Joining the Lab

Lab Openings


RELEVANT SKILLS: We rarely look for applicants from any specific area of science, but rather for individuals with unusual drive, independence, creativity, and rigor. However, some backgrounds tend to be more useful than others. On the experimental side, strong skills in biochemistry or bacteriology are relevant. Many ‘pure biologists’ without any background in math or physics have in fact been highly successful in the lab. Several of our recent projects further venture into automated bacterial evolution accompanied by theoretical analyses. We also use and develop tailored imaging set-ups, so candidates with strong backgrounds in microscopy or single-molecule biophysics are particularly encouraged. Our mathematical projects in turn focus on theorems for classes of stochastic reaction systems rather than computer models, and therefore rely on a thorough training in mathematics or theoretical physics, particularly probability, stochastic processes and statistical physics. The list above is by no means complete. If you read our papers and feel an intellectual kinship with how we do science, that may the best indicator of a fit.

POSTDOC OPENINGS come and go but are generally not advertised. If you are seriously interested in joining, please just contact us (see below).

GRADUATE STUDENTS: We can take graduate students from virtually any program at Harvard (or sometimes MIT). Current students come from at least 5 different programs. However, if you are an undergraduate who want to become a PhD student, we are not allowed to take anyone who is not already in a graduate program here, except as visitors.

VISITING THE LAB: We have hosted several sabbatical professors, as well as many students and postdocs who wished to do parts of their work in our lab. Many planned to come for a few months and stayed for more than a year. If you are interested in a visit, please contact us. In general we cannot support visitors financially in any way, but we have made some rare exceptions to that rule.

CONTACT: If you are interested in any of these positions, please send an email, CV and references to johan_paulsson@harvard.edu. Please copy Johan_Paulsson_Office@hms.harvard.edu on all inquiries. Please note that receiving no response to your inquiry only means that the email fell through the cracks. That does not reflect our potential enthusiasm in any way whatsoever, and reminders are therefore appreciated! Only applications that are not clearly tailored to our lab are willfully ignored. If you do not receive a response on your first attempt, please Cc our administrative assistant (see contact page for current email address) on the next email.  For highly motivated applicants we recommend that you ask your letter writers to send recommendations right away unless that is a big hassle, since it could certainly make a difference in the initial selection. Informal or brief recommendation letters are fine. Information about potential funding are also useful, e.g. if there are special fellowships you could apply for.