Emmanuelle Charpentier, Director, Department of Regulation in Infection Biology, Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, and Honorary Professor at Humboldt University, Berlin, GermanyVisiting Professor at Umeå University SwedenEmmanuelle Charpentier, Nobel laureate and mentor of the new 'Excellence by Choice' Postdoctoral Programme (photo: Hallbauer&Fioretti)

Umeå University is establishing a postdoctoral programme in Life Science research to attract prominent young researchers and stimulate cutting-edge research. Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR) is managing the programme in collaboration with UPSC and other research centres. The mentor for the new programme will be Nobel laureate Emmanuelle Charpentier, who was affiliated with The Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS) and UCMR and discovered the ground-breaking CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology during her time in Umeå.

The aim of the new programme ‘Excellence by Choice’ Postdoctoral Programme (EC Postdoctoral Programme) is to strengthen world-class research activities in Umeå and attract excellent young researchers. UCMR and UPSC, the two national Centres of Excellence, are launching the life science programme in collaboration with other research centres. 17 new postdoctoral researchers will be recruited to Umeå over a five-year period. The objective is to train next-generation scientists and encourage new synergies and collaborations to strengthen life science research in Umeå.

“We are very grateful to Emmanuelle Charpentier who serves as the patron and mentor of the programme. She was one of the first MIMS group leaders and was active within UCMR when she was working in Umeå. We were very proud of her when she received the Nobel Prize in 2020,” says Yaowen Wu, director of UCMR. “Her role model is inspiring us a lot in our research and will inspire more next-generation scientists in the future.”

The two national Centres of Excellence in Umeå, UCMR and UPSC, have joined their forces to attract funding for this new programme. The research focus will be on molecular and translational life science research with the goal to enhance international competitiveness. The postdoctoral researchers will receive a two-year fellowship and additional funding for project running costs as well as for their career development. This individual support will be complemented with jointly organised programme activities to extend the networking and collaboration possibilities for the young researchers.

“Postdoctoral researchers are an important part of the research landscape in Sweden, and we aim to strengthen their competence by providing them with good work conditions”, emphasizes Ove Nilsson, director of UPSC. “It might look on the first hand that UCMR and UPSC do not have much overlap research-wise, but we believe that our collaboration creates new and innovative synergies that will be beneficial not only for the involved postdoctoral researchers but for all our researchers.”

The new Excellence by Choice programme is largely financed with donations from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation and the Kempe Foundations, as well as with direct funding from Umeå University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). It is managed by UCMR and based on the format of a previous programme that was established at MIMS. The former programme started in 2015 and provided already several young researchers the opportunity to conduct postdoctoral research at Umeå University.

The programme has opened a call for postdoctoral projects to Principal Investigators:
Read more about the open call and the postdoctoral programme on the UCMR homepage

Link to the Swedish news on the Umeå University homepage


For more information, please contact:

Yaowen Wu
Umeå Centre for Microbial Research
Department of Chemistry
Umeå University
Phone: + 46 (0)90 786 5531
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ove Nilsson
Umeå Plant Science Centre
Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Phone: +46 (0)90 786 8487
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Text: Ola Nilsson, Anne Honsel