PhD position available Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)

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The Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Beep Innovative Training Network (ITN) Call: H2020-MSCA-ITN-2019 invites applications for 9 early-stage researcher (ESR) positions, available with starting date in the period Feb 1st –May 1st for 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, and USA). More information about the network can be found at

The 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 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. Knowledge of is an advantage.

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): Diatoms in Hydrogels:  Morphologically controlled Diatom sediments. Supervisor: Dr. Bruno Jesus
  • ESR3 (POLIMI Milano, IT): Photosynthetic processes in algae via time-resolved spectroscopy. Supervisor: Prof. Guglielmo Lanzani
  • ESR4 (The Natural History Museum Lonodn, 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): Light management with Bacteria - Sensors and pigments. 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 the designed supervisor of the project that you are interested, to the network coordinator Dr.  Silvia Vignolini  ( and to Prof. Luisa De Cola ( by December 1st, 2019. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to a recruitment workshop to be held in Cambridge/London, UK on January 27-28.


Deadline: 2019-12-31