The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

A PhD position in the area of neurotransmitters in MSCA-ITN 'NeuroTrans'

    University of East Anglia
    Biological sciences
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    10/10/2020 12:00 - Europe/London
    United Kingdom › Norwich
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

The European Training Network (ETN) NeuroTrans (NEUROtransmitter TRANSporters: From single molecules to human pathologies) announces PhD candidate positions for Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs) with the option of being awarded a doctoral degree. NeuroTrans is an Innovative Training Networks (ITN) from the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Programme, funded by the European Commission under the framework of Horizon 2020. The NeuroTrans ETN (Grant number 860954) will establish an international training programme by forming a highly interdisciplinary team of world-leading European researchers from 9 universities and 5 industrial partners. NeuroTrans makes ample use of existing cutting-edge methods to reach this goal, but also develops enabling techniques in biophysics, molecular and structural biology. 

The vision of the NeuroTrans project is:

  • to reach a comprehensive understanding of neurotransmitter:sodium symporter (NSS) function ranging from the molecular level to human pathologies,

  • to investigate how psychoactive substances target these transporters,

  • to elucidate how disruption of transporter function contributes to neuropsychiatric disease pathobiology.

To accomplish our vision, NeuroTrans will establish an interdisciplinary training school that includes most important subdisciplines in quantitative biology, including molecular modelling, computer simulations, biophysics, biochemistry, neurobiology, human pathology, molecular and structural biology, but also engineering and programming. Through the training offered by NeuroTrans, PhD candidates will develop a cutting edge set of skills ranging from computer simulations to membrane protein structural biology, dynamics and thermodynamics to human diseases, pathologies and instrument development. By integration of the industrial sector in the training, NeuroTrans will offer training in entrepreneurship, product development and commercialisation to prepare the NeuroTrans students for acquiring leading positions in academia and industry.

Details on the NeuroTrans programme and the recruitment can be found on the NeuroTrans homepage. Positions are hosted at 9 universities and 3 companies in 8 different European countries. Employment is according to the regulations by the hosting university or company and the rules of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions. All Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions funded ESR position positions are limited to a duration of 36 months. The PhD candidate will enroll in a university PhD programme.

Applications to Project 12 need to be directed to the NeuroTrans consortium (office@neurotrans.org), including the completed Application Form available through the homepage of NeuroTrans (www.neurotrans.org).

Project 12) Resolving coarse-grained dynamic distance constraints of the transport cycle of NSS transporters using EPR spectroscopy

Hosting institution and working location: University of East Anglia, UK

Principal investigator: Dr. rer. nat. Fraser MacMillan FRSC


Eligibility criteria

The candidates must fulfil the following conditions to be eligible as PhD candidate for NeuroTrans:

  • Excellent oral and written English language skills

  • At the date of commencing their employment, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers, including any period of research training. The time is measured from the date when the PhD candidate obtained the first degree entitling him/her to embark on a doctorate (either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the PhD candidate is recruited, even if a doctorate was never started or envisaged).

  • At the time of recruitment be in possession of a university degree that allows for enrolling in a PhD programme, but have not completed a PhD. Being already enrolled in a PhD programme (unfinished) does not constitute an exclusion criterium. Date of commencing their employment means the first day of the employment of the PhD candidate (i.e. the starting date indicated in the employment contract or equivalent direct contract).

  • PhD candidates must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting university of company for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. This time is measured from the date of signing the employment contract. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account. 

  • Have a Master’s degree (or an equivalent diploma allowing to pursue a PhD) in the fields as requested for each NeuroTrans projects. See further details at the homepage of NeuroTrans (www.neurotrans.org)

  • Additional recruitment criteria for this project/PhD position can be found on the NeuroTrans homepage (www.neurotrans.org).

  • The PhD candidate can be of any nationality.

  • Informal enquires are actively encouraged and can be made directly to the project supervisor to ascertain suitability and eligibility prior to the application deadline.

See further details in the Guide for Applicants of the Innovative Training Networks of Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions.

Selection process

Applications will be evaluated by the supervisory board. Interviews with shortlisted candidates will be conducted through videoconferencing. Candidates will be selected by an evaluation panel and the supervisory board of NeuroTrans. The selected PhD candidate will be hired by the hosting institution and enroll in its PhD programme. All Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions funded ESR positions are limited to a duration of 36 months. See the NeuroTrans homepage for further details.


Additional comments


Applicants should consult the homepage of NeuroTrans (www.neurotrans.org) for complete information.

Applicants should email the completed application form and all other requested documents and information to the NeuroTrans office: office@neurotrans.org. The language for applying to NeuroTrans is English. At the time of application, applicants do not need to have finished their Master's study (or equivalent) that allows for enrolling in a PhD programme, but it must be completed at the time of recruitment to the hosting institution. Applicants may only apply for the ESR12 position.

Applications (provided as a single PDF file) should include the following documents:

  • Curriculum vitae (Europass format preferred)

  • Contact information of two senior referees. Note that you must contact your referees and make sure that they independently send a reference letter to office@neurotrans.org. The reference letters should be on institutional headed paper and come from the referee's institutional rather than personal email address. We will not contact your referees; it is your responsibility to ensure that references reach us by the application deadline.

  • Completed Application Form of the European Training Network (ETN) NeuroTrans. The Application Form can be downloaded from the NeuroTrans homepage (www.neurotrans.org).

  • Certificates of university degrees and intermediate certificates. If a Master's degree (or equivalent) has not been obtained, this must be stated and the estimated date of completion must be provided. The degree allowing for enrollment in a PhD programme needs to be completed at the time of commencing the employment contract.

  • Academic record: University transcripts, including photocopies of transcripts of marks (academic record).

  • University transcripts documenting your career must be sent in one of the NeuroTrans languages, preferably English.

  • Additional documents (if available) supporting your applications that can include language certificates, additional education certificates or training certificates. The complete application requirements are described on the homepage of NeuroTrans (www.neurotrans.org).

Offer Requirements

Specific Requirements

Essential requirements are:

  • The PhD candidate must have a first degree in a Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biophysics, Physics, or a related field (equivalent to 2:1 or better 1st class classification)
  • Demonstrable communication skills in English language
  • Good IT skills in Microsoft/Adobe Programmes.
  • Excellent report writing and presentation skills.
  • Good time management and organisational skills.
  • Good interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to interpret results gathered by others
  • Well-developed analytical and practical skills in subject area

Desirable requirements are:

  • The first degree should preferably be a Masters qualification.
  • Training in magnetic resonance spectroscopic techniques
  • Excellent oral and written English language skills
  • Experience of using Matlab
  • Experience with EPR spectroscopy
  • Experience with handing membrane proteins
  • Experience of the Easyspin Matlab toolbox

Map Information

Job Work Location Personal Assistance locations
Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
University of East Anglia
United Kingdom
University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich

EURAXESS offer ID: 555163


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