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Job offer

  • JOB
  • Spain
  • IRTA
  • Posted on: 27 May 2024

PhD candidate for research of marine toxins and harmful algae blooms

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The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers
27 May 2024

Job Information

Human Resources
Research Field
Chemistry » Analytical chemistry
Researcher Profile
First Stage Researcher (R1)
Application Deadline
Type of Contract
Job Status
Hours Per Week
Offer Starting Date
Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?
Not funded by a EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?

Offer Description

IRTA is currently seeking an enthusiastic and motivated PhD candidate to join the Marine and Continental Waters Program. We invite applications from ambitious candidates with relevant research experience and passion to conduct research and innovation activities on the project titled: “Synergies between bio/technological strategies for the comprehensive research of marine toxins and harmful algae blooms”.

This project aims to exploit the synergies from the combination of novel mass spectrometry (MS) approaches and biochemical strategies based on cells and other biorecognition molecules to study harmful algae blooms (HABs). The candidate will be included in an inter-disciplinary team and will perform research on chemical ecology of HABs by MS, metabolomics, cell-based assays, biochemical assays, and ecotoxicology assays; marine toxins role in situ by MS Imaging, microscopy and immunochemistry; and unknown toxins by MS and computational approaches. This PhD project has the potential to increase the understanding of HABs in their ecological environment and help mitigate their negative effects in profitable and locally relevant industries like aquaculture, fishing and tourism by better prevention and management, sustainable exploitation practices and policy decisions.


Research Field
Chemistry » Analytical chemistry
Education Level
Master Degree or equivalent

-Candidates must hold one of the following degrees:

- a) A Master’s in Analytical Chemistry or Biochemistry or Biotechnology or Chemical Ecology or similar; or

- b) To be in a position to access a doctoral programme according to the requirements of Catalan universities, i.e. accrediting between 60 and 120 ECTS credits at the official university master's degree level or equivalent.

- Not to have a previous PhD degree.

- Car driving license.  

- Candidates who have been chosen for an interview with the Selection Committee, should bring or send –for the interview- a certified copy of the degree and/or master, as well as the academic record showing the marks of all subjects studied.

- This position requires the PhD candidate to travel to Tarragona and Barcelona for at least 3 weeks per year for sample analysis in different research centres (costs will be covered by IRTA).


Specific Requirements

Desirable requirements:

- Experience, knowledge or interest in aquatic environments and their ecology.

- Experience, knowledge or interest in marine toxins or marine natural products.

- Experience or interest in R programming.

- Experience with chromatography and/or mass spectrometry and interest in analytical chemistry.

- Experience with cell-based and/or immunoassays.

- Previous scientific publications and/or participation in research projects will be valued positively.

- Initiative and independence.

Research Field
Chemistry » Analytical chemistry
Years of Research Experience
1 - 4

Additional Information


Terms of appointment: 4 years

Salary: The financial remuneration for the PhD Candidate contract will be €1,336.3/gross per month (18,708.20/gross per annum) and for the first and second years. For this third year, it will be €1,431.83/gross per month (€20,045.62/gross per annum) and for the fourth year it will be €1,789.79/gross per month (€25,057.06/gross per annum)which will be subject to the corresponding withholdings, pursuant to prevailing regulations, and to the collective employment agreement of IRTA. IRTA will also pay the fees of the doctoral school when receiving the enrolment. (1)

Employee Benefits: 22 vacation days, 3 days of family & work conciliation, 45h of personal days, Friday    afternoon off, Compressed Summer schedule from 15/06 to 15/09, Conciliation schedule.

Selection process

Selection Committee:

. Interview with preselected candidates.

. To send an e-mail for those who have not been selected by the Selection Committee.

. Committee Selection Agreement with the selected candidate, giving reasons for the rest to be excluded.

. Notification by e-mail to the candidates who have been interviewed but not selected. 

(10-15 following working days)


To send to HR all the needed official documentation in order to make the work contract and co-ordination for establishing the start of the employment (12-16 following working days).

Additional comments
  • Tasks and Responsibilities:

- Analysis of environmental samples (including marine animals) and microalgal cultures by liquid chromatography – mass spectrometry and mass spectrometry imaging, including sample treatment or extraction, analysis, and data analysis and interpretation.

- Sample preparation and analysis for different types of microscopy and related imaging techniques.

- Data analysis and computational analysis by commercial and open-source software, including software based on R programming and the development of own scripts in R for data analysis.

- Work with compound databases for identification of chemical entities.

- Development of cell-based cytotoxicity assays, immunoassays with antibodies and ecotoxicological assays, and applicability to the analysis of samples.

- Participation in communication and dissemination activities (e.g., attending conferences, workshops, and transfer activities) and preparation of communications for scientific conferences, as well as participation in project meetings and presentation of results.

- Minimum 3-month stage in a foreign laboratory.

- Manuscript and PhD thesis writing.

Website for additional job details

Work Location(s)

Number of offers available
IRTA - La Ràpita
La Ràpita
Postal Code
Crta. Poble Nou, Km. 5,5


Caldes de Montbui
Torre Marimon Crta. C-59, Km. 12,1
Postal Code

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