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PhD fellowship in dynamics of cellular interactions (ESR2)

   PhD Opportunities

  Dr Eva Balsa-Canto, Dr Irene Otero-Muras, Prof Bas Teusink  Tuesday, June 15, 2021  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Paris France Bioengineering Biotechnology Physics

About the Project

“E-MUSE Complex microbial Ecosystems MUltiScale modElling: mechanistic and data driven approaches integration” MSCA-ITN-2020 European Training Network

We are looking for Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) to join our project at multiple sites in EU with a master degree in a relevant discipline (chemical engineering / food process engineering / microbiology / bioinformatics / mathematical / computational / data / applied physics sciences) interested to develop innovative modelling techniques aiming to reconstruct the dynamics of complex multiscale biological systems.

The E-MUSE training programme aims at developing young researchers’ skills at the interface between artificial intelligence and life sciences. The challenge is to acquire a shared language bridging life science questions and original modelling approaches. The research programme of the E-MUSE network is to develop innovative modelling methodologies to understand a complex microbial ecosystem and identify levers to control and/or predict its evolution. To deal with biological complexity, biologists, mathematicians, and computer scientists have to work together to develop innovative methodologies. An important complexity of this domain originates from scales and dynamics issues, ranging from local kinetics at the level of the cell to emerging macroscopic properties of the biological system. The development of high throughput techniques provides more and more large datasets, but knowledge is not easily inferred from this huge amount of data and multiscale dynamics are still incompletely characterised and predicted. E-MUSE’s transdisciplinary network gathers academic and industrial partners to equip Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) with scientific, research and transferable skills to become leaders in academic research or industry. They will be at the cutting edge of the modelling methodologies that we apply to model structural and dynamic features of microbial communities, to identify key processes and biomarkers for specific applications.


Objectives: The objective is to develop a dynamic ecological model to describe the interactions between microorganisms through cheese production. The following sub-objectives are to be accomplished: (1) the modelling at the ecological level accounting for interactions among microorganisms and environmental components, (2) the modelling at the metabolite-mediated level accounting for explicit descriptions of substrates and products and environmental components, (3) the formulation and solution of dynamic optimization problems devoted to maximize cheese quality.


Master’s degree: systems biology, biological engineering, computational biology, biotechnology, physics with a strong numerical/computational component no later than September 2021. You should NOT have any kind of PhD degree. Previous research experience (which must be no longer than 4 years) although appreciated, is not mandatory. 

  • Educational background and previous research experience relevant for the chosen position
  • Good numerical/computational skills 
  • Ability to (learn to) communicate with different disciplines (experimental, computational, theoretical) 
  • Networking and good communications skills (writing and presentation skills)
  • Willingness to travel abroad for the purpose of research, training and dissemination

We offer

  • A comprehensive, interactive and international training programme covering the broader aspects and interface between biology, bioinformatics, statistics, systems biology, predictive microbiology and artificial intelligence as well as transferable skills.
  • An enthusiastic team of professionals to co-operate with.
  • Personal Career development plan (PCDP) to prepare young researchers for their future careers.
  • Each ESR will undergo individual training at individual institutes according to the PCDP description.
  • An attractive compensation package in accordance with the MSCA-ITN programme regulations for early stage researchers. Exact salary will be confirmed upon and will be based on a Living Allowance of €3270/month (correction factor to be applied per country) + mobility allowance of €600/month. Additionally researchers may also qualify for a family allowance* of €250/month depending on family situation. Taxation and Social (including Pension) Contribution deductions based on National and company regulations will apply. *Family = be married / be in a relationship with equivalent status to a marriage recognised by the legislation of the country or region where it was formalised/have dependent children who are being maintained by the researcher.
  • Duration of recruitment: 36 months.

Eligibility criteria

  • Any nationality
  • Early Stage Researchers (ESR): The applicant needs to be in the first four years of their research careers at the date of recruitment by the host organisation, and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. The first four years are measured from the date of applicant’s degree either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited, irrespective of whether doctorate was ever envisaged.
  • Mobility Rule: The ESR must have not resided or carried out main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months* in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment. Exceptions: The ESR must not have spent more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the date of selection in the same appointing international organisation. *EXCLUDED: short stays such as holidays, compulsory national services such as mandatory military service and procedures for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention
  • Language: Fluent reading, writing and speaking abilities in English.

Recruitment Process

  1. Candidates apply for a position using the online application form at E-MUSE website        
  2. The E-MUSE Project Manager provides a first screen of the written applications to check eligibility of the candidate and forwards the eligible applications to the ESR supervisors.
  3. The Supervisors per ESR will select the best candidates based on CV, academic records, recommendation and motivation letters and adequate skills set. To better assess the best candidate the shortlisted candidates might be asked to write an abstract of provided scientific documents relevant to the research subject.
  4. The selected applicants will be interviewed through an online meeting by Selection Committee per ESR.
  5. Optional: If possible, personal interviews will be held with the presentation of a master thesis by shortlisted candidates. Expenses made by the candidate for travelling and the hotel will be reimbursed by the local organisation. Due to Covid-19, this stage can be done via an online meeting.
  6. The best candidates will be chosen by the ESR supervisors and the Selection Committee(s). European Project Manager will communicate the successful candidates to the Consortium and Partners.

Applications Deadline 31/05/2021 23:59 - Europe/Brussels

Envisaged Job Starting Date: 01/10/2021

Apply on: E-MUSE website

Funding Notes

“E-MUSE project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 956126”.