PhD Position in Polymer Chemistry

Uppsala University Department of Chemistry

Marie Curie PhD student in Polymer Chemistry

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our mission is to pursue top-quality research and education and to interact constructively with 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 46.000 students, 7.300 employees and a turnover of SEK 7.3 billion.

The Department of Chemistry - Ångström conducts research and education in the chemistry field. The department has more than 230 employees and has a turnover of 220 million SEK. At the department's six programs, we conduct very successful research of a high international standard. We have a large number of externally funded research projects, often with international cooperation and we see continued good growth in our subject area. The department has education assignments in engineering programs and master's programs. More information is available on our website.

Project description: Chemically modified oligonucleotides will be designed to improve the drug-like properties of RNA interference (RNAi) drugs by improving enzymatic stability in blood plasma as well as enhance gene silencing potential. These modified oligonucleotide drugs will be encapsulated in nanocarriers or will be conjugated to targeting ligands. The functionality of the engineered drugs and formulations will be evaluated in suitable in vitro cell culture experiments. The candidate will be involved in a European collaboration, conduct original interdisciplinary research involving organic chemistry and cell and molecular biology, bioengineering, and 3D cell culture. The position includes research, training courses and exchange programs.

Work duties: The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which include participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties can also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

In this project, the candidate will perform synthesis of modified nucleic acid building blocks, assemble oligonucleotides and perform in vitro experiments.

Admission requirements: A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programs if he or she has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.


  • Master’s Degree or equivalent in synthetic organic chemistry, bio-organic chemistry, or similar fields.
  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.
  • A strong background in performing small molecule synthesis.
  • Experience with purification methods such as flash column and thin layer chromatography is required.
  • Experience with standard characterization methods such as NMR, IR and UV spectroscopy is required.

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through his or her experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle program.

The eligibility criteria for this specific project are as follows:

  • The applicant must, at the date of recruitment, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. This is measured from the date when they obtained the undergraduate degree.
  • The applicant must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting beneficiary for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account.

Additional qualifications:

  • Experience in nucleic acid chemistry, carbohydrate chemistry and nanoparticle formulations will be advantageous.
  • Experience with culturing of human cells and in vitro transfection will be advantageous.
  • Candidates with publications in peer-reviewed journals with a strong recommendation from their mentor will be given priority.  

Terms of employment: Rules governing PhD students are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala University's rules and guidelines

Salary: According to local agreement for PhD students.

Starting day: 01-02-2021 or as otherwise agreed.

Type of employment: Temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7.

Scope of employment: 100 %.

For further information about the position please contact: Prof. Oommen Varghese, Phone: + 46 (0)18 471 3832, e-mail

Please submit your application by December 16 2020, UFV-PA 2020/4154.

Are you considering moving to Sweden to work at Uppsala University? If so, you will find a lot of information about working and living in Sweden at You are also welcome to contact International Faculty and Staff Services at

Please do not send offers of recruitment or advertising services.

Submit your application through Uppsala University's recruitment system.

Placement: Department of Chemistry - Ångström Laboratory

Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position longer than 6 months

Pay: Fixed salary

Number of positions: 1

Working hours: 100 %

Town: Uppsala

County: Uppsala län

Country: Sweden

Union representative: ST/TCO
Seko Universitetsklubben

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2020/4154

Last application date: 2020-12-16

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