Junior Fellow – Diamond-Photonics platform for neuronal signalling studies

Updated: 3 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 21 Nov 2022

Junior Fellow – Diamond-Photonics platform for neuronal signalling studies

Job Reference: Ref.10.22.48

Employer: International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL)

Location: Braga, Portugal

Group/Unit: Ultrafast Bio- and Nanophotonics (UBNP)

Number of Vacancies: 1

Employment Type: Full time

Contract Duration: 12 months

Open Date for Applications: October 28th, 2022

Closing Date for Applications: November 21st, 2022, 23h00m (Lisbon Time)

Key words: #neuronal signalling #diamond-photonics #photonics

Overview

The UBNP group is composed by an international and interdisciplinary team of physicists, chemists and bioengineering researchers that study light-matter interactions and their deployment in biomedical imaging, quantum sensing and light-based computation. Together with collaborators across the globe we advance the fundamental knowledge of light-matter interactions and develop technologies within the frame of our three strategic research lines “Advanced Bioimaging and Sensing”, “Quantum Photonics” and “Integrated Photonics”.

Project specifications: INL participates in the Scientific Research and Technological Development project DIAMOND-CONNECT, funded by National Funds through the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT):

(a) Name of the project: DIAMOND-CONNECT: Diamond Photonics Platforms for the Study of Connectivity in Neuronal Cell Models

(b) Reference number: PTDC/NAN-OPT/7989/2020

(c) Scientific Area: Nanotechnology - Nano-Optics and Nanophotonics

(d) Description: The DIAMOND-CONNECT project shall combine the advances in quantum metrology approaches with the state-of-the-art sensing of 2D neuronal signalling to advance the understanding in neuronal signalling and connectivity – fostering the understanding of core processes in the functioning of the brain. A highly promising quantum metrology technique is based on the fluorescence emission of Nitrogen Vacancy (NV) centers in diamonds, which can be used to assess various physical parameters such as temperature and magnetic field in their nanoscale surroundings.

Description of the functions and key primary responsibilities: 

The successful candidate will work on the tasks of the SR&TD project, and will be assigned the following working plan:

  • Study of literature related to femtosecond (fs) laser based creation of Nitrogen Vacancy (NV) centers in diamond and NV center based sensing;
  • Participation in the implementation of fs laser based creation of NV color centers in diamond, using bulk diamond and other test samples; this involves alignment of a fs laser into a microfabrication work station (custom build microscope equipped with nanopositioner stages and fluorescence detection module), optimization of laser power, pulse compression and scanning speed and control of the sample environment (e.g.  atmosphere around the diamond sample) to adjust the exposure and optimize the conditions for NV center creation;
  • Measure the emerging luminescence during fabrication using the setup’s implemented fluorescence detection mode;
  • Perform qualitative and quantitative data analysis, e.g. on the fluorescence microscopy data obtained;
  • Collaborate in the application of diamond-photonics platform to neuronal cell models (with our collaborators at U Aveiro);
  • Summarize performed work in form of laboratory reports, and group seminar presentations, as well as preparing material for scientific dissemination e.g. at conferences or for publications in international scientific journals.
  • Mandatory Qualifications

    Education

    • Master degree or equivalent) in any of the following areas: Physics, Physics Engineering, Photonics, Micro- and Nanoengineering, Material Science and Engineering, or similar.

    Technical Skills

    Knowledge and/or expertise in:

    • Nonlinear) Optics, (Fluorescence) Microscopy, Diamond-Photonics, Microfabrication or related;
    • Programming for data analysis or device control (e.g. Python, Labview, Matlab, ImageJ, Origin, Excel or related);
    • Literature study.

    Applications that do not meet these conditions will not be considered.

    Personal Skills

    • “Hands-on” approach together with a high commitment in respecting working deadlines;
    • Problem Solving ability;
    • Ability to work independently and as team player;
    • Good communication skills.

    Supervision: The work plan will be developed at the INL under the scientific guidance of Dr. Jana Nieder. The successful candidate will be integrated in the UBNP group.

    Selection Committee:

    The selection of candidates will be carried out by a Selection Committee consisting of the following persons:

    Dr. Jana Nieder – Scientific Supervisor

    Dr. Christian Maibohm – Staff Researcher

    Dr. Mariana Carvalho – Facility Manager

    Patrícia Oliveira - Human Resources

    General Eligibility conditions, required qualifications and expertise:

    Candidates must comply with the following requirements:

  • Hold a MSc Degree within the field of the selected vacancy;
  • Be a Portuguese citizen, a European Union citizen, a non-European Union Citizen, or a stateless person with a scientific and professional curriculum that demonstrates an appropriate profile for the activity to be performed;
  • Fluency in English is required.
  • How to Apply

    The application must be in English and include the following mandatory documents:

    a)     Cover letter;

    b)     Curriculum Vitae;

    c)      Academic and/or Professional diplomas;

    d)     At least one recommendation letter;

    e)     Recognition of academic degrees (only academic degrees awarded by non-Portuguese higher education institutions)*.

    * The selected candidate(s) with an academic degree granted by a non-Portuguese higher education institution must present, for hiring purposes, the certificate of recognition of that degree(s), issued by the Portuguese Directorate General for Higher Education or by a Portuguese Public Higher Education Institution. Please consult the website of the Portuguese Directorate General for Higher Education: https://www.dges.gov.pt/en .

    Online application instructions:

  • The application is made online by clicking the “Apply” button below;
  • The candidate must complete all required sections of the online application form;
  • The candidate must submit the mandatory documents mentioned above in pdf format by including them in the “Additional files” section using the “Add portfolio” button.
  • Important note:

    Incomplete applications including the failure to provide mandatory documents or providing inaccurate information will result in the application not being considered.

    How the Selection Process works

    A. Applications eligibility check

    This stage will be carried out on the basis of the mandatory requirements, education, experience and technical skills defined for the job, as well as the validation of the mandatory documents. Only candidates who meet the eligibility criteria will move forward to the next stage.

    B. CV Assessment

    The Selection Committee will evaluate the eligible applications based on their CV and other submitted documents and the suitability for the position, and shall focus on the relevance, quality and up-to-date of the following items:

    • Scientific and Technological Production (‘STP’);
    • Applied and Practice-based Research Activities (‘RA’);
    • Activities  related to the Dissemination of Knowledge (‘DK’);
    • Activities related to the Management of Science, Technology and Innovation programmes (‘MSTI’).

    The research experience will be assessed according to the following criteria:

    • STP (65%): Academic Qualifications (AQ) – 25%; Scientific Profile (SP) – 25%; Research Quality (RQ) – 10%; RTI Funding (RF) – 5%;
    • RA (15%): Development, operation and maintenance of scientific facilities “instrumentation and/or equipment”  (DOM) – 2%; Conferences, symposia and scientific cooperation activities (CSS) - 3%; Professional activities (PA) – 5%; Mobility and Interdisciplinarity (MI) – 5%;
    • DK (5%): Transfer to other areas of society (TS) – 3%; Promotion of the public understanding of science (PPUS) – 2%;
    • MSTI (5%): Laboratory facilities and equipments (LFE) – 5%.

    This criteria will have a total valuation of 90%. The minimum threshold for this stage is 60%.

    The top four ranked candidates will be shortlisted for interview, provided however that they pass the threshold mentioned above.

    C. Interview(s)

    The interview(s) may be done in different formats: video recording, online or onsite.

    The question based interview will evaluate the match between the candidate’s profile and the requirements for the position, including the technical and personal skills. To better support this stage, the candidate may be requested to prepare a short presentation.

    This criterion will have a total valuation of 10%.

    D. Assessment

    The Selection Committee will draw up the minutes of the R&S process in which candidates will be ranked according to their evaluation scores.

    E. Nomination

    The selected candidate will be nominated and formally offered the position, including the disclosure of the contractual conditions. 

    Our Benefits

    • Competitive salary;
    • Tax benefits and other Diplomatic privileges;
    • Private health insurance;
    • Family allowances (according to family situation);
    • Free nursery service at INL premises (subject to availability);
    • Support for education fees of dependent children;
    • Relocation support;
    • 30 working days of annual leave.

    Financial Benefits

    INL offers an attractive financial package appropriate to an international research organization. Due to INL special legal status as intergovernmental organization, financial benefits are exempt for national income tax. Apart from the salary, INL may offer, depending on the personal situation, additional allowances and benefits for families and non-residents.

    Additional Information

    Applicable legal and regulatory framework, taking into consideration the international status of the Organisation

    The contract will be subject to the INL’s Staff Rules, as amended from time to time, as well as to all other relevant instructions issued by the Organisation. For this purpose, a copy of the Staff Rules shall be provided. The contract may also be supplemented by the terms and conditions of the Financing Contract between the Organisation and the FCT governing the implementation of the FCT Project.

    Disputes between the Organisation and the Employed Member of the Personnel shall be settled in accordance with the INL´s Staff Rules.

    Notification of results

    Each candidate notified via email of the result of their individual application. If the first candidate refuses the offer, the Human Resources will send an offer to the second candidate on the ranking, and so on until the vacancy is filled.

    We highly value the interest shown from applicants wishing to become a part of the INL experience. It is important for us to maintain good communications with candidates. No matter the outcome of the application, we always send the applicant an answer. 

    Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Principle

    INL follows a non-discrimination and equal access principle, wherefore no candidate can be privileged, benefited, impaired or deprived of any rights whatsoever, or be exempt of and duties based on any possible discriminatory issues.

    The advertisement deadline may be extended at any time without previous notice in order to improve the suitability and effectiveness of the recruitment process.

    About INL

    The International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory – INL (http://www.inl.int ), is the first and only Intergovernmental Organisation in the world entirely focused on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology.

    It was founded under an international legal framework to perform interdisciplinary research, deploy and communicate nanotechnology for the benefit of society. INL aims to be a recognised leading global nanotechnology innovation hub.


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