Predoctoral researcher at the Bioinspired Interactive Materials and Protocellular Systems Research Group. Proyecto de Generación de Conocimiento 2022 by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation

Introduction to the vacant position:
The Bioinspired Interactive Materials and Protocellular Systems Group is looking for a PhD student to develop his/her PhD thesis project on the development of Phagocytic Synthetic Cells, a new type of polymer based synthetic/hybrid vesicle capable of detecting, engulfing and killing pathogenic bacteria resistant to antibiotics. The contract will be within the framework of the Project PredaSynCell (Generación de Conocimiento). PredaSynCell objective is to devise and test a new family of synthetic vesicles capable of specific artificial phagocytosis of bacteria.
This fellowship is associated with the research project Generación de Conocimiento, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.
Main tasks and responsibilities:
• Synthesis and molecular characterization of macromolecular amphiphiles. This includes polymers via control radical polymerization techniques as well as Janus dendrimers
• Synthesis of antimicrobial polymers
• Study of self-assembly of the aforementioned amphiphiles into vesicles
• Assembly of vesicles by microfluidic techniques
• Characterization of the membrane properties by advanced microscopies (optical and force) as well as other techniques.
• Study of the mechanisms of engulfment and strategies to favor it
• Study antimicrobial activity
Requirements for candidates:
• Degree and Master in any field of Chemistry (macromolecular chemistry, synthetic chemistry)
• Multidisciplinary qualifications (Physics/Math, Physics/Engineering, etc.) and/or knowledge of polymer science (specifically on controlled polymerization and experience with self-assembly will be a plus) as needed for this highly interdisciplinary project.
• Candidates should be ready to enter an official doctoral programme on December 2023 (under Spanish Law). By this time, they must have obtained a university degree and a master’s degree; or must hold an official university qualification from a country of the European Higher Education Area with a minimum of 300 ECTS of official university studies, of which at least 60 are at master’s level. Candidates who expect to be awarded with such degrees by October 2023 are eligible to apply.
• Candidates must have a strong commitment to scientific research and an excellent academic record.
• Candidates must have a good working knowledge of English.
• Candidates must not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree.
• Candidates must not have held a Ph.D. contract exceeding twelve months by the beginning of the fellowship (December 2023 to January 2024).
• Good skills in communication, teamwork, proactivity, characterisation, integrity, time management, critical and analytical thinking, precision, and focus.
• Polymer synthesis and molecular characterization
• Self-assembly
• Microscopy
• Microbiology (basic level)

For the conditions, requirements, details of the research project and other relevant data, please check the “IBEC Call Proyectos de Generación de Conocimiento 2022” by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation at