Job details

Place of work

Institute of Physical Chemistry PAS Warsaw, Poland Reaserch Group No 15 - Dioscuri Centre for Physics and Chemistry of Bacteria

Funding institution

Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA) and Dioscuri, a programme initiated by the Max Planck Society, jointly managed with the National Science Centre in Poland , and mutually funded by Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education

Project description

Project title, type and project number

(1) Polskie Powroty 2019 NAWA PPN/PPO/2019/1/ 00030 (2) National Science Center (NSC) DIOSCURI Project “Dioscuri Centre for physics and chemistry, 21/2024

Project leader

Dr Bartłomiej Wacław


Bacteria are ubiquitous microscopic, single-celled organisms. Many bacteria live on and inside animals and humans, but very few cause diseases. Bacterial infections are usually treated with antibiotics, but resistance to antibiotics is becoming a major challenge. To prevent resistance from emerging and find alternative ways of combatting infections, we must understand population dynamics of bacteria during an infection: how they invade host cells, how resistant mutations arise and spread, and how intracellular bacteria respond to antibiotics. This requires a concentrated interdisciplinary effort. In this project we take a physics-inspired approach and address these questions through a combination of laboratory experiments and mathematical modelling. We develop experimental model systems of bacterial infections together with advanced imaging methods to investigate the population dynamics of bacterial invasion. Mathematical models are used to interpret and direct experiments. The project fills an important gap between in vitro and animal models of infections. It enables quantitative research of bacterial ecology and evolution in an environment closer to the environment of the host than previous works, explore fascinating non-equilibrium physics of intracellular bacterial colonies, and the structure of within-host fitness landscapes.

Job description

Number of vacancies


Key responsibilities include

Main responsibilities:
1. Planning and execution of specific elements of the research program under the guidance of the supervisor. This may involve but is not restricted to: developing algorithms for segmenting 2d and 3d images of intracellular bacterial colonies, obtaining abundances of different types bacteria from fluorescent images of biofilms, developing algorithms for tracking bacteria and animal cells in microscopic images, comparing experimental results with mathematical models of bacterial and cellular populations.
2. Communicating research results to team members and collaborators at IPC and other institutions through talks and discussions, as well as learning about others’ research through seminars and journal clubs.
4. Writing reports and scientific papers.
5. Attending and presenting at workshops and conferences.
6. Keeping up-to-date with relevant scientific developments through literature review.


Position in the project

Postdoctoral researcher in biological physics

Job type

• Type of contract: temporary • Status: full-time employment • Hours Per Week: 40


Gross salary around 12 600 PLN/month.

Position starts on


Maximum planned period of contract/stipend agreement

The position is initially for 12 months. Extension is possible subject to excellent performance and funding availability.

We offer

We offer a full-time employment position in the Institute of Physical Chemistry PAS with a gross salary of around 12 600 PLN per month financed from the NAWA POLSKIE POWROTY 2019 Project No. PPN/PPO/2019/1/ 00030 and from the NCN DIOSCURI project No. 2019/02/H/NZ6/00003.
The offer is for 12 months with possible extensions based on satisfactory performance and funding availability.

Career development prospects at IPC PAS

The successful candidate will benefit from working in an international, interdisciplinary research group, a modern well equipped wet lab, office space, and access to computational/storage servers. The candidate will work closely with experimentalists and theorists from the Dioscuri Centre. The candidate will have the opportunity to visit collaborating research groups and to participate in international workshops and conferences.
Institute provides an opportunity to participate in ERASMUS+ programme.

More details

see website

Scientific discipline

Biology, Physics, or Chemistry

Scientific profile of a candidate

Recognised Researcher (R2)


• PhD in physics or physical chemistry, held or to be obtained before the job start date.
• Experience in image analysis and/or computer models of populations of bacteria or cells

• Very good programming skills in either Python, C++, Matlab, or Wolfram Mathematica
• Very good academic achievements as evidenced by peer-reviewed publications and talks/poster presentations at international conferences.
• Ability to draft (in English) scientific papers for academic journals.
• Ability to communicate (in English) complex information clearly, orally and in writing.
• Ability to think creatively, propose and develop new ideas.
• Capability of working without close supervision, exercising a high degree of initiative and demonstrating a pro-active approach to work.
• Experience with Machine Learning applied to image analysis
• GitHub, Jupyter, Linux
• Ability to organise work so as to perform multiple tasks simultaneously.
• Ability to maintain a well-organised digital repository of software and data.
• Potential for career advancement as an independent researcher.
Candidates who possess these additional skills will be prioritized.

Key assessment criteria

The selection panel will take into account the following criteria:
a) competencies of candidates for specific tasks in a research project,
b) previous scientific achievements of candidates,
c) awards and distinctions of the candidate resulting from the conducted research.

Required documents

• motivation letter
• professional curriculum vitae
• list of publications
• two letters of reference emailed by the candidate or their supporters to (“Rekrutacja nr 21/2024” in the subject line)

Recruitment procedure

All documents (including the reference letters) should be emailed to quoting “Rekrutacja nr 21/2024” in the subject line. Emails without the recruitment number will not be considered.
Top candidates will be invited for an online or in-person interview (3-7 June 2024). Good command of English is required. We reserve the right to contact and reply only selected candidates.
The panel evaluates applications incl. the performance at the interview on a scale 0-5. Candidates are ranked based on the number of points received, and the position is offered to the highest-ranking candidate.
Employment will take place in accordance with the provisions of the competition documentation of the NAWA POLSKIE POWROTY 2019 and in accordance with the provisions of the competition documentation of Dioscuri programme (second call)
and the Employment policy of the Institute of Physical Chemistry PAS .
• The incomplete applications will not be considered.
• The results of the competition are made public.
• Candidates who have been been rejected have the right to appeal. The appeal shall be lodged with the Director of the Institute within 7 days from the date of receipt of the rejection email. The decision of the Director of the Institute is final.
• If the highest-ranking candidate declines the offer, we reserve the right to choose the next candidate from the ranking list.

Additional information

About the Dioscuri Centre
The Centre’s main objective is to better understand bacterial growth and evolution in the natural environment of pathogenic bacteria: the interior of an animal cell and animal secretions. The members of the Centre use experimental in vitro models of infections, computer simulations and mathematical theory to create data driven, quantitative models of bacterial growth and evolution in these environments. Research performed in the Centre will contribute towards the understanding of bacterial infections and the evolution of antimicrobial resistance in animal and human hosts. The Centre collaborates with research institutions in Germany, the UK and the US. from NAWA.


Application deadline

31.05.2024 12:00

Deadline for the settlement of the competition


Archival announcement. We would like to thank all candidates for their submitted applications.

Date of announcement: 7.05.2024

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