The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers

Doctoral (PhD) student

This job offer has expired

    Biology centre ASCR
    Biological sciences
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    15/07/2019 21:00 - Europe/London
    Czech Republic › České Budějovice

Position summary

The project is titled ‘The role of trace elements in plant defence responses to pathogens’ under supervision of Dr. Filis Morina and Prof. Dr. Hendrik Küpper.

Research project: Trace elements are essential for plant growth and development, and for plant-environment interactions. They are involved in plant metabolism as enzyme cofactors (e.g. Cu, Fe, Zn, Mn), in redox reactions and electron transport (Cu, Fe, Mn), gene expression and transcription factors (Zn). The project aims to elucidate the mechanisms of metal-regulated plant responses to biotic stress such as fungal pathogens using different model plants. To achieve this, plants will be grown under metal deficient (Zn, Mn, Cu, Ni, Fe), optimal and metal excess conditions and exposed to pathogens under simulated environmental conditions. Currently, two model systems are established: Glycine max- hemibiotroph Phomopsis longicolla and Capsicum annuum-necrotoroph Botrytis cinerea. Fast responses to the pathogens will be monitored in vivo by measurements of element distribution and chlorophyll fluorescence kinetics by imaging techniques. Metabolome, metalloproteome and transcriptome profiling will be performed on harvested samples. Finally, candidate metal-regulated genes which promote plant immunity should be proposed.

The prospective PhD student will be able to learn various genetics, molecular biology and plant physiology techniques including metalloproteomic analysis by HPLC-DAD/ICP-MS, qPCR, QISH, microscopy techniques, chlorophyll fluorescence kinetics, and analysis of antioxidative metabolism.


We offer:

●       the opportunity to participate in unique scientific projects

●       professional growth

●       5 weeks of holiday

●       friendly international working environment

●       subsidized lunch

Selection process

How to apply

Interested candidates should apply by submitting the following documents and information as one complete pdf file to morina@umbr.cas.cz:

- A cover letter (max. 1000 words) explaining why the candidate believes to be suitable for this post

- A detailed CV including lists of publications if any, other achievements and previous professional experience

- Academic transcripts and diplomas (scanned copies)

- A list of at least two referees

Evaluation procedure and Announcement of results

The position will be filled once the evaluation committee has found a well suitable candidate. We will invite potentially suitable candidates min. 1 week in advance for an interview to be held as a Skype videoconference, and candidates will be informed of the result max. 1 month after the interview.

Additional comments


The Department of Plant Biophysics and Biochemistry (PBB, headed by Prof. Hendrik Küpper) is part of the Institute of Plant Molecular Biology (IPMB) within the BC CAS, https://www.bc.cas.cz/en/). The department was recently awarded a 4.9 Mio € grant from the Czech Ministry of Education with co-financing from the EU, which now allows for its expansion incl. additional team members and provides excellent facilities to perform cutting-edge research, including high-end research instruments (e.g. ICP-sfMS, µXRF). One expanding research direction within the Department is understanding the cross-talk mechanisms between metals and biotic stress response, and manipulation of nutrient availability to increase plant immunity to pathogens from the cell to whole organism level. Further details: PBB: http://www.umbr.cas.cz/~kupper/AG_Kuepper_Homepage.html


Conditions of contract

Employment can start on 1 October 2019, or later depending on mutual agreement. The contract will be initially for one year (with 3-month probation period). Afterwards, the contract may be extended for up to three years total in which the PhD should be completed.

Offer Requirements

    ENGLISH: Good


We are looking for a motivated student interested in multidisciplinary plant sciences including experimental and bioinformatic approaches. Qualified candidates holding or about to obtain a Msc or equivalent degree in Plant Biology, Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, Microbiology or related field are encouraged to apply. Previous experience in biochemistry and molecular biology is an advantage. Furthermore, the candidate should have some theoretical knowledge and practical experience in at least one of the following areas: plant physiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, bioinformatics. The candidate should have a good knowledge of spoken and written English to be able to fluently communicate with the team and to write scientific manuscripts for publication in international journals. Good communication skills and team work abilities are required.


Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Biology Centre CAS
Czech Republic
České Budějovice

EURAXESS offer ID: 417315


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