Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

Marie Skłodowska ‐ Curie PhDs for Early Stage Researchers in iPLACENTA ITN- Innovation in Modelling placenta for maternal and fetal health.

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    iPlacenta - Innovative Training Network
    Biological sciencesBiological engineering
    Biological sciencesBiology
    Biological sciencesLaboratory animal science
    EngineeringBiomedical engineering
    MathematicsMathematical analysis
    Medical sciencesMedicine
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    31/07/2018 00:00 - Europe/London
    Multiple locations, see work locations below.
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

PhD positions in a transdisciplinary training program

The second round of recruitment is now open. Deadline for applications is 31st July 2018, however, applications will be accepted until all positions are full.

We are looking for highly motivated candidates to drive translational research in maternal and fetal health.  We will provide you with a 36-month multi-disciplinary Ph.D training programme coordinated among 11 academic, industrial and clinical institutes.

The principal research aim of iPlacenta is to improve our ability to study, model and visualise the placenta to enhance investigation and prognosis of complicated pregnancies. The clinical conditions of interest are pre-eclampsia and intra-uterine growth restriction. Research topics range from organ-on a chip technology, systems biology, various omics technology, lncRNAs, preclinical in vivo modelling, clinical imaging and medical device technology. 

The host network includes prestigious institutes from all over Europe, as listed in the projects below (for more details see www.iPlacenta.eu). Informal enquires to iplacenta@dundee.ac.uk



Integrative   placenta:   a   systems   biology   approach   towards   phenotype-specific interactomes for placental function.

Olaf Wolkenhauer

UROS, Rostock, Germany


Development of endoscopic laser speckle imaging probe and miniaturise iontophoresis  for  assessment  of  placenta  perfusion  and  endothelial function in murine pregnancy models

Colin Murdoch

Uni of Dundee, Dundee, UK


Enhancing imaging of the placenta in murine models of PE and standardisation of PE models   

Asif Ahmed

Aston University, Birmingham, UK


Consequences of intra-uterine growth restriction on feto-maternal hemodynamics and brain development in the rabbit model

Jan Deprest

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium


Candidate profile

  • Motivated Ph.D students interested in translational medicine
  • You need to be flexible to travel throughout the Europe in order to exchange expertise between the partners of iPLACENTA consortia and
  • Should be able to demonstrate proficiency in written and spoken English.
  • The positions are multidisciplinary and we are looking for candidates with subject areas ranging from systems biology, mathematics, physics, engineers, laser optics, molecular and cell biology, biochemistry, genetics, clinical imaging and physiology.

How to apply:

Download application form from iplacenta.eu

Applicants should send the application form with attachments to iplacenta@dundee.ac.uk by July 31st 2018 (Midnight-GMT). However, applications will still be accepted after this date until all positions are full.

Note:  ESR 14 HULAFE Spain and ESR 11 Aston UK  require direct applications with the host institute.

ESR 11 Aston UK - deadline 4th July 2018


  • Application via iplacenta.eu by July 31st, 2018 (Midnight-GMT)
  • Interviews by teleconference: August 2018
  • Start date: September/October 2018
  • Applications will be kept open until all positions are full
  • Second application deadline: July 31st, 2018


Benefits for the candidates

Training: You will receive scientific skills in cutting-edge techniques focusing on translational science in expert laboratories, in a highly stimulating and collaborative environment. You will be involved in the particular project offered by the chosen hosting group. In addition, you will receive specialised courses involving business, OpenScience for OpenInnovation and entrepreneurship.  Transferable skills will be embedded throughout the project.   There will be opportunities for short term secondments in collaborative laboratories within the network.

Ph.D: You will register in the Doctorate program in their host institution or associated University.

Benefits & salaryThe successful candidates will receive a highly competitive salary and employment benefits in accordance with the MSCA regulations for early stage researchers. 

The exact salary will be confirmed upon appointment and is dependent on a predetermined country correction factor, includes living allowance basic gross salary.  An approximate guide to salary:

  • Living allowance basic gross salary ~€3,110 per month.  Net salary results from deducting compulsory (employer/employee) social security contribution, as well as direct national and local taxes (e.g. income tax) from the gross amount.
  • Mobility allowance of ~€600 per month
  • Family allowance if applicable ~ €500/month
  • Additional funding for participation to courses, workshops and conferences will be available.
  • See ITN Horizon2020 for guide. http://ec.europa.eu/research/mariecurieactions/sites/mariecurie/files/li...

Selection process

Selection process

Each local host is responsible for the recruitment of the fellows.  An initial screening process will take place to confirm eligibility against the above eligibility criteria.  iPLACENTA committee will conduct a first selection process will consist of evaluation the application form, curriculum vitae, motivation letter, copies of transcripts and recommendation letters. A short list will be made by the local recruitment committee for selecting candidates for interview.  The short-listed candidates will be interviewed by tele/video conference or face-face by the Local Recruitment Committee of each host institution. The selected candidates will be approved by the Network Committee.

iPLACENTA is a diverse network and is committed to equal opportunity to all candidates irrespective of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability or political belief. Selection process will work towards the European Charter for Researchers and follow the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.

Additional comments


Two common pregnancy disorders preeclampsia (PE) and intra-uterine growth restriction (IUGR) have great societal, patient & economic impact, yet our ability to treat these disorders is limited.  The principal research aim of iPLACENTA is to improve our ability to study, model and visualise the placenta to enhance investigation and prognosis of complicated pregnancies such as PE and IUGR.

iPLACENTA has developed a multi- disciplinary, network spanning different sectors. The research encompassed in iPLACENTA will boost the translational expertise in Maternal and Fetal Health, training 15 ESRs in translational research by integrating organ-chip technology and mathematical modelling, with innovation in visualising and assessing placenta health in the clinic and in vivo models.   The research will interconnect to unlock the complexity of placental disease, providing mechanistic clues for complex diseases, new ways to model placenta function in vitro, validate novel clinical diagnostic tools and characterise animal in vivo models.   The Ph.D training programme will equip the ESRs with the necessary skills to meet the challenges of cutting-edge translational research alongside topics such as OpenScience, entrepreneurship, project management and business skills.

Web site for additional job details

Offer Requirements


Eligibility Criteria

In order to be eligible, each applicant must fulfil the following criteria

  1. Mobility Rule: At the time of recruitment, the applicant must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc) in the country of the host organization for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to his/her recruitment start date.

Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.

  1. Qualifications and research experience: The applicant must fulfil the requirements defined for Early Stage Researchers (ESRs).
    1. ESRs are researchers who, at the time of recruitment are in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent) of his/her research career; and,
    2. have not yet been awarded the doctorate degree.

Date of recruitment normally means the first day of the employment of the fellow for the purpose of the project (i.e. the starting date indicated in the employment contract).

Specific Requirements

Applicants should:

Create 1 PDF document (save file as surname_CV ) with the following information:

  1. Candidate information
    1. Selected projects
    2. Eligibility information
    3. Education, qualifications and English certificate
    4. Merge official certificates with application.
    5. Work experience, awards, etc.
  2. Motivation letter- 1 page
    1. Why you wish to: undertake PhD, in this field and with the host (you can express an interest in more than one position)
    2. What characteristics and experience make you an ideal candidate
  3. CV- maximum 3 pages should include
    1. Work experience (relevant to the project)
    2. Research Achievements (Research projects, Scientific internships, laboratory experience, publications, abstracts at meetings, patents etc)
    3. Additional skills relevant for the project (Details of any skills you have which prepare you for this training program)
  4. References:
    1. Provide contact information for three referees
    2. Attach reference letters from two of the above referees (signed and dated)
  5. Diploma and transcripts of grades (BSc and MSc) documenting an outstanding academic record. Unless the candidate's diploma and transcripts of grades are in English, the candidate must procure a certified translation. Furthermore, the candidate must include official information about the grading scale.
  6. Candidate must provide English proficiency certificate unless a degree has been taken in English speaking country.



Work location(s)
2 position(s) available at
University of Dundee
United Kingdom
Ninewells Hospital
1 position(s) available at
Maastricht University
Minderbroedersberg 4-6
1 position(s) available at
University College Cork
College Road
1 position(s) available at
Aston University
United Kingdom
Aston Triangle
2 position(s) available at
St Georges
United Kingdom
Cranmer Terrace
1 position(s) available at
University of Leuven
Oude Markt 13
2 position(s) available at
2 position(s) available at
1 position(s) available at
University of Turin
1 position(s) available at
University of Rostock
1 position(s) available at

EURAXESS offer ID: 302871


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