The University of Helsinki, founded in 1640, is one of the world’s leading universities for multidisciplinary research. The university has an international academic community of 40,000 students and staff members.

The University of Helsinki is looking for a


to develop a new multiplex coherent Raman imaging instrument for applications in life sciences. The appointment is for up to 2 years with a flexible start during spring 2020.

Position description
The main task of the postdoctoral researcher will be to design and build a new instrument for fast label-free imaging. The instrument will have two complementary modalities: multiplex (broad spectral coverage) coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) and stimulated Raman scattering (SRS). The instrument will be developed as a part of an Academy of Finland funded project, Quantitative chemically-specific imaging infrastructure for material and life sciences (qCSI), involving three Finnish universities: University of Helsinki, University of Jyväskylä and Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology (LUT University). The project targets an internationally unique infrastructure for spectroscopic imaging, with applications in chemistry, physics, biology, pharmacy, medicine and engineering. The postdoctoral researcher will get an opportunity to work in a multidisciplinary research environment and gain experience of various topics in life sciences, spectroscopic imaging and optical instrumentation.

The project is a joint effort of three faculties of the University of Helsinki: Pharmacy, Science and Medicine. The project is coordinated by Prof. Clare Strachan, who is an expert in pharmaceutical analysis with advanced label-free spectroscopic imaging methods ( The new instrument will be built at the Department of Chemistry, in a group that is specialized in laser spectroscopy and instrumentation ( The work will be done in close collaboration with the Biomedicum Imaging Unit of the Faculty of Medicine (

In addition to constructing the new multiplex coherent Raman instrument, the postdoctoral researcher will take part in integration of the new instrument with an advanced spectral data processing and analysis platform. He or she will have the possibility of participating in other projects, which include application of the new instrument and other advanced spectroscopy and/or imaging techniques in the life sciences. Furthermore, the postdoctoral researcher is expected to contribute to graduate/undergraduate teaching, totaling approximately five percent of the total work load.

The position requires a strong experimental background in lasers and optical instrumentation. Hands-on experience of building experimental setups is necessary. In particular, the candidate should have prior knowledge of optical imaging and spectroscopy. The position requires good problem-solving skills and ability to work both independently and collaboratively.

The project involves international and cross-disciplinary collaboration, which requires fluent English, good communication skills and enthusiasm to gain new expertise across scientific boundaries. In particular, the postdoctoral researcher will have an opportunity to get acquainted with applications of microscopy and molecular spectroscopy in pharmaceutical and biomedical research. Prior experience of these disciplines is a plus.

Salary and benefits
Salary (level 5) is based on the demands level chart for teaching and research personnel in the salary system of Finnish universities. In addition, a salary component based on personal work performance will be paid. The overall starting salary will be c.a. 3300-3600 €/month, depending on the previous relevant research experience of the candidate. The position will initially be filled for one year (including a six-month trial period), with the option of continuation for a second year.

The University of Helsinki offers comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care and health insurance, sports facilities, and opportunities for professional development. The International Staff Services office assists employees from abroad with their transition to work and life in Finland.

How to apply
To apply, please submit your application using the University of Helsinki electronic recruitment system by clicking on Apply for the position. Internal applicants must submit their applications through the SAP HR portal.

Upload a single pdf-file that contains:
• Motivation letter (1 page)
• CV, including a list of publications
• Copy of PhD degree certificate (or if not yet graduated, expected graduation date in the first half of 2020)
• Contact information of 2-3 referees

The deadline for applications is February 3, 2020. For further information, please contact Prof. Clare Strachan (Faculty of Pharmacy), clare.strachan(at), tel. +358 50 318 5341 or Prof. Markku Vainio (Department of Chemistry), markku.vainio(at), tel. +358 50 567 8620

Due date

03.02.2020 23:59 EET