postdoc will get trained in two structural biology techniques. In total max ½ A4 page
  4. A statement (max ½ page) about your activities within the ISB research environment. 
  5. Information about your current research project support from the Swedish Research Council (or equivalent) as main applicant, i.e. a copy of the project summary with information details from SweCRIS national contract-database. 

If you wish to submit a project idea to recruit a new postdoctoral researcher to Umeå and fulfil the eligibility requirements, please send the required documents (items 1-5 above) as a PDF document by E-mail to Magnus Wolf-Watz (, Ronnie Berntsson ( and Oliver Billker ( as soon as possible and no later than August 15. Write “ISB project idea” as subject. 

After evaluation by the recruitment committee the final list of project ideas will be published on August the 30th, together with the contact information for participating PI’s, as an international Advertisement (Nature jobs & Research gate) as well as on

The deadline for application is September 30.

The program is open to all nationalities with relevant doctoral level education and work experiences and the advertisement will include the following to be considered by potential candidates: 

  • Funding for research within a multidisciplinary structural biology environment 
  • Two years of guaranteed funding including running costs
  • Access to ISB affiliated core facilities and technical platforms 
  • Integration with postdocs at MIMS for carrier development and joint activities

The candidates should (in addition to submitting their CV, publ, certificates, etc.) write a “MOTIVATION LETTER” (1-2 pages) specifying: i) why they are interested in performing postdoc research studies within ISB and ii) why in particular they wish to do this with the PI and project idea selected from our list . The applicants must also write a one-page research plan for the project. We encourage the applicants to contact the PIs for discussion of the project before submission. 

After a joint assessment of the applications resulting in a short listing, the top-candidates will be invited for Skype interviews. The final ranking will be established after the interviews and the positons will be offered to the candidates after approval of the main applicant.

Best regards on behalf of ISB in Umeå, 

Magnus Wolf-Watz, Chemistry Department, 

Ronnie Berntsson, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics