KTH Royal Institute of Technology

KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has grown to become one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities, as well as a key centre of intellectual talent and innovation. We are Sweden’s largest technical research and learning institution and home to students, researchers and faculty from around the world. Our research and education covers a wide area including natural sciences and all branches of engineering, as well as architecture, industrial management, urban planning, history and philosophy.

Project description

Third-cycle subject: Biotechnology

It is well known today that over 50% of modern drugs target membrane proteins. The bottleneck in biochemical study of such proteins is the structural diversity of post-translational modifications, particularly the glycosylation. The glycoprotein most often exists as glycoforms; proteins that differ only with respect to the number and/or type of attached carbohydrate moieties. Therefore, considerable effort has been invested in determining the precise biological roles of structurally defined glycoproteins and, as such, has now emerged as an important area of post-genomic research.

The chemical synthesis provides a unique tool to produce the homogeneous glycoprotein. Despite their value, only small number of glycoprotein have been synthesized, and none of these are membrane-bounded protein. Herein, the project aimed to combine Fmoc-SPPS, recombinant protein expression technologies, peptide ligation chemistries, chemoenzymatic glycan transfer and protein folding, for the practical production of homogeneous membrane glycoproteins. Synthetic products will be assembled in nano-disc, which enables the importance of the carbohydrate moieties for the structure and function of a membrane protein to be interrogated for the first time.

The successful candidate will undertake a multi-disciplinary approach to complete the task and will be supervised by Assistant Professor Yves Hsieh. Majority of laboratory work will be carried out in the Division of Glycosciences, at the Dept of Chemistry. There is also a possibility to visit and work at our collaborator’s laboratories within the CBH School at Dept of Biomedical Engineering and Health Systems, or Academia Sinica and KI.

What we offer

  • The possibility to study in a dynamic international research environment in close cooperation with industries and advanced universities the world over.
  • Life-long network through KTH's Alumni organization
  • A personal study plan to support your development within your areas of interest.
  • Monthly salary according to KTH's Ph.D. student salary agreement. KTH's employee benefits.
  • Work and study in Stockholm, one of Europe's fastest growing capitols, which is close to both nature and the sea.
  • Help to relocate and get settled in Sweden and at KTH.


To be admitted to postgraduate education (Chapter 7, 39§ högskoleförordningen), the applicant must have basic eligibility in accordance with either of the following:

  • passed a degree at advanced level.
  • completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, of which at least 60 higher  education credits at advanced level or
  • in any other way acquired within or outside the country acquired essentially equivalent knowledge.


In order to succeed as a doctoral student at KTH you need to be goal oriented and persevering in your work. In the selection of the applicants, the following will be assessed:

  • ability to independently pursue his or her work,
  • ability to collaborate with others,
  • have a professional approach and
  • analyse and work with complex issues,
  •       suitable background for this position is a Master of Science in organic chemistry or equivalent. Experiences in carbohydrate chemistry, biocatalysis and heterologous protein expression are strongly favored. In addition to the traditional academic merits, a relevant degree project, international experience, and language skills are regarded as advantageous qualifications,
  •      the applicant must have a genuine interest for basic research and development and should have well-developed analytical and problem-solving skills. The applicant should also have the ability to work both independently and in a group, and occasionally be able to travel abroad for extended periods of time (2–10 weeks).

Target degree: PhD in Chemistry

Information regarding admission and employment

Only those who are or have been admitted to third-cycle studies may be employed as a doctoral student. The term of the initial contract may not exceed one year. The employment may be extended for a maximum of two years at a time. However, the total period of employment may not exceed the equivalent of four years of full-time study. Decisions on employment as a doctoral student may not be appealed.

Eligibility, selection and admissions are regulated in antagningsordning till utbildning vid Kungl. Tekniska högskolan and the program description for the doctoral program and current subject syllabus available on KTH's website.

Doctoral students should primarily devote themselves to their own education, but may engage in teaching, research, and administration corresponding to a maximum of 20 % of a full-time position.

Union representatives

You will find contact information for union representatives on KTH's website.

Doctoral section (Students’ union on KTH Royal Institute of Technology)

You will find contact information for doctoral section on the section's website.


Apply for the position and admission through KTH:s recruitment system. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the advertisement.

Applications must be received at the last closing date at midnight, CET / CEST (Central European Time / Central European Summer Time).

Applications must include the following elements:

  • Applications must include the following elements:
  • CV including your relevant professional experience and knowledge.
  • Statement of purpose: Why do you want to pursue a PhD, what are your academic interests, how they relate to your previous studies and future goals; maximum 2 pages long.
  • Copy of the degree certificate(s) and transcripts of records from your previously attended university-level institutions. Translations into English or Swedish if the original documents are not issued in one of these languages.
  • Representative publications or technical reports: Documents no longer than 10 pages each. For longer documents (e.g. theses), please provide a summary (abstract) and a web link to the full text.


We firmly decline all contact with staffing and recruitment agencies and job ad salespersons.

Gender equality, diversity and zero tolerance against discrimination and harassment are important aspects of KTH´s work with quality as well as core values in our organization.

Disclaimer: In case of discrepancy between the Swedish original and the English translation of the job announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment According to agreement
Salary Monthly salary according to KTH's Doctoral student salary agreement
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number C-2018-0948
  • Yves Hsieh, assistent professor;, +46 70 155 7492, yvhsieh@kth.se
Published 14.Jun.2018
Last application date 31.Aug.2018 11:59 PM CET

Return to job vacancies