Jobba Statligt

Postdoc in Biomimicry of Spiders’ Silk Glands

  • Yrkesroll


  • Anställning

    Heltid, 6 månader eller längre

  • Lön

    Fast månads- vecko- eller timlön

  • Publicerad

    3 juli

  • Sök jobbet senast

    26 augusti

Om jobbet

Department of Animal Biosciences
Come join our spider silk team! In this project we will elucidate the secrets behind how spider spin their silks (one individual can spin up to seven different silk types!). As a research group we are interested in how spiders have solved problems related to protein production, storage and polymerization, and develops methods for producing the material by recombinant protein production and biomimetic fiber spinning. In order to develop our methods further we are looking for a postdoc with a keen interest in biophysical methods. The candidate will dissect silk glands from spiders and analyse these with a panel of state-of-the-art methods, like SAXS, WAXS, XRF, FIB-SEM and confocal microscopy. By doing so we hope to answer several outstanding enigmatic questions, for example, (i) What are the physiological conditions along the silk glands? (ii) How are the silk proteins organized to allow long-term storage and stability in the glands? (iii) Are there pH gradients in all silk glands? Are there also other ion gradients that influence silk polymerization? (iv) What are the common and distinctive features of the different silk glands? (v) Can the dissimilarities explain the different mechanical properties of the fiber types?
About the position
You will be part of an excellent team of several PhD students, Postdocs and Researchers working on different projects related to biotechnological methods for producing recombinant silk proteins, characterization of these, spinning of fibers, protein engineering, material characterization and bioinformatics to understand the transcriptome profile of the silk glands. Your work will involve dissection of spiders, collection of silk glands and fibers, characterization of these using e.g. SAXS, WAXS, XRF, FIB-SEM and confocal microscopy. The postdoc project is a collaboration with the Technical University in Dresden, Germany, and the candidate is expected to travel there and to synchrotrons in Europe to perform experiments.

The applicant is expected to actively pursue the project, keep updated with the literature, interact with the other team members, be active at journal clubs and meetings, present results in a pedagogic way, write reports and papers, and have a positive attitude. You will be responsible for planning, executing and analysing data. Teaching of undergraduates and PhD students may be part of the duties.

Your profile

A PhD in a relevant subject obtained within the past three years, and several publications in international peer-reviewed journals and at least one as first author are required.

Excellent knowledge in English is a requirement (at least C1 level in reading, writing and listening).

Previous experience of at least one of the techniques that will be used in the project is required.

As a person you are positive, ambitious, thorough, and able to keep deadlines.

About us

The spider silk biomimetics group at SLU is highly productive and successful group that has secured several grants from the European Research Council. Recently, the group has been awarded significant research grants from Olle Engkvist Stiftelse and Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation which vouch for a continued high level of research activities. We are dedicated, ambitious and have a friendly and helpful atmosphere. You can read more about us here:

The department is part of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science and is responsible for education and research in several basic and applied areas. These areas include anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology, pharmacology, toxicology, genetics, breeding, immunology, bacteriology, virology, parasitology, epizootology, comparative medicine, food safety, bioinformatics and One Health. Our research covers everything from production animals to sports and pet animals, laboratory animals and wild animals. The department's researchers work on the entire scale from molecular mechanisms and microbiology to the structure, function and behaviour of animals, and how these are affected by breeding, physical activity, care, production, stress, environmental factors and diseases.

For more information about the department visit:

Read more about our benefits and working at SLU by visiting:



Form of employment:

Temporary employment 24 months, with the possibility of extension.



Start date:

As agreed


Applicants must attach three or four documents:
  • CV including contact information, publication list and contact information for at least two references that know the applicant and his or her qualifications.
  • Description of previous and ongoing research and a justification for the applicant's relevance to obtain the position. Description of preliminary research ideas are welcome but not required. (Maximum two A4 pages.)
  • Copy of diploma or link to or copy of doctoral dissertation.
  • If the applicant is not a native English speaker, an official certificate stating the level of English proficiency is required.
Please submit your application before deadline 26 August 2024. You can submit your application by clicking the button below.

Union representatives:

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) has a key role in the development for sustainable life, based on science and education. Through our focus on the interaction between humans, animals and ecosystems and the responsible use of natural resources, we contribute to sustainable societal development and good living conditions on our planet. Our main campuses are located in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala, however, the university also operates at research stations, experimental forests and teaching sites throughout Sweden.

SLU has around 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and doctoral students and a turnover of over SEK 3 billion. We are investing in attractive environments on all of our campuses. We strive to provide a work environment characterised by inclusivity and gender equality, where different experiences generate conversations between people and pave the way for science, creativity and development. Therefore, we welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives.


Individual wage setting

Lönetyp: Fast månads- vecko- eller timlön


Heltid/ Ej specificerat