Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

Early Stage Researcher, ITN BEEP at the Natural History Museum, London, UK

This job offer has expired

    Natural History Museum
    Biological sciences
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    07/04/2020 09:00 - Europe/London
    United Kingdom › London
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions


About the Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum (NHM) is a world-class visitor attraction and leading science research centre and commercial event space. We use our unique collections and unrivalled expertise to tackle the biggest challenges facing the world today. We care for more than 80 million specimens, both in our London and Tring museums, spanning billions of years and welcome more than five million visitors annually.

We are at a pivotal moment in our history, as we launch a new strategy setting out our role as the natural world faces increasing threats. Building on our world-leading collection, global reputation for science and as one of the world’s leading visitor attractions, the NHM has ambitious plans leading up to its 150th anniversary in 2031 making this a truly exciting time to be part of the NHM team.

Diversity and Inclusion

We welcome applications from everyone – diversity, inclusion and the feeling of belonging matters to us. By attracting people to work for us from a broad range of diverse backgrounds we can continue to look at the world with fresh eyes and find new ways of doing things. We offer a stimulating and professional environment in which to work. This is a remarkable place we look for staff who can work according to our values – we champion diversity, encourage creativity, we are connected, and we value evidence.

Job Summary

PhD Studentship/Marie Sklodowska-Curie early-stage researcher (ESR) position at the Natural History Museum, London, UK): Light management strategies in marine macroalgae.

Supervisor: Prof. Juliet Brodie

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Beep Innovative Training Network (ITN) Call: H2020-MSCA-ITN-2019 invites an application for a PhD Studentship/early-stage researcher (ESR) position.

The aim of this project is to study light management strategies in seaweeds. Structural colour is common in the marine environment, and the appearance of iridescent blue tips in the red alga Chondrus crispus, for example, is a familiar sight in rock pools on shores in the North Atlantic. Structural colour is reported in the red, green and brown seaweeds and yet the phenomenon is largely unexplored in these algae. The project will study of optical responses of structurally coloured algae and how these responses relate to morphology, photosynthetic activity, microbiome, bacteriosome and phylogeny of these organisms. The project will initially focus on red and brown seaweed species. It will include fieldwork on shores along the south coast of England, culture work, photophysiological studies (lab and field, including the use of hyperspectral imaging and PAM), molecular techniques, and microscopy (light and EM). This novel research area will also provide scope for the student to develop their own lines of research.

The project will form part of the EC Marie Sklodowska-Curie Training Network (BEEP), which unites 9 beneficiaries and 8 partner organisations from both the academic and industrial sectors from 6 countries (United Kingdom, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, USA).

The BEEP project provides research and training opportunities for early-stage researchers in the field of bio-mimetic approaches for light management. Scientifically, BEEP aims to:

i) Unravel the fundamental strategies of light management in macroalgae, corals with symbiotic microalgae and bacteria, as well as sea-slugs with sequestered chloroplasts, and

ii) To apply such knowledge for creating novel artificial and bionic photosynthetic systems. More information about the BEEP network can be found at http://beep-itn.eu

Research within the network encompasses a number of disciplines ranging from organic, inorganic, physical chemistry to the material and biological sciences. In addition, inter-sectorial collaboration is promoted through short- and long-term secondments between academic and non-academic participants.

The aim of the research programme is to provide the ESRs with the practical skills and knowledge so that they can perform top-level research, both in the academic and non-academic sectors. The network-wide training programme consists of workshops and schools. It has been specifically designed to equip the researchers with a balance of research-related and transferable skills, which will enhance their career perspectives. The ESRs will have the opportunity to enrol for a PhD.

Main Responsibilities

  • Design and complete research projects within the scope of the broader programme.
  • Produce required research outputs including publications and conference presentations
  • Engage in collaborative research activities with other ESRs in the network.
  • Contribute to all Network Training Activities.
  • Complete Fieldwork as required.
  • Contribute to Dissemination and Public Engagement Activities.

More Information


Offered salary: starting from £33,571 per annum

Selection process

To apply

If that sounds like you please apply online on the Natural History Museum’s careers portal at https://careers.nhm.ac.uk/templates/CIPHR/jobdetail_1900.aspx, and provide:


  • A comprehensive curriculum vitae giving details of relevant achievements in recent posts as well as your education and professional qualifications. (max 2 pages)
  • A covering letter that summarises your interest in this post, providing evidence of your ability to match the criteria outlined in the person specification
  • Please ensure your letter includes details of your latest salary and notice period.


Closing date: 9am on Tuesday 7 April 2020

Additional comments

Please note that this role would not meet UK Visa and Immigration’s requirements for a sponsorship visa. As such we are only able to consider candidates who have the existing right to work in the UK.

Offer Requirements


To be considered for this position the applicant must have experience in a significant number of the competencies detailed below:

  • Experience of working in marine algae & shore/inter-tidal research
  • Have experience in physiology and photosynthesis
  • Molecular biology skills including bioinformatics, Sanger/next-generation sequencing, molecular taxonomy and microbiomes
  • Experience of working with spectrophotometry
  • Competency in using R
  • Knowledge of algael evolution and ecology

Specific Requirements


We are looking for highly motivated researchers with an excellent academic background in Chemistry, Material Science, Biology and Physics. Applicants must at the time of recruitment:

  • Have a BSc and a MSc or equivalent in Chemistry, Physics, Biology or a related discipline
  • Be in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers
  • Have not been awarded a doctoral degree
  • Have not resided in the United Kingdom for more than 12 months in the last 3 years


All positions at the Natural History Museum are conditional subject to receipt of:

  • Proof that you are legally entitled to work in the UK
  • A Basic Disclosure Check from the Disclosures and Barring Service (DBS)
  • Satisfactory references covering the last 3 years of your employment or education
  • Health clearance

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Natural History Museum
United Kingdom
Cromwell Road

EURAXESS offer ID: 494158


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