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PhD position (ESR09) in Marie Skłodowska Curie ITN “ConCO2rde”: Impact of gas delivering membrane system on the production of biomolecules from CO2: from reactor design to microbial physiology

EU Project ConCO2rde

Prof Stéphane Guillouet , Assoc Prof Regina Kratzer Applications accepted all year round Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
Toulouse France Biochemistry Bioinformatics Biomedical Engineering Cell Biology Microbiology

About the Project


With 14,000 alumni present in all economic sectors, the "Institut National des Sciences Appliquées" of Toulouse, an international, pluridisciplinary, state engineering school, is recognised for the excellence of its five-year education which attracts students of a high academic level. The international dimension has been a priority for INSA since it opened and international sections have gradually been set up. On campus, one in five students is an international student.

The position we offer will be embedded at the Toulouse Biotechnology Institute (TBI) within the research group Fermentation Advances and Microbial Engineering (FAME). With its highly developed competences in Life Sciences and Engineering Sciences, TBI implements a scientific strategy that is multi-scale, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary in order to take up the challenges of bioeconomics with a worldwide collaborative network of public and private contributors ( Research activities of the FAME group focus on kinetic and stoichiometric studies of microbial transformations in order to identify the phenomena which limit the performances of biotechnological processes (


The main part of your PhD research (3 years) will be carried out at INSA Toulouse under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Stéphane Guillouet in the FAME group at the Toulouse Biotechnology Institute. Within these three years an academic research stay (6-7 months) will take place at the Graz University of Technology (TUG, Austria) under the supervision of Dr. Regina Kratzer. Additionally, an industrial secondment at the company POLYMEM (France) is foreseen. The H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) – Innovative Training Network (ITN) project starts in January 2021. The date of recruitment and start of the PhD project is planned for May 2021 and latest on December 2021. Your PhD degree will be awarded based on successful completion of the research work from two universities (INSA, France and TUG, Austria). You will also be required to participate in the training events and workshops organized by the ITN-European Joint Doctorates (EJD) program. As a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) fellow, you are also expected to contribute your time in the dissemination of your PhD project’s result through public engagement and other scientific platforms.

 The PhD research will be part of the Work Package 3 “Process intensification of gas-driven processes” of the ConCO2rde project aiming at deciphering the bottlenecks at the technological levels in order to run gas fermentations at high cell densities within pressurized bioreactors in order to speed up the development of the future bioprocess from CO2 as unique Carbon source..

 The ESR9 PhD research will focus on the investigation of microbial process for production of isopropanol from CO2 in gas bioreactor coupled with innovative gas delivery system running under low hydrogen environment :

(i)              Interdisciplinary project on bacterial physiology, fermentation, process engineering

(ii)             Investigation of various gas delivery systems

(iii)            Characterization of engineered strains in bioreactor in autotrophy coupled with innovative gas delivery system

(iv)            Comparative analysis in miniaturized bioreactor (academic secondment)

(v)             Development of gas delivery systems with the industrial partner.

First supervisor: Prof. Stéphane Guillouet ()

Recruiting institution: INSA Toulouse (France)

Double degree awarding institution: Graz University of Technology (Austria)


•                An outstanding M.Sc. degree in Biochemical engineering, Biotechnology, Biochemistry or related field

•                Eligible as a graduate student at INSA Toulouse, France

•                Research experience in fermentation (bioreactor, microbial kinetics), analytical methods (HPLC, GC, MS etc.), membrane technology

•                Ability to work in an international team,

•                Inter- and multidisciplinary thinking,

•                High motivation,

•                An integrative and cooperative personality with excellent communication and social skills,

•                Fluency in English – written and oral.


•           ESRs must not have resided in the country of the recruiting beneficiary for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date (and not have carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in that country) — unless as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention 1. In addition, local regulations of the host countries may apply. The salary is based on standard living, mobility and family allowances which are adapted to the respective country of recruitment.

•          ESRs must be at the date of recruitment an ‘early stage researcher’ (i.e. in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of his or her research career)

•      ESRs must not hold a doctoral degree


We offer you a work contract in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for French Universities.

The salary will range within € 3 783 to € 4 383 pre-tax per month depending on the personal situation

The full time appointment is temporary for a specified period of three years. The preferred starting date is between May 1st and October 1st 2021


To apply for the position, kindly provide:

(i)               A letter of motivation including a statement of your research interests, relevant skills and experience;

(ii)             A CV including publication list; and

(iii)            Names and contact details of three referees willing to write confidential letters of recommendation.

Please upload applications only according to instructions at

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our University. We are committed to building a diverse faculty so you are encouraged to apply. Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code and European Commission's: European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers.


28th of February 2021 11:59pm Central European Time

Funding Notes

Innovative Training Network – European Joint Doctorates
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 955740.

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