Limna - Lausanne Integrative Metabolism Nutrition Alliance

PhD Student in Biology 85% (9003)


The University of Lausanne (UNIL) hosts 14’100 students and nearly 3’800 collaborators, professors, and researchers. Ideally situated at the banks of Lake Geneva, near Lausanne’s city center, its campus brings together more than 120 nationalities and is embedded in the larger, regional, vibrant life science research cluster.


To complement the research activities in the group of Prof. David Gatfield at the CIG (Center for Integrative Genomics) of the University of Lausanne, we are seeking to recruit a PhD student to work on projects relating to RNA biology and circadian clocks.

Job information

Expected start date in position : 01.05.2017 or to be agreed

Contract length : 1 year, renewable 2 x 2 years, maximum 5 years

Activity rate : 85% (minimum of 50% for research thesis, maximum of 50% for the institute)

Workplace : University of Lausanne, Dorigny

Your responsibilities

The main responsibility consists in conducting scientific research in the framework of the Gatfield lab, which is to investigate how regulatory mechanisms occurring at the RNA level impact on rhythmic gene expression, physiology and behaviour regulated by the circadian clock. We recently started to cover this broad topic with work on miRNAs (Du et al., eLife 2014) and on translation (Janich et al., Genome Research 2015; Castelo-Szekely et al., bioRxiv 060368) using mice and cultured cells as our experimental models. The proposed projects will build on findings that we made in our work on rhythmic protein translation. They will entail a multidisciplinary mix of molecular biological, cellular and mouse genetics/behavioural approaches, in combination with state-of-the-art genomics (ribosome profiling) and bioinformatics techniques. Briefly, one of the prospective projects will address how circadian rhythms are regulated by “upstream open reading frames” (uORFs), an emerging high-interest class of regulatory elements. Another project aims to unravel molecular mechanisms and physiological functions of rhythmic translation in the liver. Of note, we are also open to new research ideas that collaborators wish to bring into the lab – with regard to both the experimental and the computational side of the lab’s activities.

Full funding for the positions is available, although application to personal, international fellowship programs will be encouraged.

Your qualifications

Highly motivated scientist and critical thinker with a Master degree in biology or a related discipline. Team player. Good knowledge in English (full working proficiency). Willingness and interest in developping a PhD thesis in the broader fields of chronobiology/molecular biology.

Your benefits

The Gatfield lab is hosted at the Center for Integrative Genomics (CIG) at the University of Lausanne (UNIL), a vibrant, well-funded institute with a focus on functional genomics and equipped with modern core facilities (see It is embedded in the broader Lausanne research environment that includes two universities (UNIL, EPFL), the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Ludwig Center for Cancer Research, university hospital, and a cluster of biotech companies flourishing in the larger lake Geneva area. We offer a nice working place in a multicultural, diversified and dynamic academic environment.

Through the Gatfield lab’s membership in the National Centre of Competence in Research RNA & Disease (, lab members benefit from networking and training opportunities throughout Switzerland and contacts to other leading RNA research labs in Zürich, Bern, Basel and Geneva.

The PhD student will be enrolled in the Faculty of Biology and Medicine's doctoral school (

At your disposal for further information

Prof. David Gatfield

Phone number : +41 21 692 39 94

Your application

To apply, please submit a motivation letter describing why you are interested in joining our group, a CV (with copy of your Master grade), and contact details for 2 or more referees. Only applications through Unil website HERE will be taken into account. We thank you for your understanding.

Complementary informations

Seeking to promote an equitable representation of men and women among its staff, the University encourages applications from women.