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Fully funded PhD studentships in Quantitative Biology

20 Fully funded PhD studentships in Quantitative Biology

The advent of large-throughput data is transforming life sciences into an increasingly quantitative discipline. The University of Lausanne (Switzerland) is at the forefront of this revolution, with quantitative research ramping up throughout the Faculty of Biology and Medicine, a dedicated department of Computational Biology, and interdisciplinary units such as the Center for Integrative Genomics. UNIL also hosts the headquarters of the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, to which many quantitative research groups are affiliated, and closely collaborates with EPFL on the same campus. Ideally situated along the lake of Geneva, near Lausanne's city center, UNIL brings together over 120 nationalities.

UNIL's Faculty of Biology and Medicine has recently launched a doctoral program entitled "Quantitative Biology". A wide range of research groups are recruiting PhD students, covering areas as diverse as Genetics, Cell biology, Metabolism, Computational biology, Oncology, Evolution, Microbiology, Imaging, Molecular biology, Neuroscience, Gene regulation, Radiobiology, Plant science, Ancient DNA, Population Genetics, Single-cell Genomics, Epi-lipidomics, Stem Cell Biology, Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials.

In 2021, hiring principal investigators include Francesca Amati, Claudia Bagni, Sven Bergmann, Christophe Dessimoz, Oscar Esteban, David Gfeller, Raphael Gottardo, Jerome Goudet, Emmanuella Guenova, Shukry James Habib, Laurent Keller, Zoltan Kutalik, Anna-Sapfo Malaspinas, Sophie Martin, Micah Murray, Alexandre Reymond, Tanja Schwander, Alessandro Villa, Claus Wedekind, Christian Widmann.

Job information

Expected start date: 01.03.2022 or to be agreed

Successful candidates will be offered one of two kinds of PhD student work contract, depending on the funding available to the hiring supervisor by the start of the contract:

  1. Doctoral assistant on UNIL funds, at an activity rate of 85%. The initial contract is of one year but will be renewed up to 5 years.
  2. Doctoral assistant on external funds, at an activity rate of 100%. The initial contract is of one year but will be renewed up to 4 years.

Please also note that in some cases, again depending on the hiring supervisor situation, contracts will be issued from the CHUV (University Hospital) or a different UNIL faculty.

Workplace: University of Lausanne (Dorigny, Bugnon, or Epalinges--depending on the supervisor)

Your qualifications

We are accepting applications from talented and enthusiastic candidates who are interested in a dynamic, well-supported lab at a top research institution. Candidates need to finish a Master's degree in a relevant area before the start date of their doctoral studies.

We are looking for three main types of PhD students:

  • Students with a life science degree, interested in working in an experimental lab, but with a high degree of motivation to learn the fundamentals of computational biology, and to develop quantitative skills to analyse data more effectively
  • Students with a life science degree interested in working in a dry computational lab, keen to deepen their quantitative skills and broaden their horizon in terms of experimental and computational techniques
  • Students with a non-biological background (e.g. computer science, maths, physics), who are highly motivated to transition to Life Sciences

A high level of written and spoken English proficiency is required since most scientific activities are conducted in English.

What the position offers you

You will develop your research project while working in a world competitive, interdisciplinary and highly collaborative environment.

The PhD program in Quantitative Biology provides opportunities for professional training and acquisition of highly transferable skills. This is complemented by a wide range of activities (retreats, symposia, student life).

The positions are fully funded. Salary and benefits are internationally highly competitive. Additional funding for consumables, computing, and to attend international conferences is available.

Your application

Application deadline: October 15th 2021

For your application to be considered, you need to fill in two forms:

The first form, requires the following informations:

  • Personal details
  • A cover letter. This can be very brief, since you should provide your motivation in the 2nd form below.
  • A single PDF document containing:
    • Your curriculum vitae (with extracurricular activities, internships, publications, conferences, awards, software contributions, etc.)
    • Master's thesis summary
    • The names and contact details of 2-3 referees.

The second form, requires you to answer the following questions:

  • What your most meaningful research experience to date and why? [up to 4000 characters, i.e. approximately 850 words]
  • What accomplishment--academic or not--to date are you proudest and why? [up to 1500 characters, i.e. approximately 320 words]
  • Why would you like to pursue a PhD, and why specifically at the UNIL Quantitative Biology Ph.D. program? [up to 1500 characters, i.e. approximately 320 words]
  • Which recruiting labs are you the most interested in and why [up to 1500 characters, i.e. approximately 320 words]

Remote interviews will take place on 17 and 18 November 2021. Lab visits and interviews will take place on 8-9 December 2021 in Lausanne (pandemic allowing--else remote alternative will be organized).

Informal inquiries

Prof. Christophe Dessimoz, Director of the UNIL Doctoral Program in Quantitative Biology program (christophe.dessimoz@unil.ch)

For more information, please consult the website.