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We are seeking for a PhD student for a project

We are seeking for a PhD student for a project

When temperature makes them to panic? – the effect of optimal vs. stressful thermal conditions on the repeatability of the performance tests in ectotherms

Principal Investigator: Aleksandra Walczyńska

Financial conditions: A National Science Centre stipend (4000 PLN/month gross) is available for one student for 2 years, followed by 2 years of the stipend offered through the regular PhD program of the Jagiellonian University.


1) Formal conditions:  

  • MSc degree in a relevant field of life science, such as biology, biotechnology, biological sciences, achieved by the time of enrollment. 
  • Admission to the “PhD Biology program” in the PhD School at Jagiellonian University, effective on 3.11.2020 (  

2) Specific merit requirements for the project include: 

  • strong English language; 
  • experience with the laboratory studies in ecology or physiology;
  • experience with data processing and statistical analyses;  
  • scientific achievements such as publications or attendance in conferences are considered advantageous.

Scope of work:

The PhD student will be involved in a three-stage study in which the mechanisms of response to optimal and stressful thermo-oxygenic conditions will be examined at the organismal and mitochondrial levels. The study will be conducted in the Institute of Environmental Sciences, Jagiellonian University, with Lecane inermis rotifer as a model organism. The project includes a three-month visit of a PhD student at the University of Rostock where a student will get acquainted with the cutting-edge methodology of assessing the mitochondrial efficiency under stress, supervised by Professor Inna Sokolova.

The research description:

The study focuses on the mechanisms and the evolutionary causes of existence of the temperature-size rule (TSR). According to this very common rule in nature, organisms grow smaller at higher (more favorable) temperature, than in lower (less favorable) temperature. This pattern is puzzling from the evolutionary point of view, because one should expect that in more favorable conditions organisms will grow larger to have more progeny. Unless… there is another, accompanying factor, driving the TSR. Currently, it is suggested that the most promising candidate for this factor is oxygen availability. It naturally decreases with increasing temperature, lowering the efficiency of oxygen transport into the mitochondria. Body size is supposed to be a simple consequence of decreasing of cell size; the simplest solution enhancing this effectiveness. We will look for the repeated patterns of response, as those of adaptive significance, in opposition to response variable among individuals, informing about the mismatch between stressful conditions and organismal response to them.


The formal application should be sent to by 24 October 2020 and should include:

1) A scan of MSc diploma in biology, biotechnology or other relevant; 

2) A reference letter from recognized scientist who have a first-hand knowledge of the applicant’s skills and past research experience.

3) A Curriculum Vitae (maximum 2 pages) including information on relevant academic achievements, publications, awards, and relevant experience and training. This document should also include identification information (PESEL number for candidates from Poland, or passport number for candidates from abroad); 

4) A motivation letter (maximum 2 pages), explaining how the applicant’s background and research interests make them a suitable candidate for the position; 

5) Documents confirming the most important academic achievements declared in CV, particularly pdfs of publications;

6) Transcript of grades: diploma supplement, or the official transcript of grades, or another document listing completed courses and grades. Information about grading scale must be included; 

7) A short description of studies included in the master thesis (maximum 1 page) and a thesis pdf version.  

If none candidate fulfills all the formal and merit requirements, the enrollment will be prolonged.

The applications will be considered by a selection committee according to the regulations about scientific scholarships in research projects financed by the National Science Centre, Poland:

(Polish)  (English)

In case of any questions, please contact