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Innovative nano-biosensors detecting. MMHg.

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Saturday, February 29, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

The main objective is to understand the process of the sensor development which involves interdisciplinary topics and includes some knowledges from the material and nanomaterial science, photonics, chemicals, optical indicators as well biology. The main goal of this work is to design appropriate bio-chemical sensor for MMHg detection which should be on one hand very sensitive (to detect very low MMHg concentration), selective (to detect really MMHg and not other species) and on the other hand, very robust for direct measurement in the sea water. For sensor development close collaboration with ESRs 4, 5, 6, 7, 13 is needed.

Expected Results

Sensor receptors will be designed by incorporation of optical indicators and biomolecules into various materials/nanomaterials. Sol-gel syntheses will be used to prepare appropriate nanomaterials for the incorporation of various indicator dyes as well biomolecules. For the development of biosensor receptor, synthetic biology circuit of directed evolution for proteins of high MMHg specificity will be designed. DNA and RNA biomolecules with high MMHg binding affinities will be obtained and characterised. Nanomayterials with immobilised optical indicators/biomolecules will be prepared and characterized (response time, reversibility, detection limits, operational lifetime, etc). (2 papers). The sensor receptor should be upgradet with the transducer part to prepare the sensor prototype. The sensor prototype for the MMHg detection will be tested in the laboratory and furthermore in the seawater. Nanosensor onsite testing is planned.

Planned secondments

JSI (A. Lapanje), 2x2 months, process of coupling of biomolecules with nanomaterial and preparing prototype biosensor (joint paper); UPPA (D. Amouroux), 2 months, testing biosensor device in laboratory experiments implemented by ESR5; AMU (LE. Heimbürger_Boavida) and SU (S. Jonsson) timing aligned with the cruises and to provide access to obs-platforms for testing/implementation of novel Hg sensors ESR4 (joint paper on field testing).

Eligibility Criteria

GMOS-Train is looking for a broad international representation of early stage researchers. The network clearly acknowledges its responsibility for the recruitment of the researchers,
their working and living conditions, as stated in the document “The European Charter for Researchers - Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers”. Gender equality and
minority rights will also be promoted in the selection process. There is no age limit.


The positions are open to all nationalities. However, your application has to comply with the European Commission’s Mobility Rules, meaning that at the time of recruitment you must not have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the
country of the host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the reference date (indicative start of the employment contract, Month Date 2020).
Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account (European Commission’s Guide for Applicants).

Early-stage Researcher (ESR)

In case you have already gained prior work experience in academia, you shall be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of your research career at the
time of recruitment by the host organisation and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. Full-time equivalent research experience is measured from the date when you
obtained the degree entitling you to embark on a doctorate, even if a doctorate was never started or envisaged. Part-time research experience will be counted pro-rata (European
Commission’s Guide for Applicants).

Relevant University Degree

Master’s degree or equivalent in Environmental and Health Science or related fields.

Selection Process

In case an individual researcher is interested in several advertised ESR projects, he/she may apply for a maximum of three specific ESR projects and list their order
of preference.

The selection committee will check applications against the following criteria:

- Scientific background and potential as indicated by candidate experience.
- Fit to a research project.
- Evidence of ability to undertake research.
- Evidence of working within groups or teams.
- Impact and benefit of the proposed training to the candidate’s research career.

Three candidates will be short-listed for each research project and invited to an interview (interviews by video link will be held if candidates are not able to travel).

Interviews will consist of two parts:
1) a short presentation by the candidate followed by questions and answers, and
2) competence-based interview.

How to apply

Please find details about the ESR project descriptions, application process and modalities at

All applications must be submitted by means of on-line application on the official GMOS-Train project website:

Deadline for application is February 29th 2020.

Funding Notes

Prestigious EU fellowship.

Highly competitive and attractive salary and working conditions.

Excellent training programme covering health and environment science and state-of-the-art technologies.

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