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09 Funded PhD Positions at Umeå University, Sweden

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Umeå University, Sweden invites online application for multiple fully funded PhD positions in various research areas. Candidates interested in fully funded PhD positions can check the details and may apply as soon as possible.

1. PhD Position in Computational Science

Summary of PhD Positions:

The specific goals of this project are: to formulate the federated learning problem as an instance of operator splitting, to develop numerical optimization algorithms for these formulations, to analyze the theoretical convergence guarantees of these algorithms, to develop and analyze novel loss and penalty functions for the federated learning problem, and to scale these developments for large-scale machine learning tasks.

The doctoral student position is offered within a research project financed by the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP). The project is a collaboration between Tommy Löfstedt, Docent and Associate Professor at the Department of Computing Science, Umeå University, and Alp Yurtsever, Assistant Professor at the Department of Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics, Umeå University.

Application Deadlines: 2022-11-06

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2. PhD Position in chemistry

Summary of PhD Positions:

This research project fully supports a PhD student to study mechanisms for formation of methylmercury in anaerobic microbial biofilms. This work will focus on experimental molecular level studies on mercury uptake and methylation in biofilms. The spread of mercury in ecosystems constitutes a severe threat to wildlife and human health. The problems are largely caused by formation of neurotoxic methylmercury which accumulates in aquatic food webs. Methylmercury is formed intracellular in a select group of anaerobe microorganisms by methylation of inorganic mercury. However, we still lack a detailed understanding of the molecular mechanisms for cellular uptake and methylation of mercury.

Application Deadlines: 2022-10-30

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3. PhD Position in Medical Sciences 

Summary of PhD Positions:

The main goal of this PhD project is to decrease the physical uncertainties in radiation therapy with protons, which lead to unnecessary irradiation of healthy tissue and thus potential negative side-effects for patients after cancer treatment. To achieve this goal, we will explore the possibilities to estimate human tissue characteristics with high accuracy using PCCT image data and machine learning. Through better knowledge of tissue characteristics, more accurate determination and modelling of proton range can be achieved in proton therapy treatment planning. Furthermore, this project will also cover a comparison between physical models, previously developed by the research group, and machine learning for evaluation of the impact of more accurate quantitative methods in radiation oncology.

Application Deadlines: 2022-10-30

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4. PhD Position in Applied Physics

Summary of PhD Positions:

Combustion of solid biomass together with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) has the potential to drastically reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from renewable heat and electricity production. The most promising way to achieve this is to implement oxy-fuel biomass combustion and CCS in existing plants for heat and power generation and waste incineration. Oxy-fuel combustion produces a flue gas that consists of highly concentrated CO2, which can be directly compressed at low cost for permanent storage. However, systematic experimental studies of solid biomass oxy-fuel combustion, and studies on larger scale are scarce.

The objective of this project is to acquire essential knowledge to implement BECCS in the energy system. Laboratory and pilot-scale experiments will be conducted and analysed using advanced methods for real-time in situ diagnostics to address key issues, such as process stability and control, and the gas- and solid-phase combustion chemistry in a CO2-rich atmosphere. The work also includes development of laser-based techniques for combustion diagnostics.

Application Deadlines: 2022-10-28

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5. PhD Position in Experimental Physics

Summary of PhD Positions:

The selected candidate will work within the research project ‘Relativistic nanophotonics’. The unique combination of sub-two optical cycle laser pulse duration (<5 fs) and ultra-high intensities (>10^18 W/cm^2) – more details can be found here D. E. Rivas et al., Sci. Rep. 7, 5224 (2017) – opens the way towards field-controlled relativistic interactions. When nanometer-sized solid targets are used, the so-called relativistic nanophotonics regime – D. E. Cardenas et al., Sci. Rep. 9, 7321 (2019) –, these interactions involve the acceleration of electrons with highest fields beyond TV/m strength and shortest duration below 1 fs.

The actual research will focus on the application of a unique 100-TW few-cycle laser (the so-called Light Wave Synthesizer 100) to relativistic nanophotonics with the aim to generate sub-femtosecond electron bunches and high-order harmonics. The main goal of the project is to shift nanophotonics into the relativistic realm and investigate its applicability as a novel particle source.

Application Deadlines: 2022-10-21

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6. PhD Position in chemistry

Summary of PhD Positions:

The main objective with this doctoral research project is to develop these molecules further in terms of their activity and selectivity but also to introduce chemical groups/features that make them more valuable as research tools with the aim to unravel the exact mode of action. The work thus mainly concerns synthetic organic chemistry and method development. However, because the evaluation of the compounds activity and selectivity are so central to the project you will also learn different methods to test the compounds.

You will also attend group meetings with focus on the design and synthesis of the molecules as well as project meetings with collaborators where the use of the molecules in biological studies will be discussed. Several international research groups with complementary expertise are involved in the research program and regular meetings with these collaborators are also part of the work.

Application Deadlines: 2022-10-21

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7. PhD Position in Computing Science

Summary of PhD Positions:

This project aims to investigate, develop and integrate responsible AI framework with learning from multiple representations by taking advantage of the complementarity, the redundancy, and specific characteristics of different representations. LMR seeks to improve performance as well as ensure responsible learning from multiple representations in comparison to methods operating on a single representation only.

Typical examples of LMR include the combination of numerical and symbolic formalisms, the representation of data and models on different levels of abstraction, and the combination of different types of supervision of the learner. Hence, this project plans to design, develop and evaluate novel methods and metrics that evaluate the trade-offs between computational and ethical requirements, and further analyses the bias, inclusion, transparency, and interpretability of LMR algorithms when deploying in real-time AI systems.

Application Deadlines: 2022-10-17

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8. PhD Position in Medical Science

Summary of PhD Positions:

Cannabinoid CB1 and dopamine D2 receptors can physically interact to form CB1/D2 heteromers that could constitute important therapeutic targets for a wide range of CNS disorders. However, the pharmacological importance of this interaction is yet to be determined on a molecular level. The main hypothesis we are addressing is that bidirectional allosteric interactions within CB1/D2 heteromers have functional consequences for the activity of receptor complexes in both the healthy and diseased brain.

Hence, the main goal of this project is to use pharmacology to characterize the effects of different CB receptor ligands on CB1/D2 heteromer-specific signalling. The project will take advantage of the key strengths of different model systems – from transfected human cell lines, mouse/human stem cell-derived neuronal models, to a pharmacological model of schizophrenia in vivo using zebrafish.

Application Deadlines: 2022-10-16

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9. PhD Position in Comparative Political Sociology of Climate Policymaking

Summary of PhD Positions:

This PhD project will be carried out as part of the larger research project “In Search of Decoupling.” The candidate will conduct case studies with the purpose of understanding how some societies have succeeded in mitigating some environmental problems, including climate change to varying extents. Under what conditions have these successes, including key policy decisions that contributed to them, been possible? And to what degree have these achievements and policy choices reflected public opinion, come at an economic cost, and/or influenced levels and types of employment?

The project is funded by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet), and is an interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers at Umeå University, the University of Basel (Switzerland), and University of Victoria (Canada). The project leader is Professor Malcolm Fairbrother. The overall goal of the PhD student’s work will be to identify conditions under which countries have been more or less successful in decoupling economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions, as well as potentially other forms of environmental harm.

Application Deadlines: 2022-10-15

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