x3 Early stage researcher PhD positions in the BioMedaqu project: Aquaculture meets Biomedicine: In


To be an active member of a research project team assisting in the delivery of research and training activities within a specified project scope aimed to meet overall BioMedAqu research objectives and to submit a thesis in fulfilment of the requirements of a PhD degree.

Three Early Stage Researchers (PhD students) to undertake research in the framework of the project “BioMedAqu: Aquaculture meets Biomedicine: Innovation in Skeletal Health research”. Each Early Stage Researcher will be funded for 3 years through the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Innovative Training Network (ITN) programme BioMedAqu H2020-MSCA-ITN-2017 n. 766347, which is an initiative by the EC to foster academic-industrial collaboration in the frame of an innovative and entrepreneurial PhD training program.

The successful candidates will be offered the opportunity to enrol on one of the following PhD programmes:

  • ESR6: Skeletal health of marine fish larvae and juveniles fed on plant ingredient diets supplemented in Zn, Mn and Se - Determination of the effect of Zn, Mn and Se on skeleton macro- and micro-morphology. List of the most important molecular indicators for further physiological studies and development of practical morphological indicators for the industry to evaluate Zn, Mn and Se deficiency. Improved description of the physiological mechanisms related to bone development and mineralization affected by Zn, Mn and Se by studies with mutant fish. Recommendation of optimum dietary levels and molecular forms of Zn, Mn and Se for gilthead seabream commercial diets to optimize skeletal health.
  • ESR7: Economic and societal impact of skeletal research- Economic evaluation of the burden of bone anomalies in European fish farms considering the incidence rates by country, species, type of farm, etc. Evaluation of risk and prediction of skeleton anomalies. Predictions of the effect of preventive measures developed when applied by fish farmers
  • ESR8: Dietary levels of vitamins K and D on Ca metabolism and skeletal health.- Description of vitamins K and D effects on Ca metabolism and skeletal health of marine fish larvae. Improved understanding of vitamin K and D effect on bone metabolism of osteoblastic- and chondroblastic-like skeletal derived cells (m1.10, M36). Practical recommendations for fish farms and feed producers on vitamins K and D dietary levels to avoid bone anomalies and pathological effects of Ca metabolism alterations.


Main activities/responsibilities:

  • Enrol in a PhD by research programme and carry out the research and training activities specified by a personal career development plan (PCDP).
  • Conduct research in the above reported topical areas.
  • Undertake mandatory training programs and secondments as required at the facilities of other consortium members, as reported below in details (see Mandatory activities of the Doctoral Course section)
  • Actively participate in PhD training activities and submit a thesis in fulfilment of the requirements of a PhD degree.
  • Participate in outreach and dissemination activities promoting the BioMedAqu project and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) programme including the use of social media, video-diaries, newsletters, etc.
  • Prepare regular progress reports on the performed research and training activities and present the research outcomes at meetings, project workshops, and to external audiences to disseminate and publicise research findings.
  • Work closely with academic and industrial collaborators and facilitate knowledge transfer between the BioMedaqu consortium.
  • As a MSCA ITN Ambassador carry out undergraduate supervision/demonstrating/teaching duties under supervisor direction and according to university regulations.
  • Study and follow the technical literature including academic papers, journals and textbooks to keep abreast with the state-of-the-art in the project topical area.
  • Record, analyse and write up results of research work and contribute to the production of research reports and publications.
  • Carry out routine administrative duties as requested, e.g. arranging research programme group meetings, maintaining research programme group website, contributing to organisation of BioMedaqu project training workshops and Events.


Planning and organising:

  • Contribute to the CDP development and provide regular updating of this plan.
  • Manage own time and meet agreed deadlines.
  • Plan own day-to-day activity within the framework of the agreed research and training programme.
  • Contribute to the planning of research and training activities, reports and publications.
  • Actively contribute to organisation of outreach activities events.


Resource management responsibilities:

  • Ensure research resources are used in an effective and efficient manner.
  • Provide guidance as required to support staff and any students involved with research and training.


Internal and external relationships:

  • Liaise with research colleagues and support staff on routine matters.
  • Make internal and external contacts to develop knowledge and understanding and form relationships for future collaboration.
  • Attend and contribute to relevant meetings and training events.
  • Contribute to the project outreach programmes by establishing links with local community groups, industries etc.


Contract remuneration

The duration of the contract will be 3 years. The monthly remuneration is € 3.636/gross month per Early Stage Researcher. This amount includes living allowance (salary, social security contributions, taxes and other costs included in the remuneration) and mobility allowance.

ULPGC will pay accident and health insurance. The remuneration will be supplemented with a Family[1] allowance, for those researchers that have a family status and rights, corresponding to € 250/gross per month per Early Stage Researcher. The Family allowance will be remunerated regardless of whether the family will move with the researcher or not.

The final amount will not change in case of secondments to another organisation. The contracts include social security coverage providing at least sickness and parental benefits, invalidity and accidents at work and occupational diseases, covering the researcher in every place of implementation of BioMedAqu activities. As these will be paid by the employer and depend on country-specific regulations, the final net salary that each ESR will receive may differ. In the case of secondments to other beneficiaries or partner organisations, the social security provision will also cover the researchers during these periods.


Further information

The EURAXESS website (https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu) may provide useful information (e.g., visa). More information about Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions can be found https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/jobs/310503. For other questions, you can contact Dr Marc Muller (m.muller@uliege.be).

[1] A family allowance will be paid in case the researcher has family obligations. In this context, family is defined as persons linked to the researcher (i) by marriage, or (ii) a relationship with equivalent status to a marriage recognised by the legislation of the country where this relationship was formalised; or (iii) as dependent children who are actually being maintained by the researcher. The family status of a researcher will not be revised during the lifetime of the action.



Requirement 1 (early-stage researchers): Applicants must, at the date of recruitment by BioMedAqu, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience measured from the date when the researcher obtained the degree entitling him/her to embark on a doctorate) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.

Requirement 2 (mobility rule): Applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting institution for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account.

Requirement 3 (specialisation): Candidates should have a master level degree or equivalent in aquaculture, life sciences, biological sciences, compared anatomy or similar. Experience in the RESEARCH scope of BioMedAqu is a vital asset: in particular, the candidates should have a keen interest or some experience in skeletal anomalies in fish, histology, skeletal and muscular development in fish. ESR 7 will apply Choice Modelling as the key analytical tool to understand consumer decisions and valuations of the fish bone anomalies in the European Fish Farms. The outputs will form a key component to evaluate the social and economic impacts of different diets to a large variety of different fish species. Thus, it is desirable that candidates could show some proficiency in choice modelling and experimental design.

Requirement 4 (English): Proficiency in English is essential, as it is the working language of the BioMedAqu network.


Selection process

The selection process is carried out according to the principles stated in the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for Recruitment of Researchers (https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/jobs/charter/european-charter).

The selection of 3 Early Stage Researchers will be managed through the following steps:

Candidates apply for a position by mail, as above reported (see How to apply section). The candidate submits an evidence-based CV preferably using the Europass template. The BioMedAqu Scientist-in-charge for ESR 4 and 5 and the Recruitment Committee provide a first screen of the written applications to check eligibility of the candidate. Subsequently, at least 3 candidates for position will be selected for further interviews in stage 2;

The candidate engages in a Skype interview with the ULPGC Recruitment Committee; at least 2 candidates for position will be interviewed by Skype;

The ULPGC Recruitment Committee makes the final decision about hiring the candidate for the position and communicate their decision to candidates.


Residence permits and other obligations

  • Citizens of countries outside EU/EEA will need to apply for a right to residence as a researcher (and may need a VISA) before coming to Spain.
  • Citizens of EU/EEA countries do not need a residence permit or visa, but regardless of their nationality, everybody has to register at the local register office and apply for the personal ID code.

All BioMedAqu institutions value diversity and are committed to gender equality of opportunity.


Application process

Career stage: Early stage researcher or 0-4 years (Post graduate)

The application must include:

1) signed, detailed, CV possibly in europass format[1];

2) a cover letter detailing candidate's suitability for the position including an outline of professional and research experiences and research interests;

3) at least 2 signed letter of references OR names, affiliations and contacts of two referees supporting your application;

4) certificated copy of the of the last (highest) University degree diploma with a letter form the issued university certifying that this diploma is sufficient in their country to apply for the PhD program

5) certificated copy of the academic transcript with marks;

6) declaration of the English language knowledge or corresponding certification;

7) copy of a valid Identity Document;

8) other documents/titles deemed useful for the application.

Each single attachment has to be attached in .pdf format.

The applicant may apply for one or more research project, sending one application for each selected project.

If an applicant desires to replace her/his application for one same position due to e.g. mistake in the information provided or documentation included, he/she can do it BUT only the most recent submission before the deadline will be considered. ULPGC accepts no responsibility for incorrect contact details or documents corrupted or unreadable.

[1] https://europass.cedefop.europa.eu/en/documents/curriculum-vitae