Doctoral Student in Food Materials Science
University of Helsinki

The University of Helsinki – among the best in the world

The University of Helsinki is one of the best multidisciplinary research universities in the world. In addition to its 11 faculties, the University of Helsinki includes several independent institutes, some of which are jointly operated with other universities. The University of Helsinki is an international academic community of 40,000 students and staff members. It operates on four campuses in Helsinki and at 15 other locations.

Dr. Ho Minh Thao, affiliated with the Food Materials Science research group, led by Assoc. Prof. Kirsi Mikkonen, is seeking for

Doctoral Student in Food Materials Science

for a fixed-term 1-year contract (funding will be re-applied yearly to renew the contract) to work in a project entitled “FinPowder: Design of spray dried powders from Finnish wild berries to protect bioactive compounds for healthy and sustainable diet using wood-based celluloses and hemicelluloses”. The project focuses on characterising powder particles as they are coated by different wood-based celluloses and hemicelluloses, to protect bioactive compounds against heating impact during spray drying of wild berries.

We are looking for a highly motivated doctoral student with an MSc degree in food sciences, food engineering, food chemistry, food material sciences, physical chemistry, or other related fields. The doctoral student is expected to contribute to research on spray drying of heat-sensitive materials, student supervision, and education on food sciences. The appointed researcher will work in collaboration with the other members of the Food Materials Science research group and will be supervised by Assoc. Prof. Kirsi Mikkonen and Dr. Ho Minh Thao.

A successful candidate should be able to:

• Identify, design, conduct, and report research on characterization of food powders, analysis of bioactive compounds in berries and powders, spray drying, and encapsulation from physical, chemical, technological, and physiological perspectives.
• Contribute to proposal writing to apply further research funding.
• Contribute to master student supervision and teaching of food sciences.
• Engage with scientific community, research partners and the wider public at all levels, internationally and domestically through scientific publications as well as for example through social media (blogs, etc.).

The candidate is expected to have:

Education, experience and technical skills

• A master’s degree and experience in food sciences/engineering, food material sciences, spray drying, encapsulation and analysis of bioactive compounds, and powder characterization including in vitro digestion.
• Knowledge of physicochemical methods to characterize food powders, and bioactive compounds in berries is an advantage.
• Fluency in English and excellent writing skills.

Personal attributes and competencies

• Excellent analytical and innovative research planning skills.
• Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, experienced in working within multicultural and multidisciplinary teams.
• High motivation for academic research, having initiative and capable of working independently as well as in team environments.
• Values continuous improvement based on constructive evaluation, self-reflection and learning.

The attachment required for the application include (in a single pdf-file):

1) A cover letter explaining the applicant’s motivation for the research work and a short research plan (e.g. approach, research materials and methods) (up to 3 pages) 2) Curriculum vitae showing the applicant's education, completed qualifications, work experience, possible list of publications and contact information of 2 persons for references (up to 3 pages) 3) Copies of Master's, and Bachelor's degree certificates and official transcripts of the records, and their translations, if the originals are not in Finnish, Swedish or English.

Please submit your application through the University of Helsinki Recruitment System via the link Apply for the position. Applicants who are employees of the University of Helsinki are requested to submit their application via the SAP HR portal,
The closing date for applications is 10 January 2021.

Further information about the position may be obtained from Dr. Ho Minh Thao (minh.ho(at)

Due date

10.01.2021 23:59 EET


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