13 PhD positions available in the area of Neurological Diseases

The aim of the Bio2Brain network is the development of a research and training program to train young scientists in innovating novel technologies to deliver biopharmaceuticals efficiently from the nose to the brain. It thereby offers a unique opportunity to 13 early career researchers to develop new paradigms and treatments in neurological diseases. Bio2Brain will create the fundament for the future transfer of the developed technologies for a later clinical development and GMP manufacturing.

The Bio2Brain trans-European research network aims to promote efficient drug administration to the CNS. The research and training programme covers the development of new advanced materials, formulations, and engineered proteins for the intranasal CNS delivery of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). The ESRs will obtain experience in the entire transdisciplinary development cycle of the medicinal product, from pharmacological drug pathway validation, product and process design, synthesis to characterization, as well as validation and quality control. The training will be complemented with useful tools for the time to market and commercialisation phase.

MSCA-ETNs are joint research and training projects funded by the European Union. Funding is provided for PhD students from both inside and outside Europe to carry out individual project work in a European country other than their own. The recruited researchers will have the opportunity to work as part of an international, interdisciplinary team of 13 PhD students, based at universities and industrial firms throughout Europe. The successful candidate will attend yearly summer schools as well as international meetings and will receive training on transferable skills. The ESR is expected to finish the project with a PhD thesis and to disseminate the results through patents (if applicable), publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at international conferences.

PhD Positions:

  • ESR1: Particle-based formulations for the intransal transmucosal delivery of Biopharmaceuticals (Hosted by Fraunhofer IGB, Germany)
  • ESR2: Bio-based hydrogels as drug delivery systems for the intranasal transmucosal delivery of Biopharmaceuticals (Hosted by Fraunhofer IGB, Germany)
  • ESR3: (Bio)polymer-based particulate formulations for the intranasal transmucosal delivery of Biopharmaceuticals (Hosted by MyBiotech, Germany)
  • ESR4: Analysis of mAb transport and its dependency on Fc-interacting molecules in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo (Hosted by Biberach University, Germany)
  • ESR5: Safe-by-Design (Hosted by Biberach University, Germany)
  • ESR6: Nose to Brain application of wildtype and engineered antibodies in the pathophysiological context in vivo (Hosted by University of Bern, Switzerland)
  • ESR7: Advanced imaging approaches for dissecting the mechanisms of release and trafficking of Biopharmaceuticals (Hosted by Lens, Italy)
  • ESR8: A computational approach to optimal design of DDS (Hosted by CERTH, Greece)
  • ESR9: Development of new polymeric nanogels as drug delivery systems (Hosted by Queen Mary University London, United Kingdom)
  • ESR10: Understanding the relationship between chemical structure of polymeric gels and their interfacial behaviour with membranes using neutron scattering (Hosted by Queen Mary University London, United Kingdom)
  • ESR11: Rational design of a panel of antibodies targeting Nogo-A (Hosted by University of Cambridge, United Kingdom)
  • ESR12: Rational design of a panel of antibodies targeting LINGO-1 (Hosted by University of Cambridge, United Kingdom)
  • ESR13: Hyaluronan based hydrogels for mucosal drug delivery (Hosted by Contipro, Czech Republic)


Interested candidates are strongly advised, prior to applying, to read carefully the job description and to contact the PI in case of any questions or doubts.

With your application please upload at least: Your complete CV, a half-page summary of master/diploma thesis, certificates of examination grades, a letter of motivation (up to 1 page) describing your research career goals, skills and experience, and names and contact information of at least two academic referees who could write a letter of recommendation.

Additional Information:

This subproject is fully funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Training Network „Bio2Brain“ (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2020). The monthly gross salary consists of a living allowance, mobility allowance, and family allowance (if applicable). Weekly working hours depend on the institution-specific rules.

The ESR will receive a single, three-year employment contract issued by the Home Institution. The employment contract will provide by default social security coverage, holiday rights, parental leave rights, pension provision, healthcare insurance, and accident coverage at work.

The ESR will receive a mobility allowance as a contribution to mobility-related expenses and a family allowance should the ESR have family, regardless of whether the family will move with the Candidate or not. In this context, family is defined as persons linked to the Candidate by (i) marriage, or (ii) a relationship with equivalent status to a marriage recognised by the national or relevant regional legislation of the country where this relationship was formalised; or (iii) dependent children who are actually being maintained by the Candidate. The family status of a Candidate will be determined at the recruitment date and will not evolve during the participation in the Bio2Brain project.

Eligibility Criteria:

Mobility: The applicant must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies etc.) in the country of the Home Institution for more than 12 months in the past three years. 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.

Early-stage researcher: The Candidate must be, at the date of recruitment, in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research career and has not been awarded a doctoral degree. Research experience is measured from the date when the degree was obtained, which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.

Please check further national requirements for the different ESR positions. For questions, please contact the responsible PI.

Assessment of applications starts 6 April 2021. Interviews are planned for April/ May 2021.

Qualification/ Experience:

  • Graduation in the field of live science, chemistry, engineering or technology discipline – M.Sc. preferred or a degree that allows them to embark on a PhD.
  • Basic knowledge of data analysis and Microsoft Office.
  • Well-structured and autonomous working style, flexible and co-operative, very good organizational and communication skills, good writing and presentation skills.
  • Willing to travel and go on secondments.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English is a must.