14 PhD positions in Female Reproductive Care in European Training Network 'MATER'

Applications are invited for 14 PhD positions (“Early Stage Researchers”) to be funded by the Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network ‘MATER - Innovative Training Network in Female Reproductive Care’ within the Horizon 2020 Programme of the European Commission.

List of available positions and details

MATER is a consortium of 10 high-profile universities and companies with outstanding expertise in female reproductive genomics and medicine, located in Estonia, Finland, Belgium, Sweden, Spain, Poland and Italy. ​

The aim of the MATER consortium is to train a new generation of 14 creative, entrepreneurial, innovative and ethically sensitive early-stage researchers (ESRs) in the field of female reproductive care through a European Joint Doctoral Programme. Research aims of the project are to contribute solving some of the most pressing challenges in female reproductive care and their ethical dilemmas by targeting the delicate issues like infertility and pregnancy complications and devising novel ideas to treat them, avoid miscarriages and implement genetic technologies in prenatal diagnostics. Innovation aims of the project are helping students to recognize and understand the ethical issues of their work, as well to prepare them for converting the novel knowledge and ideas into social and economic benefits. Each ESR will carry out their doctoral training jointly at two degree-awarding universities, while receiving consortium-wide practical and theoretical research-related and innovation training provided by all partners.


Applicants need to complete an application form including:

  • A detailed CV

  • Cover letter that describes the applicants’ motivation to apply (max. 1 page)

  • Official copy of the diploma and diploma supplement (transcript/mark sheet) of the preceding study levels (both bachelor's and master's documents in the original language and official translations into English if applicable)

  • Copy of the passport page stating the applicant´s personal particulars

  • At least two recommendation letters (academic reference)

  • A language certificate (IELTS min. 6.5 (no section below 5.5), TOEFL internet-based min. 92 (or similar level as proven by other tests, if available)

  • a copy of a recent academic publication or a recent paper or master thesis

Application deadline is: 30.04.2020

Applicants need to fully respect three eligibility criteria (to be demonstrated in the CV):

  • Early-stage researchers (ESR) are those who are, at the time of recruitment, in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers. This is measured from the date when they obtained the degree which formally entitles them to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the research training is provided, irrespective of whether or not a doctorate was envisaged.

  • Conditions of international mobility of researchers: Researchers are required to undertake trans-national mobility (i.e. move from one country to another) when taking up the appointment. At the time of selection by the host organisation, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment. Short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account.

  • English language: Network fellows (ESRs) must demonstrate that their ability to understand and express themselves in both written and spoken English is sufficiently high for them to derive the full benefit from the network training.

Secondment and internship

Being a PhD student in an ITN includes a considerable amount of travelling including participation in meetings and workshops. Each ESR must participate in:

  • An academic secondment (min. 6 months) to one of the partner universities, wherein they will acquire complimentary skills such as a specific scientific expertise, the use of unique equipment or the exploration of a different scientific discipline entirely.

  • At least one training internship (min. 2 months) at one of the non-academic partners, wherein they will be able to see the industrial perspective and develop entrepreneurial skills and mindset.

Benefits and salary

  • The opportunity to conduct cutting-edge research and access to a network of leading researchers in the field

  • Participation in research-specific, complementary and soft skills training that involve both the academic and industry sectors.

  • The guaranteed PhD funding is for 36 months (i.e. EC funding, additional funding is possible, depending on the local Supervisor, and in accordance with the regular PhD time in the country of origin).

  • Competitive salary in accordance with the Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Action regulations for Early Stage Researchers, which is adjusted for their host country.

  • Mobility allowance and a family allowance (where applicable) as part of the employment package.