PhD Fellowship at Iproteos, Barcelona

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JOB TITLE:                   Early Stage Researcher (ESR)                                                               Company:                   Iproteos Supervised by:      Dr. Teresa Tarragó Area of study:         This position is funded by a Marie Curie Initial Training Network Initiative. The network, named ECMED, is a consortium of 9 leading European research institutions and 2 industrial companies that aim to determine the role of brain extracellular matrix in epileptogenesis and to develop novel approaches to treat and to prevent epilepsy. Salary:                      The Marie Curie Trainee (MCT) gross salary ranges: € 2,000 - € 2,400 depending on fellow circumstances.   HOW TO APPLY___________________________________________       _     __      __ _ Procedure:              Application must be done by e-mail to:     Please, the subject of the e-mail should be “ECMED: PhD Fellowship          application” Dates:                  The application must be received no later than 30th of May 2015. Documentation:

  • Cover letter: a letter motivating the application, stating research interests and indicating Iproteos as the first option among ECMED partners. Add as well a second choice (please visit
  • Curriculum vitae stating education completed to date and a brief description of scientific achievements and a list of publications.
  • Copy of higher education diploma or equivalent or a certificate of graduation. Candidates entering the competition prior to the official date of their graduation if admitted must submit the missing documents before the start of the PhD programme.
  • List of completed subjects and grades achieved in the course of the MS programme (a personal mean and the maximally possible score/grade should be indicated),
  • Recommendation letters from researchers (with at least PhD/MD degree) familiar with the scientific activities of the candidate (e.g. advisor of MS thesis).

  BACKGROUND - THE PROJECT                                                                                                          Over 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy and 30% are resistant to our present therapies. Epilepsy, therefore, comprises a major burden to society and so there is a pressing need for new approaches to treatment. The brain extracellular matrix (ECM) plays a critical role in governing brain excitability and function. Although research into the role of the ECM in neuronal signalling and network function has advanced considerably in recent years, its full translational potential has yet to be realised. There is growing evidence for a major role of the ECM in epilepsy including the association between ECM protein mutations and epilepsy, changes in the ECM and associated proteins during the development of epilepsy and the strong association between the ECM and brain diseases associated with epilepsy including stroke, traumatic brain injury, neurodegeneration and autism. This is a 3-year EU-funded position that is available at Iproteos, a biotech company, as part of the ECMED European Training Network (ETN), a consortium of 9 leading European research institutions and 2 industrial companies that will involve 12 Early Stage Researchers working collaboratively to determine the role of brain extracellular matrix in the development of epilepsy and to develop novel approaches to treat and to prevent epilepsy. The ETN partner labs cover a broad range of expertise including neurophysiology, behavioural studies, epilepsy models, molecular biology, peptide and protein chemistry, viral vectors, and drug and peptide development.   ELEGIBILITY RESTRICTIONS                                                                                                                Given that the positions are funded by the European Commission on a H2020-MSCA-ITN, eligibility restrictions apply:

  • Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs) shall, at the time of recruitment by the host organisation, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree. Full-time equivalent research experience is measured from the date when a researcher obtained the degree which would formally entitle him or her to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited.
  • Mobility Rule: at the time of recruitment by the host organisation, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the reference date. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.
  • Each ESR will be supported by the project for a maximum of 36 months.
  • All ESRs will take part in a secondment to another project partner for up to 30% of their appointment period (see details below).
  • Mobility Allowances and Family Allowances (dependant on family circumstances) are payable to ESRs.

We are seeking highly motivated candidates with a strong academic record holding a Master degree or equivalent in relevant subjects. The successful candidates will benefit from a wide-ranging training programme featuring local, network-wide, and external activities with many opportunities for travel to the other European partners in the network. In addition to top-level specific scientific training in the disciplines, techniques and topics investigated at each node, such programme will include (but is not limited to) attendance to international schools, exchanges and secondments to other nodes, specific training on transferable skills, and in particular courses on scientific communication (e.g. scientific writing for publications, and presentation skills) and specific training on intellectual property rights (IPR) protection.   DUTIES AND RESPONSABILITIES                                                                                                      

  • The MCT will have the following responsibilities in his/her work:
    • Peptide/Peptidomimetic synthesis in solid-phase and in-solution
    • Synthesis of small organic molecules
    • Organic molecule characterization: NMR, HPLC, HPLC-MS...
    • ADME profile of peptide/peptidomimetics: PAMPA, stability in biological matrix...
    • In vitro pharmacology: activity and binding assays
  • The post-holder will carry out any other duties as are within the scope, spirit, and purpose of the job as requested by Dr. Tarragó or his/her designees.
  • Actively participate at group meetings, meetings with academic and non-academic collaborators, and in particular attend progress meetings.
  • To be seconded to other network nodes as necessary to fulfil the grant obligations.
  • To contribute to the drafting and submitting of papers to peer reviewed journals.
  • To prepare progress reports on research for funding bodies as required.
  • To contribute to the preparation and drafting of research bids and proposals.
  • To contribute to the overall activities of the research team and department as required.
  • Responsible for ensuring that equipment is safe and maintained in working order.
  • The postholder will carry out any other duties as are within the scope, spirit and purpose of the job as requested by their supervisor or the CEO.
  • The postholder will actively follow Iproteos policies including Equal Opportunities and Race Equality policies
  • The postholder will maintain an awareness and observation of Fire and Health & Safety Regulations.

As duties and responsibilities change, the job description will be reviewed and amended in consultation with the postholder.   PERSON SPECIFICATIONS /KEY COMPETENCIES                                                                            Essential

  • MSc or equivalent in relevant subject (preferentially Chemistry)
  • Significant background in Peptide chemistry
  • English: Fluency and clarity in spoken English and good written English
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills
  • Experience of managing a research project and setting research targets
  • Excellent IT skills. Word, Excel and Power Point
  • Well-organised, attention to detail and ability to meet deadlines
  • Ability to think logically, create solutions and make informed decisions
  • Ability to analyse and write up data and to present complex information effectively to a range of audiences
  • Experience of working collaboratively in a research environment
  • Commitment to high quality research
  • Commitment to Iproteos’ policy of equal opportunity and the ability to work harmoniously with colleagues and students of all cultures and backgrounds


  • Strong “can do” attitude complemented by attention to details, and an excitement for challenging problems.
  • Knowledge of basic technics on molecular biology will be a plus.

  ABOUT IPROTEOS                                                                                                                                  Iproteos is a biotech company that focuses its activity on the R&D of new therapeutic strategies based on modulation of protein-ligand (PLI) and protein-protein interactions (PPIs) through peptidomimetics. The novel entities are obtained thanks to the IPRO technology, an innovative platform. These peptidomimetics are oral and are able to cross the blood-brain barrier and to be internallized into cells in order to bind to intra-cellular targets. Specifically, at Iproteos we apply the IPRO technology on the search for therapeutic agents for the treatment of diseases of the central nervous system (CNS). Our product pipeline is composed by:

  1. First-in-class cognitive enhancer for the treatment of the cognitive symptoms associated with schizophrenia. Ready for out-licensing.
  2. Preventive treatment of Parkinson’s disease
  3. Preventive and curative treatment of epilepsy

For more information about the post, please contact: