Postdoctoral researcher in Biology or Chemistry with focus on microplastic characterization

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Ref nr: ORU 2.1.1-03588/2020

The School of Science and Technology at Örebro University is seeking a postdoctoral researcher in Biology or Chemistry for a fixed-term appointment.

Subject area

The position is within Biology or Chemistry, and will be decided after evaluation of the candidates.


We seek a postdoctoral researcher within the field of microplastic pollution in marine ecosystems. The work will be carried out within an EU-funded international project made up of a scientific consortium of 14 research institutions from 11 European countries. The project combines expertise on oceanography, environmental chemistry, ecotoxicology, experimental ecology and modelling to answer key research questions on the fate and biological effects of microplastics and nanoplastics on the marine environment.

The research project is conducted at Man-Technology-Environment (MTM) Research Centre and aims at characterizing the ecotoxicological effects of microplastics by studying chemical additives and environmental pollutants sorbed to microplastics from varies locations in Europe. MTM is a multi-disciplinary research environment in which chemistry, biology and medicine are merged in order to solve environmental and health challenges. The characterization of microplastics includes both chemical and biological analysis using our platforms for gas- and liquid chromatography-based fractionation in connection with high resolution mass spectrometry, and a battery of gene reporter bioassays with different physiological end-points.

Duties and responsibilities

The position as a postdoctoral researcher is intended to enable persons who have recently been awarded their doctoral degree, to consolidate and develop primarily their research skills. The postdoctoral researcher will be primarily in charge of the biological and chemical characterization of microplastics using Effect-Directed Analysis (EDA) and the investigation of drivers of toxicity. The candidate will also take part in field sampling of microplastics and analysis of microplastics in different environmental matrices. Other duties include general maintenance of instruments and dissemination of research results.The appointment may also include teaching, when there is a need within the organization, to facilitate the researcher to acquire qualifications for a teaching appointment at the University. The share of teaching may not exceed 20 percent of a full-time position.


Eligible for the appointment as postdoctoral researcher are applicants holding a doctoral degree in biology, chemistry, or in related subject areas. The doctoral degree should have been awarded no more than three years prior to the application deadline. Candidates who have obtained their doctoral degree prior to that may however also be considered if special grounds exist (leave of absence due to illness, parental leave, clinical duties, an elected position in a trade union, or other similar circumstances).

Assessment criteria

The researcher should have a strong background in the investigation of toxicological effects of environmental pollutants, and/or a strong background in organic analytical chemistry using liquid- and gas mass spectrometry. Specific attention will be given to candidates that have experience in application of bioreporter assays and/or non-target screening analysis using high resolution mass spectrometry. A good background knowledge in the study of microplastic pollution will be valued. Any experiences in sampling methods of microplastic and field work are of advantage. As the position is associated to an international project, good oral and written communication skills in English are mandatory. General assessment criteria include good interpersonal skills and an ability to cooperate in an interdisciplinary environment and be able to work in a team. A demonstrated ability and desire to pursue an academic career is also of importance.


The position is a position for a fixed term of two years. The salary depends on the successful candidate’s qualifications and experience.

For more information, please contact the principal investigator Steffen Keiter (This is an email address, +46-19-30 36 04), or deputy head of School Anna Kärrman (This is an email address, +46-19-30 14 01)

Örebro University actively pursues an equal work environment and values the qualities that diversity adds to our operations.


The application is made online. Click the button “Apply” to begin the application procedure.

For the application to be complete, the following electronic documents must be included:

  • A covering letter, outlining how you believe you can contribute to the continued development of Örebro University
  • CV with a relevant description of your overall qualifications and experience
  • An account of research/artistic qualifications
  • Copies of relevant course/degree certificates and references verifying eligibility and criteria met
  • Scientific publications for consideration (maximum of 10) (Not only publication list.)

Only documents written in Swedish, English, Norwegian or Danish can be reviewed.

The application deadline is 2020-08-07 We look forward to receiving your application!

We decline any contact with advertisers or recruitment agencies in the recruitment process.

As directed by the National Archives of Sweden (Riksarkivet), Örebro University is required to deposit one file copy of the application documents, excluding publications, for a period of two years after the appointment decision has gained legal force.