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Post-doc position in the SYMBIOSTART NCN Sonata BIS project!

Position overview

The Institute of Evolutionary Biology invites applications from suitably qualified candidates to apply for a three-year Postdoctoral Research Fellowship as part of the Polish National Science Centre Sonata BIS project led by Dr Anna Karnkowska, called “Unravelling the establishment of endosymbiosis: quest for intermediate evolutionary stages among microbial eukaryotes (SYMBIOSTART)”. The successful candidate will join the Genomics and Evolution of Microbial Eukaryotes team.

The SYMBIOSTART project’s main goal is to understand the establishment of endosymbiosis by identifying and characterizing novel protist-endosymbiont systems at intermediate stages of endosymbiosis. We will screen various freshwater environments for such interactions, isolating and identifying partners using microscopic and genetic methods. The organisms in the intermediate stages of endosymbiosis will be studied at the level of genome evolution and at the level of gene expression regulation that accompanies the endosymbiotic interaction. We will also examine the ultrastructure of the studied cells which – together with genetic information – will reveal the nature of the studied systems. Experiments on established cultures of protists and their endosymbionts will enable a deeper understanding of the endosymbiosis process, including identifying the genes encoding proteins essential for its early stages.

The work will include:

  • Participation in fieldwork and wet lab research, including the acquisition of material for further research, single-cell picking, establishing cultures, DNA/RNA isolation and sequencing.
  • Microscopy (light microscopy, FISH, TEM) and genomic characterization of newly identified organisms and their symbionts.
  • Bioinformatic analyses of genomic and transcriptomic data.
  • Preparation of publications, presentation of results, supervision of students participating in the project.
  • It is expected that the post-doc will travel for project-related meetings and conferences as well as potential training to other laboratories.

The ideal post-doc candidate will have a strong interest in evolutionary biology and microbial eukaryotes (protists). This project involves the isolation and culturing of new protist-bacterial symbioses, their microscopic characterization, and the development of innovative techniques to achieve these goals. Additionally, the project includes genomic and transcriptomic analyses of these new systems. Candidates are not required to have extensive experience in all these research areas. We welcome applicants with expertise in either culturing and microscopy or in bioinformatic analyses and a willingness to learn. Most importantly, we are looking for individuals interested in non-model organisms and evolution of eukaryotes.


  1. PhD degree in biology or a similar area obtained not earlier than seven years prior to the employment in the project (note: this does not include periods of maternity or parental leave). We also consider candidates who will soon complete their PhD.
  2. Experience in laboratory work and/or sampling;
  3. Research experience in cultivation of microorganisms and microscopy and/or bioinformatics and genome analyses;
  4. Good writing and oral communication skills in English;
  5. Experience in first-author manuscript writing;
  6. Scientific independence and team working skills;

Application Deadline: 30 September 2024

Start Date: 1 November 2024 or later

Monthly salary: 8700 PLN per month (gross), plus “13th salary” bonus

Application process

Applicants are required to submit the following documents in a single pdf, via email, to: dziekanat.biol@uw.edu.pl and a.karnkowska@uw.edu.pl with annotation WB-K-11/2024 by no later than midnight, on September 30th, 2024

  1. an application addressed to the Rector of the University of Warsaw including a signed statement on the processing of personal data;
  2. copy of a PhD diploma (for applicants without a diploma, a declaration of the expected date of the defense is expected)
  3. a photograph;
  4. professional CV including a list of publications;
  5. motivation letter including research interests;
  6. names and contact data (e-mail, phone number) of two academic researchers who can provide information about the Candidate;
  7. a statement, in which the candidate confirms having read and accepted the regulations for conducting competitions, as set out in Ordinance No 106 of the Rector of the University of Warsaw, from 27 September 2019, defining procedures for conducting a competition for the post of an academic teacher at the University of Warsaw(Monitor UW item 388; English translation).

Selection process

The applications will be proceeded by the Competition Committee of the Faculty of Biology following the aforementioned provisions of Ordinance No. 106 of the Rector of the University of Warsaw from 27 September 2019. The candidates will be informed about the date of the interview (online) and on the results of the competition by e-mail. The Faculty of Biology reserves the right to reply to selected applications only and to close the procedure without a ruling.


For more information on this position, please contact head of the project Dr Anna Karnkowska a.karnkowska@uw.edu.pl.



Other research opportunities

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