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MMHg sources in coastal ecosystem: new molecular and isotopic experimental speciation approaches.

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

Project Description

(i) to investigate major microbial and photochemical processes connected to the formation of MMHg (and DMHg) in coastal marine ecosystems (Atlantic and Mediterranean coastal, shelf and/or margin stations), (ii) to understand the dynamic of MMHg formation/distribution from coastal to marginal marine areas in collaboration with ESR 4, 6, 7. ESR5 will collaborate with ESR3 on isotopic tracers incubation techniques, with ESR 7 on the role of coastal DOM, with ESR11 to test biosensor information and provide data for ESR13 for modelling purposes, and Collaboration with ESRs 3, 4, 6, 7, 11, 13.

Expected Results

Methylation, di-methylation or demethylation rates at various depth andandand compartments of the water column as defined by critical biogeochemical parameters (e.g., microbial diversity and hgcA “methylation” genes; sunlight irradiance and DOM chromophoric properties) affecting Hg transformations in coastal, shelf and/or margin stations. Provide new molecular and isotopic information on the transformations pathways of the methylated Hg species in coastal environments (3 papers).

Planned secondments

IOS/JSI (A. Lobnik, A. Lapanje), 1 month, , bioavailable fraction (biosensor) vs MMHg reactivity in coastal waters (combined with ESR11); SU (S. Jonsson), 2 months, the role of DOM in MMHg dynamics; HZG (C.Schrum, J. Bieser), 1 month, to make use of novel experimental data with models developed by ESR13 (joint paper – see D5.1).

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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