Principal Scientist in Computational Biology

VTT | Industry | Otaniemi, Espoo, Finland | More →

Are you interested in developing computational biology solutions for industrial biotechnology applications? Do you have enthusiasm for understanding the physiology of microbial cells and how to use them for advancing bioeconomy? Do you want to build a science career and work in a versatile role at the interface of academy and industry? VTT might be just the place for you.

VTT is one of the leading applied research organizations in Europe. What unite us are the curiosity, a passion for learning and a purpose: to solve the biggest challenges of our time and turn them into sustainable growth and well-being. Our cross-disciplinary community of over 2000 brilliant minds is focused on creating impact through science-based innovation. Get to know us further by exploring VTT’s research infra at VTT World.

We are now looking for a Principal Scientist to lead our computational biology research

In this position, you will develop computational modeling and data science approaches for developing strategies to improve the performance of microbes for sustainable industrial biotechnology and food applications.

Our Bioanalytics and biological data science team combines data-driven and mechanistic modeling with automated experimental platforms and advanced bioanalytics to provide solutions to biological questions. Together with other research teams in VTT’s industrial biotechnology and food research, we are developing bioinspired processes and products paving a way for circular economy.

As a Principal Scientist in Computational Biology, you will:

  • Use your expertise in metabolic modeling, microbial physiology, and synthetic biology to develop model-guided means for microbial strain and community improvement for sustainable applications (industrial biotechnology and novel food solutions).
  • Engage in an international group of computational biologists and bioinformaticians to develop solutions for other computational biology challenges such as fermentation process modeling, next-generation sequencing data analysis, and finding novel enzymes.
  • Develop high-quality research project plans and apply for national and international research grants.
  • Contribute to both academic and industrial customer research and development projects.

Who we are looking for:

  • You have a PhD or an equivalent doctoral degree in computational biology, biotechnology, bioprocess engineering or a similar field.
  • You have at least five years of experience in the area of computational biology research, post PhD. You have strong experience in industrial biotechnology and a vision about how the field should evolve.
  • You have a track record in microbial physiology and metabolic modeling.
  • You have additional experience in any of the following areas: bioprocess engineering, C1 carbon sources, microbiology and microbial communities, automation in biotechnology, bioanalytics, machine learning, bioinformatics.
  • You are a strong candidate for receiving highly competitive research grants.
  • As a summary, to be successful, you need a solid understanding of microbial molecular biology and physiology including a quantitative, systems-level, view on metabolic fluxes, mass and redox balances in cells in cultivation processes. We are expecting you to be able to integrate computational designs with the latest synthetic biology tools for strain engineering and synthetic regulation of cells.

As a person, we hope that you are:

  • Approachable and easy to talk to. You have strong communication skills and are able to efficiently interact in interdisciplinary contexts and with people from different fields.
  • An enthusiastic outside-the-box thinker. You enjoy challenges and learning new things, and have a strong passion for science and research and development.
  • We appreciate the ability to tolerate pressure and maintain good work-life balance

With VTT, you’ll enjoy:

  • Natural sciences with an impact. VTT works on the cutting-edge of natural sciences, and we’ve invested into building state-of-the-art research facilities for natural sciences, such as a high throughput automation platform, extensive analytics, a broad range of bioreactors and the Bioruukki pilot infrastructure for bio- and circular economy.
  • We are also well networked and are e.g. members of the IBISBA infrastructure ( and Global Biofoundries Alliance networks ( Our research agenda is dedicated to solving systemic and technological challenges, such as reaching carbon neutrality and unleashing the power of synthetic biology. That means that at VTT, your expertise in natural sciences will go towards creating real impact. Read more about our strategy – the path of exponential hope.
  • Superb colleagues and community. With VTT, you’ll join a community of over 2000 multidisciplinary experts who foster a culture of trust, openness and sharing knowledge. We work truly across disciplines, and house all the cutting-edge sciences from quantum computing to synthetic biology under one roof. Collaborating with superb colleagues is a source of learning, inspiration, and fun.
  • Excellent career in research. At VTT, excellence in research is a strategic priority. We offer long-term positions and stable career paths in top-level research. There are always new roles and responsibilities to grow into. A combination of cutting-edge academic research and applied customer projects keeps your career path interesting.
  • Nordic work–life balance. Working in Finland, the happiest country in the world, enables a great quality of life. At VTT, we make our people’s well-being a strategic priority. We offer 6 weeks paid vacation a year, and our benefits include extended occupational healthcare, and a range well-being services, such as exercise and culture benefits and hobby clubs.

Apply now and join our community of brilliant minds!

Please send your CV and application with your salary request via our recruitment system as soon as possible but at the latest by February 13th 2022 . We will process applications as they come in, and fill in the position as soon as we find the right candidate.

Interested and want to hear more?

For further information, please contact Research Professor Merja Penttilä, or Research team leader Heli Nygren,, +358 40 7516999.

We look forward to hearing from you!