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In LinkedIn profile there are two sections, which can describe your professional background: Experience and Projects.

Let say I performed one year paid-project at the university, where should I store this item? If I write this item as a project, my career/experience records will have kind of «blank space».

To the best of my knowledge, the relevant article (Adding and Editing Projects on Your Profile) at the official LinkedIn Help Center doesn't address this issue.

Is there any difference between these two sections from the indexing/candidate searching point of view?

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My understanding is that the intention is to use the Experience section to list your periods of employment (i.e. specific jobs for specific employers), while the Projects section should be used to describe individual projects or assignments undertaken while working those jobs. Based on this, I would place your one-year paid project under Experience and provide the employer's name and your job description. Then if you wish, you could describe in more detail the project you worked on for that year under Projects.

I'm afraid I have no idea how the presence (or lack) of data in these sections affects the results of searches by employers/recruiters.

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In terms of LinkedIn, it can be both. Your role can go under Experience, and your results can go under Projects. For example, here is Experience:

Yahoo! Teachers Experience: Bill Scott

and the related Project:

Yahoo! Teachers Project: Bill Scott

The keyword search uses both projects and experience, whereas the faceted search uses the company name as a filter.

References

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