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

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 and German Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Project description

Project title, type and project number

National Science Center (NSC) DIOSCURI Project “Dioscuri Centre for physics and chemistry of bacteria” No 2019/02/H/NZ6/00003, 33/2024

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 involving development of  a confocal microscope for imaging intracellular bacteria and  methods for optical detection of bacteria in liquids and use of 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 a confocal microscope for imaging intracellular bacteria, developing methods for optical detection of bacteria in liquids.

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 optical engineering

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 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.

The institute provides an opportunity to participate in ERASMUS+ programme.

More details

see website

Scientific discipline

Biology, Physics, Chemistry, or related

Scientific profile of a candidate

Recognised Researcher (R2)



  • PhD in physics, chemistry, biology, or a related discipline, held or to be obtained before the job start date
  • Hands-on experience with building optical systems
  • 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 in developing DIY microscopes or other optical imaging devices
  • Experience in imaging biological samples (bacteria, cells, tissues)
  • Experience with LabView or Micromanager
  • Programming experience (C++ or Python)
  • Experience in cross-disciplinary and / or collaborative research projects.
  • Potential for career advancement as an independent researcher

Candidates who possess these additional skills will be prioritized.

Key assessment criteria

The Recruitment Commission will take into account the following criteria:

a) competencies of candidates for specific tasks in the research project,

b) previous scientific achievements of candidates,

c) awards and distinctions of the candidate resulting from the conducted research.

Required documents

In the first stage of recruitment, the following documents are required:

  • motivation letter
  • professional curriculum vitae
  • list of publications

Before the second stage of recruitment (interview), the Recruitment Committee will ask candidates qualified for the second stage of recruitment to send two reference letters (these documents must be sent before the interview).

Recruitment procedure

All  required documents should be emailed to quoting “Rekrutacja nr 33/2024” in the subject line. Emails without the recruitment number will not be considered.

Short-listed candidates will be invited for an online or in-person interview (24 – 26 July 2024). Before the second stage of recruitment (interview), the Recruitment Committee will ask candidates qualified for the second stage of recruitment to send two reference letters (these documents must be sent before the interview).

If a candidate invited for an interview does not send reference letters before the interview, this will be treated as a resignation from participation in the recruitment process.

Good command of English is required. We reserve the right to contact and reply only selected candidates.

The Recruitment Commission 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 Dioscuri programme (second call) the Employment policy of the Institute of Physical Chemistry PAS .

We reserve the right not to consider incomplete applications

The results of the competition are made public.

Candidates who have been issued a negative opinion by the Competition Committee or candidates not selected for employment have the right to appeal against the results of the evaluation. The appeal shall be lodged with the Director of the Institute within 7 days from the date of receipt of the appropriate information. The decision of the Director of the Institute shall be 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

19.07.2024 12:00

Deadline for the settlement of the competition


Send the application via the "Apply to the position" button, or to with the title 33/2024.

Apply to the position

By submitting the application, you consent to the processing of your personal data in the recruitment process. The controller of your personal data is the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences with its registered office in Warsaw, NIP: 5250008755 (the "Institute"). The Institute will process your data for the purpose of carrying out scientific and research activities, providing services and contact with the Institute, on the basis of a contract (in connection with the performance of the contract or in order to take action on your request before the contract is concluded – Article 6, paragraph 1, letter b) of GDPR), the legitimate interest of the Institute (Article 6, paragraph 1, letter f) of the GDPR) and legal provisions (Article 6, paragraph 1, letter c) of the GDPR) - depending on the circumstances

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Date of announcement: 8.07.2024

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