Post Doc in Discovery and Engineering of Heat-Stable Biomass-Degrading Enzymes

Royal Institute of Technology

Postdoc in Discovery and Engineering of Heat-Stable Biomass-Degrading Enzymes

School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health

KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has grown to become one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities, as well as a key centre of intellectual talent and innovation. We are Sweden’s largest technical research and learning institution and home to students, researchers and faculty from around the world. Our research and education covers a wide area including natural sciences and all branches of engineering, as well as architecture, industrial management, urban planning, history and philosophy.

Job description

You will work on a project funded by Energimyndigheten, the Swedish Energy Agency. We have recently found that certain small protein domains can enhance the stability of carbohydrate-degrading enzymes. These domains convey appended enzymes with thermostability and prolonged duration of activity. Our goals are to discover new examples of these stabilising domains, to characterise the biophysical properties of the enzymes to which they are naturally appended, and to use them to engineer new enzymes with enhanced heat- and process-stability for biomass degradation in energy production. You will be building on preliminary data gathered by Lauren McKee, the supervisor of this project. You will work closely with other members of the KTH Division of Glycoscience, especially the current members of Lauren’s group. You can read about Lauren and her research here and here. Contact her directly ( with questions about this position.

You will perform research tasks on this project: gene discovery and cloning, production and purification of recombinant proteins, assays of enzyme activity and stability, biomass saccharification tests, and design of new enzyme constructs. You will be involved in the writing of manuscripts and any patent applications that derive from this work, as well as assisting in administrative project management. Research duties will include working in a multi-disciplinary team, presenting your work at meetings and conferences, planning your time in the lab, and managing your data. You will be encouraged to share your results with the wider world via popular science writing, if you wish to.

You will be encouraged to assist in the training and supervision of Master’s thesis students and research interns. No more than 20% of the postdoc’s time may be devoted to educational duties.

What we offer

  • A position at a leading technical university that generates knowledge and skills for a sustainable future
  • Engaged and ambitious colleagues along with a creative, international and dynamic working environment
  • The ability to join a union
  • Works in Stockholm, in close proximity to nature
  • Help to relocate and be settled in Sweden and at KTH
  • Our lab is strongly multi-disciplinary, encompassing groups focussing on materials development, resource utilisation, sustainable agriculture, and fundamental glycoscience. The Division of Glycoscience is part of the Department of Chemistry, and shares lab space with the Department of Industrial Biotechnology, making for a dynamic scientific environment.
  • The members of KTH Glycoscience have diverse scientific goals, but we emphasise our common values. We value the participation of every member of our lab, and we want everyone in our community to have a positive personal and professional experience while they are with us.

Read more about what it is like to work at KTH



  • A doctoral degree or an equivalent foreign degree, obtained within the last three years prior to the application deadline (With some exceptions for special reasons such as periods of sick or parental leave, kindly indicate if such reason exists in your resume). Your doctorate should have been obtained within a relevant field of study, such as carbohydrate biochemistry, enzymology or biochemical engineering.

Preferred qualifications

When assessing candidates, a great emphasis will be placed on personal competency. You should have sufficient research experience to be able to work independently after initial discussion. You should be able to plan your own time, keep to deadlines, and generate data in an efficient and timely manner. It is preferable if you have experience of supervising Master’s or Bachelor’s students, and some competence in teaching is desirable.

You must have specific research skills relevant to the project, as well as relevant specific subject knowledge. The project will focus on developing tools for bioenergy and biomass utilisation, in line with the goal of moving towards a sustainable circular bioeconomy; it is therefore highly desirable that you possess advanced knowledge of sustainable development issues.

You will be joining a Division that is highly diverse in terms of age, educational background, gender, and country of origin. You will be expected to work collaboratively within this setting and, as you will also be contributing to student instruction and supervision, it is essential that you are sensitive to the importance of diversity, equity, and equal opportunity in education and employment.

Trade union representatives

You will find contact information to trade union representatives at KTH's webbpage.


Log into KTH's recruitment system in order to apply to this position. You are the main responsible to ensure that your application is complete according to the ad.

The application must include:

  • CV including relevant professional experience and knowledge.
  • Copy of diplomas and grades from your previous university studies. Translations into English or Swedish if the original documents have not been issued in any of these languages.
  • Brief account of why you want to conduct research, your academic interests and how they relate to your previous studies and future goals. Max two pages.
  • A description of the methods you would use to clone and express a bacterial gene, produce the protein, and assay for carbohydrate-degrading activities. Max one page.

Your complete application must be received at KTH no later than the last day of application, midnight CET/CEST (Central European Time/Central European Summer Time).

About the employment

The position offered is for, at the most, two years.

A position as a postdoctoral fellow is a time-limited qualified appointment focusing mainly on research, intended as a first career step after a dissertation.


Striving towards gender equality, diversity and equal conditions is both a question of quality for KTH and a given part of our values.

For information about processing of personal data in the recruitment process please read here.

We firmly decline all contact with staffing and recruitment agencies and job ad salespersons.

Disclaimer: In case of discrepancy between the Swedish original and the English translation of the job announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment Spring 2021 or according to agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number C-2020-2356
Lauren McKee,
Published 21.Jan.2021
Last application date 19.Feb.2021 11:59 PM CET