PhD Position in RNA Splicing

   RNA Splicing

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  Dr Juan Valcarcel  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) is an international biomedical research institute of excellence, based in Barcelona, Spain, with more than 400 scientists from 44 countries. The CRG is composed by an interdisciplinary, motivated and creative scientific team which is supported both by a flexible and efficient administration and by high-end and innovative technologies. 

In April 2021, the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) received the renewal of the 'HR Excellence in Research' Award from the European Commission. This is a recognition of the Institute's commitment to developing an HR Strategy for Researchers, designed to bring the practices and procedures in line with the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (Charter and Code). 

The role  

Alternative splicing (AS) is the important process that allows the production of different messenger RNAs and proteins from a single gene in humans and other complex organisms. AS plays a crucial role in mechanisms controlling gene expression. Mutations affecting AS contribute to the development of many diseases, including cancer and neurodegeneration. While drugs that target AS have recently entered the clinic and provided the first therapy for common genetic disorders, there is still much to be learnt about the mechanisms controlling splicing and their modulation by small molecules. An advance in this field can thus unleash new approaches for the treatment of many diseases of current unmet need. Jointly funded by the European Research Council and UK Research and Innovation, the UNLEASH project aims to use a multidisciplinary, highly collaborative approach to understand how splice site selection is regulated and whether it can be specifically modulated by small molecules. The UNLEASH project will generate many new tool compounds that will help us to study gene function and may also help the development of new therapeutics that target AS. The partners of the UNLEASH project include Profs. Angus Lamond, David Gray (University of Dundee), Michael Sattler (Technical University and Helmholtz Munich) and Juan Valcárcel (CRG, Barcelona). The role of the PhD to be hired will be to contribute to the characterization of molecular mechanisms of AS regulation, including the identification and analysis of small molecule modulators and their possible applications in medicine.  

About the team

The group of Juan Valcárcel at the Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG) of Barcelona has a long trajectory studying pre-mRNA splicing regulation. The group combines high-throughput methods with detailed biochemical and cellular assays and collaborates closely with other groups working on computational and structural biology to study molecular mechanisms and networks of alternative splicing regulation in cancer. The group also develops mechanism-based novel therapeutic approaches for oncology. Juan Valcárcel obtained his PhD from work on influenza virus splicing regulation carried out in the lab of Juan Ortín at the Center of Molecular Biology Severo Ochoa in Madrid. After a postdoc with Michael Green at the University of Massachusetts, working on mechanisms of splice site recognition and regulation, he established his group at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg in 1996. In 2002 the group moved to the newly created Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG) of Barcelona. He is a Research Professor of the Catalonian Institute for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) and associated Professor of the University Pompeu Fabra. Elected EMBO member in 2004, he was Deputy Coordinator of the European Alternative Splicing Network of Excellence and Coordinator of the RNAREG Consolider consortium, the European Innovation Council-funded TAONas-LUAD and the Eurpean Research Council-funded UNLEASH projects. He is member of the Editorial Board of the Journals Molecular Cell, RNA and Molecular and Cellular Biology as well as of the Scientific Advisory Boards of several Research Institutes and companies in Europe and USA. He served as President of the RNA Society in 2017-2018 and as Past-President in 2019-2020. Our team is currently composed of 2 technicians, 1 lab manager, 2 PhD students, 5 postdocs and 1 Staff Scientist.  

Whom would we like to hire?  

Professional experience  

Must Have

  • You have a University Degree and a master's in molecular biology or a related discipling within the European Higher Education System (minimum 300 ECTS) or equivalent by October 2024
  • You are fluent in English 

Desirable but not required/ Nice to have 

  • Computational Biology Skills
  • Experience with RNA analysis 

Education and training

  • You have a University Degree and a master's in molecular biology or a related discipling within the European Higher Education System (minimum 300 ECTS) or equivalent by October 2024


  • You are proficient in English 

Technical skills

  • You have advanced MS Office skills 


  • Highly developed organizational skills 
  • Independence
  • Professional ambition
  • Capacity for teamwork 

The Offer – Working Conditions 

  • Contract duration: 4 year PhD student position 
  • Estimated annual gross salary: Salary is commensurate with qualifications and consistent with our pay scales 
  • Target start date: October 2024 

We provide a highly stimulating environment with state-of-the-art infrastructures, and unique professional career development opportunities. To check out our training and development portfolio, please visit our website in the training section.

We offer and promote a diverse and inclusive environment and welcomes applicants regardless of age, disability, gender, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.

The CRG is committed to reconcile a work and family life of its employees and are offering extended vacation period and the possibility to benefit from flexible working hours.

Application Procedure

All applications must include:

  1. A motivation letter addressed to Dr Juan Valcárcel 
  2. A complete CV including contact details. 
  3. Contact details of two referees.

Selection Process  

  • Pre-selection: The pre-selection process will be based on qualifications and expertise reflected on the candidates CVS. It will be merit-based. 
  • Interview: Preselected candidates will be interviewed by the Hiring Manager of the position and a selection panel if required. 
  • Offer Letter: Once the successful candidate is identified the People department will send a Job Offer, specifying the start day, salary, working conditions, among other important details.  

Deadline: Please submit your application by June 10, 2024 

Biological Sciences (4)
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 About the Project