Updated: 2 months ago
Location: Government of Canada Ottawa and Gatineau offices, ONTARIO
Deadline: 08 Oct 2022

Research Grant (BI), for the conduct of R&D activities abroad by a PhD student

ref.ª SAI/2022/11 - 1 vacancy

There is an open call for applications for a Research Grant (BI), for the conduct of R&D activities abroad, at the University of Toronto, by a PhD student, under reference SAI/2022/11, in the scope of the project Unravelling the potential of extracellular vesicles as biomarkers of intraductal and cribriform Pca, at the institution Faculdade de Ciências Médicas|NOVA Medical School (FCM|NMS) from Universidade NOVA de Lisboa (UNL), supported by income from the above mentioned project financed by Janssen, under the following conditions:

Field of study: Biomarkers in Uro - Oncology

Admission requirements (eligibility criteria):

- Integrated Master’s degree in Medicine;

- Enrolment in a PhD, in the area of Medicine or related fields or intend to enter one (The Proof of enrolment in a PhD Degree could be obtained until contracting. The assessment made here will only take into account if the candidates meet the conditions for enroling in a PhD Degree.)

Work plan:

Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer related death among men in developed countries. Cribriform pattern (Crib) and Intraductal (IDC-p) are two histological patterns of PCa related with adverse clinical events and worse prognosis, with limited clinical tools to provide an early diagnosis. The genetic characteristics of these patterns and its relationship with long-term outcome are not fully understood.

Extracellular vesicles have been pointed out as promising biomarkers, with the advantage of being an easily accessible reservoir. Moreover, there content (such as proteins, lipids, DNA, and RNA) is thought to reflect the molecular composition of their tissue of origin. Based on that, we hypothesize that the urinary extracellular vesicles constitute a non-invasive platform to unveil molecular signatures of Intraductal and Cribriform PCa patterns, allowing the development of a diagnostic tool, which will allow early diagnosis of these patterns.

The main object is to identify specific biomarkers (both tissue and urine) for both Crib and IDC-p that allow early diagnosis of these highly aggressive cases.

This study is divided in two different parts: retrospective and prospective data collection. The retrospective cohort of the study will take place in the UHN, whereas the patients for the prospective cohort will be recruited from all the Portuguese and Canadian sites.

The plan is to divide the collected samples as described below:

The aim is to analyse 300 urine samples and 300 proteomic tissue analysis split in the following way:

a) 100 with Crib

b) 100 with IDC-p

c) 100 without those patterns (50 with PCa but without IDC-p/Crib and 50 without PCa)

The genomic tissue analysis will be divided in the following manner:

a) 75 with Crib

b) 75 with IDC-p

The above-mentioned samples will integrate each of the cohorts according to the following proportions:

1) Retrospective cohort (N=150)

a. 50 with IDC-p

b. 50 with Crib

c. 50 controls (25 with PCa but without the patterns and 25 without cancer)

2) Prospective cohort (N=350). Collect urine from 350 patients where we should analyse 150:

a. 50 controls

b. 50 with IDC-p

c. 50 with Crib

Legislation and applicable regulations:

The fellowship is legally framed by the Research Fellowship Holder Statute (Law 40/2004, of August 18) and the FCT Regulation for Research Studentships and Fellowships in force.

Place of work:

The work will be carried out at University Health Network/University of Toronto, under the scientific supervision of Doctor Neil Fleshner.

Fellowship duration and predicted start date:

The fellowship will last for 6 months and is expected to start on September 1, 2022.

The fellowship contract is eventually renewed for equal periods until the end of the project.

Monthly Scholarship Amount:

The monthly amount of the fellowship corresponds to € 1953.65 (one thousand nine hundred and fifty-three euros and sixty-five cents), paid monthly by bank transfer, according to the table of stipend values of FCT, I.P.

Selection Methods

The motivation letter and CV of the candidates will be evaluated according to the weighting of the factors indicated below.

Preferential Factors and assigned values in %:

- 25%; Urologist accredited by The Portuguese Medical Association;

- 25%; Being part of a Research Group with experience in Proteomics;

- 25%; Experience in projects in Urinary Prostate Cancer Biomarkers;

- 25%; Networking with The University Health Network – Toronto.

If the jury deems it is necessary, an interview will be held to the three best candidates with a weighting of 30%.

Selection Jury:

- Rodrigo Romão Nazário Leão, FCM|NMS – President of the Jury;

- Rune Matthiesen, FCM|NMS – 1st Effective Jury Member;

- Lúcia Domingues, FCM|NMS – 2nd Effective Jury Member;

- Ricardo Romão Nazário Leão, FMUC – 1st Alternate Jury Member;

- Ana Sofia Carvalho, FCM|NMS – 2nd Alternate Jury Member.

Form of publicizing/notifying the results:

The results of the evaluation will be send by email to the candidates who submitted the application within the deadline. The candidates will also be notified by email that if they wish to comment at the prior hearing, they should present their comments by email within 10 working days.

Application deadline and form of presentation of applications:

The call is open from July 27 to August 10 (untill 5:00 PM), 2022, and is published on and in (Portuguese and English versions on this website).

Applications have to be submitted by email, to , mentioning the reference SAI/2022/11 in the Subject of the message.

Applications are formalized by sending a Motivation Letter accompanied by the following documents: Curriculum vitae, Proof of Specialist in Urology by Portuguese Medical Association, Certificate of Qualifications, proof of inscription on a PhD Degree or statement on the CV or on the letter of motivation saying that the candidate wants to enter a PhD Degree, and other supporting documents deemed relevant.

The FCM reserves the right not to award the proposed scholarship if the candidates do not meet the requirements indicated in this announcement.

Lisboa, July 26, 2022

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