Job details

Recruitment result
Place of work

Institute of Physical Chemistry PAS Warsaw, Poland Dioscuri Centre for Physics and Chemistry of Bacteria

Funding institution

Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA)

Project description

Project title, type and project number

Polskie Powroty 2019 NAWA PPN/PPO/2019/1/ 00030

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 will take a physics-inspired approach and address these questions through a combination of laboratory experiments and mathematical modelling. We will develop an in vitro model system of urinary infections together with advanced imaging methods to investigate the population dynamics of bacterial invasion of the bladder epithelium. Mathematical models will be used to interpret and direct experiments. The project fills an important gap between in vitro and animal models of infections. It will enable 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

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: building a single-plane illumination microscope, developing a new optical method of measuring bacteria density, imaging biological samples prepared by another post-doc, and analysing and interpreting the data.

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 optics and optical imaging

Job type

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


Gross salary around 12 300 PLN/month

Position starts on


Maximum planned period of contract/stipend agreement

The position is initially for 9 months. Extensions are possible subject to satisfactory 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 12 300 PLN per month financed from the NAWA POLSKE POWROTY 2019  Project No. PPN/PPO/2019/1/ 00030

The offer is for 9 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, and a newly refurbished, modern lab and office space. The candidate will work closely with other experimentalists and modellers 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.

Link to Euraxess website

see website

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 constructing microscopes and microscopic imaging of biological samples
  • 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 LabView or Micromanager (software for controlling microscopes).
  • Programming skills (Python, C++, Matlab, or Mathematica)
  • Ability to organise work so as to perform multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • Ability to maintain a clean and well-organised laboratory environment and to set up and maintain a well-organised digital repository of experimental data and protocols.
  • Potential for career advancement as an independent researcher.

Candidates who possess these additional skills will be prioritized.

Key assessment criteria

The Commission 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.

The commission evaluates applications on a point scale

Required documents
  • motivation letter
  • professional curriculum vitae
  • list of publications
  • two letters of reference emailed by the candidate or their supporters to
Recruitment procedure

All documents (including the reference letters) should be emailed to quoting “Rekrutacja nr 35/2023” in the subject line. (emails without this number will not be considered)

  • Top candidates will be invited for an online or in-person interview (between 1 and 8 of September 2023). Good command of English is required. We reserve the right to contact and reply to only selected candidates.
  • A position will be offered to the person who obtains the highest number of points.
  • Employment will take place in accordance with the provisions of the competition documentation of the NAWA POLSKIE POWROTY 2019 and 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 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 top candidate does not sign the contract due to the resignation, 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.

Phone: +48 22 343 21 70


Application deadline

31.08.2023 0:00

Deadline for the settlement of the competition


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

Date of announcement: 11.08.2023

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