Two PhD positions in Computational Biophysics/-chemistry (# of pos: 2)

Updated: about 1 month ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 30 Sep 2021


Applications are open for the attribution of a Research Grant within the scope of the KleptoSlug project (ERC-2020-STG-949880) at the Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM), to carry out scientific work leading to a doctorate degree, under the following conditions:

1. Scientific Area: Biological Sciences, Biochemistry, Chemistry or related areas.

2. Funding Source: European Research Council, Horizonte2020, Starting Grant ERC-2020-STG-949880

3. Admission requirements: Masters in Biological Sciences, Biochemistry, Chemistry or related areas, enrolled in a doctoral program at the beginning of their functions.

Registration in a doctoral program must be carried before contract signature; alternatively, the candidate may attach a declaration of honour (declaração de compromisso de honra ) that he/she fulfils the requirements for enrolment in the doctoral program.

(see courses at: Cursos - Universidade de Aveiro ( and Formação na UA - formacao - Universidade de Aveiro )

If academic degrees have been granted by a foreign higher education institution, they must be recognized by a Portuguese higher education institution (see ), in the pursuant to the provisions of article 25 of Decree-Law No. 66/2018, of 16 August, which approves the legal regime for recognition of academic degrees and diplomas in Higher Education, awarded by foreign higher education institutions, and of the subparagraph e) of paragraph 2 of article 4 of Decree-Law No. 60/2018, of 3 August, and any formalities established therein must be complied with by the date of the contracting act.

4. Eligibility: Candidates who comply with the provisions of paragraph a) of paragraph 1 of article 2 of the Research Fellowship Statute, in the wording given by Decree-Law no. 123/2019, August 28th , and also the provisions of article 9 of the Regulation of Scientific Research Scholarships of the University of Aveiro.

5. Work plan: Some sea slugs are able to retain functional chloroplasts from macroalgae (kleptoplasty). The cellular mechanisms that support the retention of functional chloroplasts within the cells of these animals, and the benefits that the host derives from this retention, remain to be elucidated. The main objectives of the works to be developed are: 1) to unveil the mechanisms that allow sea slugs to retain functional chloroplasts; 2) determine the benefits of kleptoplasty for the host. The main procedures and techniques to be used include: maintenance of life support systems for Sacoglossa sea slugs; sea ​​slug and macroalgae cultivation; lipidomics and metabolomics analyses; stable isotope analysis of fatty acids and amino acids; high resolution secondary ion mass spectrometry analysis (nanoSIMS, in collaboration with a foreign university); data analysis and processing; preparation of reports and writing of scientific manuscripts. The scholarship holder will be part of the current KleptoSlug project team plus 2 PhD researchers, 1 PhD student and 2 laboratory technicians to be employed, in addition to the network of collaborators.

6. Applicable legislation and regulations: Statute of Scientific Research Fellows, as amended by Decree-Law No. 123/2019, of 28 August; Regulation of Scientific Research Scholarships of the University of Aveiro, Regulation n.º 292/2020, published in Diário da República n.º 61, 2nd Series, of March 26; Decree-Law No. 66/2018, of 16 August (Legal regime for recognition of academic degrees and higher education diplomas awarded by foreign higher education institutions).

7. Work place: The work will be developed at the Department of Biology, Department of Chemistry, CESAM (Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies) and at the Laboratory for Innovation and Sustainability of Marine Biological Resources (ECOMARE) of the University of Aveiro, Portugal, under the supervision of Doctor Sónia Marisa Gonçalves da Cruz, Doctor Paulo Jorge Sousa Dias Cartaxana and Doctor Felisa Rey Eiras. The work to be developed may include periods abroad (“Laboratory for Biological Geochemistry LGB, Lausanne, Switzerland), with a maximum duration of 3 months per year.

8. Scholarship duration: The scholarship will have a duration of 12 months, aiming to start in January 2022, renewable for additional periods of 12 months, up to the maximum limit of the approved funding (48 months) provided that elapsed within the limit of the project execution deadline (May 2021 – April 2026), and under no circumstances may it exceed the limits defined in paragraphs 5 and 6 of article 9 of Regulation no. 292/2020, of 28 February, published in Diário da República, n.º 61, 2nd Series, of March 26 (Regulation of Scientific Research Scholarships of the University of Aveiro).

9. Maintenance allowance: The amount of the scholarship corresponds to €1,104.64 per month, according to the table for monthly maintenance allowance described in the annex III of the Regulation for Scientific Research Grants of the University of Aveiro. In addition to the monthly maintenance allowance, the project will support the annual tuition fees set by the University of Aveiro, for a maximum period of 4 years.

10. Selection criteria: Curriculum assessment (60%); interview (30%); communication skills in English (10%). Professional experience or specific training in 1) natural isotope ratio analysis, 2) mass spectrometry, 3) sea slug cultivation/maintenance and 4) macro- and microalgae cultivation will be preferred components within the curriculum assessment.

First phase of assessment : Curriculum assessment (0-20 points; 60% of final classification). Candidates who do not obtain 14 points out of 20 in the curricular evaluation will not be admitted to the second phase. In this component, it will be valued the scientific articles published or proved to be submitted (up to 3 points, depending on the relevance to the project and merit of the journal), communications at international conferences (up to 1 point, depending on relevance to the project and type of communication), science dissemination and dissemination activities (up to 1 point), final grade of academic degrees obtained (up to 12 points) and proof of professional experience or training (up to 3 points; please include certificates, letters of recommendation or authorization to contact supervisors).

Second phase of assessment : Interview and assessment of communication skills in English. The interview will be conducted in English to assess the candidates’ ability to communicate in English (0-20 points; 10% of final classification). The interview will focus on career prospects and knowledge in the scientific area of ​​the application (0-20 points; 30% of the final classification).

11. Selection committee: Doctor Sónia Marisa Gonçalves da Cruz as President of the Jury, Doctor Paulo Jorge Sousa Dias Cartaxana and Doctor Felisa Rey Eiras as effective members; the three are researchers at the University of Aveiro; Doctor Ricardo Jorge Guerra Calado, Principal researcher with Habilitation, and Doctor Maria do Rosário Gonçalves dos Reis Marques Domingues, Associated Professor with Habilitation, both from the University of Aveiro, as substitute members.

12. Application deadline and format: The call is open from the 17th to the 30th of September, and will only be admitted within the established deadline. Applications must be formalized by sending an application form (see ) accompanied by: Motivation letter, Curriculum Vitae, certificate of qualifications, 2 letters of recommendation or identification of 2 contacts for requesting references, publications and communications at conferences (if applicable), other documents proving experience or professional activities considered by the candidate as relevant to his/her application. The candidate should provide an e-mail contact for notification of selection process, by which the candidate accepts to be notified for all matters within this process. Applications should be sent by email to , with the subject “scholarship – KleptoSlug”. A notification of delivered E-mail must be kept.

13. Notification of results: The results of the evaluation (phase 1 and phase 2) will be communicated by E-mail within a maximum period of 60 working days from the date of submission of applications. For each evaluation phase, candidates are informed, in the context of a prior hearing, under the terms enshrined in the Code of Administrative Procedure, of the draft decision, and may, within 10 working days of this notification, comment on this decision. The candidates may appeal to the Dean against the final results, to be presented within 10 working days of the respective notification.

14. Legitimacy of the call: The final ranking list of candidates will be valid until June 2022, for the purpose of establishing a selection reserve list.

The models for the scholarship contract and the final report to be drawn up by the scholarship holder and supervisors can be consulted at bolseiros - sgrh - Universidade de Aveiro ( .

Universidade de Aveiro, 15/09/2021

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