9 PHD Positions on MSCA Training Network “Bio-Inspired and Bionic Materials for Enhanced Photosynthesis” (BEEP)

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Tags: MSCA | PhD fellowships | Chemistry | UK

Application Deadline: 1 December 2019

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Network (Call:H2020-MSCA-ITN-2019) “Bio-Inspired and Bionic Materials for Enhanced Photosynthesis” (BEEP) invites applications for 9 early-stage researcher (ESR) positions, available with a starting date in the period 1 February to 1 May 2020 for a period of three years.

The network 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). More information about the network can be found at http://beep-itn.eu/

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.

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 also have the opportunity to enrol for a PhD.

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:

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

Description of Projects:

  • ESR1 (University of Cambridge, UK): Understanding Light management in Marine organisms. Supervisor: Dr. Silvia Vignolini

  • ESR2 (Université de Nantes, FR):ESR to: Diatom biophotonics in hydrogels and natural microphytobenthic communities, effect of biofilm structure.Supervisor: Dr. Bruno Jesus

  • ESR3 (Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Milano, IT):Photosynthetic processes in algae via time-resolved spectroscopy. Supervisor: Prof. Guglielmo Lanzani

  • ESR4 (The Natural History Museum London, UK):Light management strategies in seaweeds. Supervisor: Prof. Juliet Brodie

  • ESR5 (University College London, UK): Exploitation of bio-inspired light-management strategies. Supervisor: Prof. Franco Cacialli

  • ESR6 (University of Strasbourg, FR): Bio-inspired breathing hydrogels for self-sustaining bio-photoreactors. Supervisor: Prof. Luisa De Cola

  • ESR7 (University of Bari, IT): Synthetic strategies for Bionic Diatoms. Supervisor: Prof. Gianluca Farinola

  • ESR8 (Hoekmine BV, Utrecht NL): The photonic applications of structural colour from natural and genetically engineered bacteria. Supervisor: Dr. Colin Ingham

  • ESR9 (University of Copenhagen, DK): The role of fluorescent host pigments for photosynthesis and optics in corals. Supervisor: Prof. Michael Kühl


Application procedure:

Interested candidates should send an application containing:

  1. A short 1-2 page CV

  2. A letter of motivation stating clearly which position (ESRX) and/or project title the candidate is interested in

  3. Names and contact details of two referees willing to write confidential letters of recommendation

The complete application must be sent by email directly to i) the desigated supervisor of the project that you are interested in, ii) the network coordinator Dr. Silvia Vignolini (SVignoliniAdmin@ch.cam.ac.uk),and iii) to Prof. Luisa De Cola (decola@unistra.fr) by 1 December 2019. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to a recruitment workshop to be held in Cambridge/London, UK on 27-28 January 2020.