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NEWS15/11/2022NEWS

EUROPE: 10 PhD positions in the field of cancer precision medicine

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Applications are invited from candidates of excellence wishing to pursue a PhD degree in the field of cancer precision medicine.

The pan-European, academic & private sector GLIORESOLVE Doctoral Network, which comprises 10 funded beneficiaries and 11 associated partner organisations representing 10 countries, seeks to train 10 innovative, creative and entrepreneurial PhD students over 3 years, with a specific focus on brain tumour research.

Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most frequent, aggressive and lethal brain tumour. It has a universally fatal prognosis with 85% of patients dying within two years. Effective precision medicine therapies are thus urgently required.

The overall research objective of GLIORESOLVE is to leverage a novel GBM tumour microenvironment (TME) classification system (developed during the recently completed Gliotrain Project), to establish new therapeutic strategies for GBM.

Key outcomes expected from GLIORESOLVE are:

  1. to extend immunotherapy options to GBM patients and identify novel TME-subtype-specific therapeutic targets,

  2. develop and optimise state of the art pre-clinical models that recapitulate GBM TME-subtypes

  3. test novel rationally selected (available) drugs / drug combinations for precision treatment of GBM based on TME-subtype assignment.

The consortium brings together leading European academics, clinicians, private sector and not-for-profit partners, and incorporates disruptive research methods including multi-omics, ex-vivo ‘tumour-on-a-chip’ assay development, computational modelling and systems biology.

Thus, GLIORESOLVE provides a comprehensive translational research strategy that goes significantly beyond the current state-of-the-art in neuro-oncology, to establish a new TME-targeting precision medicine platform for this incurable disease. Moreover, the Doctoral Network addresses current needs in academia and the private sector to train PhD researchers in an environment that spans multiple disciplines. GLIORESOLVE candidates will be able to navigate confidently between clinical, academic and private sector environments to progress applied research findings towards improved patient outcomes.

 

Glioresolve Research Activities

There are two scientific work packages (WP) in GLIORESOLVE: GlioImmune and GlioDiscover.

GlioImmune (WP1) aims to implement state-of-the art technologies to identify and refine viable, subtype-specific combinatorial immunotherapy approaches to target GBM. Six PhD students will work on this WP and will study rational combinations of immune therapies and will evaluate intrinsic patterns of response and resistance using clinical, preclinical and in silico data.

WP1 Projects:

  • Project 1: Development of optimized oncolytic virus therapy for GBM TME subtypes

    • Beneficiaries: Erasmus MC, Mimetas BV

    • Associated Partner: Brigham and Women’s Hospital

  • Project 2: Evaluation of ultrasound-induced TME-subtype modulation in combination with ICIs in GBM

    • Beneficiaries: ICM Institute for Brain and Spinal Cord, RCSI

    • Associated Partner: Carthera, Sorbonne Université

  • Project 3: Targeting the Treg – macrophage axis to promote immune stimulation and tertiary lymphoid structure formation in GBM TME subtypes

    • Beneficiaries: VIB, KUL, Bayer AG

  • Project 4: Targetability of GBM TME subtype – specific T cell and GBM associated endothelial cell interactome

    • Beneficiary: Medical Faculty Mannheim - University of Heidelberg

    • Associated Partners: Miltenyi Biotec B.V. & Co. KG

  • Project 5: Patient-derived screening platform for probing personalized immunotherapies in TME-based GBM subtypes

    • Beneficiaries: Luxembourg Institute of Health

    • Associated Partners: Laboratoire national de santé, Oslo University Hospital, Univerosty of Luxembourg

  • Project 6: Establishment of GBM TME subtypes-on-chip models

    • Beneficiaries: Mimetas BV, Erasmus MC,

GlioDiscover (WP2) focuses on the discovery and interrogation of (non-immune) TME-targeting therapies. Four PhD students will interrogate novel therapeutics using advanced models and will employ gene regulatory networks and multi’ omics to determine mechanisms and biomarkers of resistance across TME subtypes.

WP2 Projects:

  • Project 7: Identification of novel TME subtype-specific treatments for GBM

    • Beneficiaries: RCSI, Bayer AG

  • Project 8: Modelling therapeutic resistance in GBM TME subtypes using multiomics computational models

    • Beneficiaries: GeneXplain GmbH, RCSI

  • Project 9: Mapping the therapeutic potential of Ag5 and its effects on the TME using a multi-omics approach in GBM patient derived models

    • Beneficiary: KU Leuven

    • Associated Partner: Arjuna Therapeutics

  • Project 10: Novel combination approaches of targeted alpha therapies in GBM TME subtypes

    • Beneficiaries: Bayer AG, RCSI

    • Associated Partner: Charité – Universitätsmedizin

 

Benefits

  • Recruited candidates will be Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellows and will have rights associated with this.

  • The candidates will be recruited by GLIORESOLVE Beneficiaries and will be hosted at the premises of the Beneficiary.

  • Personal Career Development Plans will be established and developed during the project.

  • Each successful candidate will work on an individual research project and will undertake inter-sectoral secondments.

  • Where projects extend beyond three years, PhD candidates will be supported using alternative funds. Salary and terms and conditions of employment will be in line with individual Institutional policies.

 

Funding:

This project receives funding from the European Union's Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Doctoral Networks grant agreement No 101073386 (GLIORESOLVE).

 

Researcher Salary:

Selected PhD candidates will be offered a competitive salary in line with MSCA funding rules. This includes a monthly living allowance of c. €3,400 (this is a variable amount, based on an automatically calculated adjustment assuming the expected cost of living in the country of recruitment), and a monthly mobility allowance of €600. Additional allowances (also paid as salary) are available to candidates with family commitments (€660 per month) and, where required, to those with disabilities. Please note that all compulsory national contributions (social security, pension, insurances, taxes etc.) to be borne by the employer and employee shall be deducted from the abovementioned amounts in line with MCSA Rules. These deductions vary between countries and institutes. Please refer to each project description via the GLIORESOLVE website for putative gross salary details for each position. Gross salary reflects the EU adjustments for living allowance. Salaries start from €35,000.

 

Eligibility criteria

  • At the date of recruitment, the candidate must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their recruiting organisation for more than 12 months in the previous 3 years. Short stays such as holidays and/or compulsory national service are not taken into account.

  • Candidates must NOT hold a PhD.

 

Skills/Qualifications

Candidate requirements:

  • Candidates should ideally possess a Master’s degree in a relevant academic field (please refer to individual project requirements for details on project-specific requirements), however exceptional candidates holding a Bachelor’s degree will be considered

  • Applications from candidates who already possess a doctoral degree will not be considered

  • Should be able to demonstrate motivation and a strong eagerness to learn

 

Specific Requirements

  • Candidates can be of any nationality, but are required to undertake transnational mobility as per the mobility rule

  • Candidates must be willing to travel (candidates must spend time on secondments in academic, clinical and/or private sector research institutions and must be willing to travel to organised training events over the course of the project).

  • Candidates must be able to commence on the project by April 2023.

  • Possess excellent written, oral communication and organisational skills

  • Should have the ability both to work independently and as part of a team

  • Previous related research experience will be a distinct advantage

 

Selection process

Applicants should submit a full CV and motivation letter, which details the following:

  • Up to three projects that they would like to apply for (see above & website).

  • Description of previous research experience.

  • Contact details or recommendation letters of two referees.

  • Proof of English language proficiency where required.

Only documents in English will be accepted. Documents should be submitted to glioresolve@rcsi.ie writing in the subject line the number of the selected projects (E.g. “Projects 1 and 3”) no later than 18:00 CET on December 23rd 2022.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for online interviews in the first instance and may be invited for subsequent in-person interviews. Interviews will commence in January 2023. Positions will be offered to candidates following approval by the GLIORESOLVE coordinator and supervisory board. We will endeavour to provide feedback to unsuccessful applicants where possible.

For informal inquiries regarding the application and eligibility questions, contact glioresolve@rcsi.ie. For informal queries regarding specific projects, contact the main supervisor directly.

Recruitment will be open, transparent, impartial, equitable and merit-based and in line with the European Charter, and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.

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PhD in Europe Cancer research Medical Science Neuroscience