PhD student position in software development for molecular modeling
in the Bujnicki group in IIMCB, Warsaw, Poland 

We are looking for junior scientists with energy and passion, interested in bioinformatics, software development and molecular simulations, and motivated to develop a career in an interdisciplinary and international research team. We are one of the most successful RNA modeling teams in the world: check out the rankings of RNA Puzzles and our results at We offer you a chance to be a part of this success.

PhD-software-modeling: You will develop computer software for RNA 3D structure prediction and modeling, building on our successful tools, in particular ModeRNA and SimRNA. 
Our big goal is to model RNA-protein and RNA-ligand interactions towards the development of new drugs, and to design new RNA molecules that bind to selected ligands. This project offers opportunities for international collaborations with academia and industry. You must have skills in programming: C/C++ or Python (you will need to learn and use both). 
Experience in bioinformatics, molecular modeling, computational biophysics, computational chemistry, structural biology and related areas will be an advantage, but is not essential. 

About us:

  • We are an interdisciplinary team that combines basic science (to solve the mysteries of nature) and applied science (to make the discoveries practically useful). In our laboratory, software developers meet with experimental biologists, and high-throughput data analysis combines with sophisticated studies of individual biomacromolecules. We develop new computational methods, new tools for biotechnology, and molecules that will hopefully become drugs against diseases. Our current research goals are based on a wild ambition: to understand the structure of all RNA molecules that exist, and design molecules that do not exist yet. 
  • We are driven towards publication and application of our results. Our recent focus and biggest successes are in computational and experimental analyses of RNA and protein-RNA complexes. For examples, see: Smietanski et al. Nature Commun 2014, Boniecki et al. Nucleic Acids Res 2015, Matelska et al. Genome Biol Evol 2016. We also develop databases that are widely used, such as the MODOMICS database of RNA modification pathways. We are also involved in efforts towards commercialization of our results.
  • We are hosted by IIMCB (, the top-ranked (A+) Polish research institute in biology. The institute provides cutting-edge equipment and facilities, in particular for bioinformatics (e.g. a computing cluster with >2000 cores), experimental molecular biology, and structural biology. IIMCB also provides support for science commercialization, development of spin-off companies etc.
  • Check out for details

We offer:

  • Focused scientific projects with well-defined goals that balance safety (high chance to generate publishable results quickly) and big challenges (high risk and high gain).
  • Flexible PhD studies with 100% focus on research (no teaching obligations).
  • Unique environment for junior scientists to work in a top research center, develop skills in bioinformatics, and gain experience in analyzing real biological data. 
  • A chance to collaborate with and learn from extraordinary, exceptional, and eccentric ;-) experts.
  • Participation in courses, scientific training, support from peers, and academic mentoring 
  • Individual thesis advisory committee, with top international experts.
  • Basic funding (3000 PLN/month, initially as a contract for specific work /umowa o dzieło/ during a trial period, then a PhD fellowship starting October 2017). The work can start as soon as possible. 
  • Opportunity and support to compete for additional funding from grants and fellowships.

How to apply:

  • We will collect applications until February 15th or until suitable candidates are found
  • Apply now (or ask any questions you may have) to   
  • In the subject include "PhD-software-modeling" and your first and last name.
  • Your application must be in English and should contain a CV, a motivation letter (What is your scientific dream and how to you want to fulfill it? What are your key strengths? Why do you want to work with us?), and contacts to at least two potential referees, including at least one former or current direct supervisor. 
  • The application must contain the following statement to allow us to process your data: "I hereby give consent for my personal data included in the job offer to be processed for the purposed of recruitment under the Data Protection Act 1997 (Dz. U. 2002 no. 101, item 926 with subs. changes)." / "Wyrażam zgodę na przetwarzanie danych osobowych w celach rekrutacji zgodnie z ustawą z dnia 29 sierpnia 1997 r. o ochronie danych osobowych (tekst jedn.: Dz U. z 2002 r. Nr 101, poz 926 z późn. zm.)."
  • Best candidates will be given additional questions and tasks before the final interview.


Frequently asked questions:

Q: Is health insurance provided?
A: For postdoctoral and technician positions associated with a full work contract ("umowa o pracę"), full health insurance and social security (ZUS) is included. For undergraduate and gratuate students, and for volunteers, basic health insurance is provided, and if they wish, they may insure themselves individually to make their contribution to ZUS.
Q: Are references required?
A: Yes, references are an important part of the selection process and candidates for postdoctoral positions are asked to provide at least two names of referees (one name for students), including at least one former or current supervisor.
Q: I am not from Poland and I don't speak Polish. Am I eligible to apply?
A: Yes, IIMCB welcomes applications from outside Poland. IIMCB has an international culture, and the official working language is English.