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Marie Sklodowska-Curie Early Stage Researcher (ESR) - to track nanoparticles as they bind and internalise into mammalian model cell line systems (lung, intestine, blood-brain-barrier).

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Thursday, May 02, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Cardiff University is looking for an Early Stage Researcher within the Division of Molecular Biosciences for the collaborative research project MUSIQ in the frame of the EU Horizon2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Networks H2020-MSCA-ITN-2018 “MUSIQ: Multiphoton Microscopy and Ultrafast Spectroscopy: Imaging meets Quantum” European Training Network (ETN).

MUSIQ ( is an innovative ETN with the unique vision of developing the next-generation optical microscopy exploiting quantum coherent nonlinear phenomena. Through 15 ESR research projects, MUSIQ will establish an intersectoral training and research programme at the physics/chemistry/life science interface with partners from 9 European countries. MUSIQ ESRs will enrol on PhD degree programmes and be employed for 36 months in a beneficiary organisation. The consortium brings together a unique team of world-leading academic groups and industry, at the forefront of optical microscopy technology developments merged with fundamental understanding of ultrafast coherent light-matter interaction phenomena, development of quantitative image analysis tools, and biomedical/pharmaceutical real-world applications. MUSIQ aims at creating the next generation of skilled well-connected scientists that will pioneer the ‘quantum microscopes of tomorrow’.

Specific to MUSIQ, in addition to their individual scientific projects, all ESRs will benefit from further continuing education through a dedicated training program in the various fields of expertise of the consortium partners, which includes secondments, a variety of training modules, transferable skills courses and active participation in workshops, conferences and outreach activities.

As part of the position, the successful candidate will be enrolled as a staff candidate for a PhD at Cardiff University.

It is anticipated the basic annual salary will be in the region of £37,258 per annum, exact salary will be confirmed upon appointment. In addition to basic salary, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Early Stage Researcher positions also attract mobility and family allowances, dependent on individual circumstances.

Job Description

The objectives of the project are to track nanoparticles as they bind and internalise into mammalian model cell line systems (lung, intestine, blood-brain-barrier). The successful candidate will be trained to work with a multiphoton microscopy technique beyond state of the art called four-wave mixing imaging, available within the research environment at Cardiff. The effect of nanoparticle shapes and dimensions will be assessed, in combination with alterations in ligand valency at the nanoparticle surface. This study is important as a framework for understanding drug delivery strategies using nanoparticles. Specifically, with this study we expect to establish how crosslinking of receptors through changes in ligand valency at the local level of the plasma membrane affects binding and internalisation of nanoparticles. Crosslinking holds promise as a valuable strategy to be able to drive therapeutic payloads to intracellular sites of action against the flow of endogenous receptors and ligands, thus improving cellular delivery of drugs.


*To undertake research, e.g. by planning, preparing, setting up, conducting and recording the outcome of experiments, performing data analysis, desktop research etc.
*To conduct experiments by incubation of model cell lines with novel nanoparticle formulations generated in house, and define and characterise their uptake and trafficking by live confocal and multiphoton microscopy techniques.
*To participate in maintaining laboratory facilities, and assist other members of the group by sharing knowledge and expertise. Collaborate with others to tackle interdisciplinary problems in close collaboration with experts from adjacent disciplines in physics and chemistry.
*Actively participate within the research group, communicating and presenting research at meetings, through publications and other recognised avenues as appropriate, ensuring information is communicated to internal and external partners.
*To contribute to research publications and presentations as required.
*To analyse and communicate complex ideas, concepts and data using appropriate methods and packages.
*To resolve issues and support senior colleagues in devising procedures required to ensure accurate and timely reporting.
*To generate research output and contribute to the development of independent and original ideas as appropriate.
*To maintain and update area of specialist knowledge, researching and critically appraising relevant literature within the area.


*To undergo personal and professional development that is appropriate to and which will enhance performance.
*Specific to MUSIQ, in addition to their individual scientific projects, all fellows will benefit from further continuing education, which includes secondments. In this project, secondments will include a 2-months placement at GSK (Stevenage UK) to be trained on their state-of-the-art drug delivery assays and a 3-months placement at ICFO (Barcelona, Spain) to compare with their studies of receptor nanoclustering.
*Any other duties not included above, but consistent with the role.

Funding Notes

Applications are encouraged from all sectors of the community, reflecting the consortium’s commitment to equality and diversity. Female candidates are especially encouraged to apply. Employment procedures and contracts will conform to the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.
Please see link to advert for full person specification and eligibility cirteria

How good is research at Cardiff University in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 54.70

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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