This is a call for Principal Investigators with a structural biology project (coupled to the ISB research environment at Umeå University) to suggest project ideas for our 2021 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 two or three 2-year postdoctoral fellowships (300 kkr/year) with running costs (100 kkr/year).  The aim is to attract new researchers to the ISB environment and also to encourage new and bold projects within structural biology. 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. 

Research constellations

The postdoc program aims at fostering new collaborations. New biological questions are encouraged, and we therefore ask interested researchers outside the ISB environment to approach an ISB group leader with ideas. Research projects should involve 2 (or more) PIs with at least one PI being an ISB PI. All participating PI’s must be based in Umeå. The project must have a strong structural biology component.


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 Prof. Bilker, Dr. Ronnie Berntsson, Dr. Karina Persson and Dr. Jonas Barandun.

The eligible PIs considering to participate are asked to provide the following by using the attached 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 (Times New Roman, font 12)
  4. A statement (max ½ page) about your activities within the ISB research environment. (Times New Roman, font 12)
  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 as soon as possible and no later than September 17. Write “ISB project idea” as subject. 

After evaluation by the recruitment committee the final list of project ideas will be published on latest September 24th, together with the contact information for participating PI’s, as an international Advertisement (Nature jobs) as well as on The PI and collaborator are expected to use their networks to search for strong candidates.

The deadline for application is October 31.

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 Umeå Postdoc Society ( career 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

Important dates recruitment to the ISB postdoc program, 2021

Opening of 2021 call: August 17

Deadline to submit project proposals by PIs: September 17

Deadline for applications from potential postdocs: October 31

Ranking of candidates by project teams: November 10

Interviews: first week of December