PhD FELLOWSHIPS with the Innovative Training Network Polythea

10 PhD Fellowships Available

Innovative Training Network POLYTHEA, University of Limoges


Organization/company: University of Limoges
Research field: Chemistry, Biology, Spectroscopy, Photophysics, Microbiology, Photochemistry
Researcher’s profile: Early Stage Researcher
Application deadline: 15/04/2018
Location: multiple, see the description below
Type of contract: 1 year (renewable up to 3 years depending on the position)
Job status: full-time
Hours per week: 35h/40h
Offer starting date: 01/09/2018 (September)
EU Research Framework programme: H2020 / Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions
Marie Curie Grant Agreement number: 764837

Presentation of the project:
The Innovative Training Network POLYTHEA – Design and photo-optimization of photosensitizer for Human health and food security applications or "how light can save lives" invites applications for 10 PhD fellowships with international focus to be funded by the Marie-Sklodowska Curie actions as part of the H2020 Programme of the European Commission.

POLYTHEA is a consortium of high profile universities and SMEs in France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom and Switzerland.

Program description:
The development of active compounds that can efficiently fight microbial infections and cancer are of utmost importance for food security and human health, two main challenges for Europe. Tetrapyrrolic photosensitizers (PS) are good candidates to meet these expectations. The photo-excitable molecules induce cell death via the formation of oxygen reactive species (ROS) and present very low toxicity in the absence of light. They are already used in photodynamic therapy (PDT) for cancer or skin disease treatments or in photo-antimicrobial chemo-therapy (PACT). Unfortunately, the research and training are still largely fragmented in this field in Europe. Some scientific barriers have to be overcome to increase their efficacy, e.g. improvement of the excitation pathways, ROS production, specific cell targeting, Gram (-) bactericidal effect and prevention and/or eradication of biofilms.

That is why the EJD Polythea projects aims at developing an integrated and multidisciplinary approach of PDT through the implementation of 10 PhD research projects. The Polythea consortium proposes to develop (i) new tetrapyrrolic PS for various types of PDT including anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and immune-activating application, improving their photophysical and biological properties; (ii) innovative bio-inspired drug carriers or supports.

In parallel, a joint doctorate structure gathering 5 countries will be created and a multidisciplinary and inter-sectorial training program will be implemented through network events and secondments to non-academic partners.

It will provide a common background on PDT to the ESRs and make them more valuable employees, effective at problem solving.

Practical applications should come out of this project such as first aid and bandages, new skin/anti-tumor treatments, self-sterilizing surfaces for food industry or prosthetic devices.

Additional information:

Fully described positions:

The successful candidates will receive an attractive salary in accordance with the MSCA regulations for early stage researchers. The exact salary will be confirmed upon appointment and is dependent on the country correction factor (to allow for the difference in cost of living in the different EU member states). The salary includes a living allowance, a mobility allowance and a family allowance (if married or with dependent children). The guaranteed PhD funding is for a 3 year full -time contract. A 4th year will be funded by other funds in some positions. In addition to their individual scientific projects and the excellent institutional environment, all fellows will benefit from continuing measures for career development, which includes secondments and practical rotations, a variety of training modules as well as transferable skill courses, and active participation in workshops, conferences and public events.

  •  Double or joint degree from 2 recognized EU universities
  •  Secondments in universities or SMEs to develop new skills
  •  Practical rotations
  •  Workshops and international conferences

Eligibility criteria:
Recognized and high quality master’s degree or a 4 year bachelor degree program
in the above research fields or other related subjects (depending on the position).
Early stage researchers
Persons, at the time of employment by the host university, are in the first four years (or full -time equivalent) of their research career and not in possession of a doctoral degree. Research experience is calculated from the date the person obtained a degree, which formally entitled them to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained, or in the country in which the training is provided.

Mobility criteria
Early stage researchers are required to undertake transnational mobil ity (from a country to the other) when taking up the position. Research will be undertaken in 2 different universities (cotutelle) and secondments and practical rotations will be required. At the time of employment by the home university, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (employment, studies) in this country for more than 12 months in the last 3 years. Short stays or vacations are not taken into account.

English Language
Applicants must demonstrate that their ability in both written and spoken English is sufficiently advanced for them to fully benefit from the network training. Recognized English certificates (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, CLES...) must be submitted along with the application.

Applicants must work exclusively for the project and can’t be hired or registered in another degree during the duration of their contract.

Selection process:
Candidates apply on POLYTHEA Website ( before April 15th, 2018. They are requested to fill in the application file and join all the requested documents before the deadline. All incomplete files will not be declared eligible.

Applicants can apply for maximum 2 positions and are requested to indicate their preference (choice 1 and 2) and justify their choice in the cover letter. Candidates must show ability and availability to travel across Europe.
Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview during a Selection School in Coimbra, between June 18th and 22nd, 2018.
The starting date of the selected candidates will be September 1st, 2018.
Formal enrolment is contingent upon acceptance into the respective academic programs and may require additional documents and information.

Requested documents:

  • Application form
  •  Handwritten cover letter explaining the motivations for applying and the choice of the topic (1 page)
  •  Up to date CV setting out the educational qualifications as well as any additional scientific achievements and publications
  •  Evidence of advanced-level English
  •  Copy of the diplomas
  •  Official transcript of records of the completed subjects and grades achieved in the course of Master programme, and diploma supplement if available
  •  English abstract of the Master or 4 year bachelor program thesis
  •  Copy of the working contracts of the last 4 years if applicable
  •  Reference letter and contact details of 2 referees

For any question:


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