National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway)

NUIG 132-19 PMSMatTrain Early Stage Researchers

National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway)

Galway, Ireland

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for two full-time fixed term positions as Early Stage Researchers/PhD student (ESR 1 and 2) with the Galway Neuroscience Centre (GNC) and the Centre for Research in Medical Devices (CÚRAM) at the National University of Ireland, Galway.

The two positions, funded by the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Union, are available from October 2019. The appointments will be on a temporary basis for a maximum period of three years (regular full-time employment contract).

 PMSMatTrain is a four-year project, under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Initial Training Network (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2018), Grant Agreement No. 813263. The project focuses on gaining a comprehensive understanding of the progressive phase of multiple sclerosis (PMS) from basics to translation, fully supported by eight beneficiaries (six research institutions and two SMEs). This multidisciplinary network will educate and train 15 Early Stage Researchers in device design, biomaterials, materials science, stem cell biology, in vitro, ex vivo and pre-clinical models of multiple sclerosis, molecular biology, in silico modelling of CSF flow, material functionalisation strategies and device validation.

Programme fellows will experience both public and private sector research & development training and will be best placed to secure employment as high calibre, innovative and well-trained graduates.


The Galway Neuroscience Centre (GNC) brings together all academic staff, students, researchers and clinicians at the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway and Galway University Hospitals who have an interest in neuroscience research and teaching. It is a dynamic and interdisciplinary centre, comprising 25 Principal Investigators and their research groups, drawn from four of the University’s Colleges (Science, Medicine, Engineering and Arts), as well as neurologists and psychiatrists in local hospitals.

 The Centre for Research in Medical Devices (CÚRAM) is a national, SFI funded, €49.6m research centre that brings together researchers from NUI Galway, University College Dublin, Dublin City University, University of Limerick, University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin and Royal College of Surgeons Ireland. The prime objective for CÚRAM is to radically improve health outcomes for patients by developing innovative implantable ‘smart’ medical devices to treat major unmet medical needs. Implants will be designed and manufactured to respond to the body’s environment and to deliver therapeutic agents, such as drugs, exactly where needed. Cutting-edge science will develop devices using the very latest research from biomaterials, stem cells and drug delivery and the support of strong clinical collaborations, industry partners and hospital groups to enable rapid translation to the clinic. The centre will include almost 40 industry partners and support product development and the creation of new spin-out companies.

 The candidate will be based in Prof. Pandit’s research group. His research integrates material science and biological paradigms in developing solutions for chronic diseases. He has developed next generation reservoir delivery vehicles with high payload capacity, programmable degradation profiles and inbuilt gradients of physical, chemotropic and protective cues, which facilitate spatiotemporal localised sustained delivery of multiple biomolecules to target injury mechanisms at the molecular and cellular levels. 

The biomaterial platforms have been validated to act as inductive templates for constructive remodelling and as templates for the induction of de novo functional, site-appropriate, tissue formation. These platforms have been developed for neural, musculoskeletal and cardiovascular clinical targets with numerous other targets currently under development.

Job Description:

The researchers will develop and validate the therapeutic efficacy of a novel device housing a multi-modal hydrogel using various models of multiple sclerosis (MS). Outputs from the research will inform pre-clinical studies and imaging modalities and will aid the generation of in silico models of the circulation of therapeutics within the cerebrospinal fluid.

 Duties and Responsibilities:

The successful candidate will do the following

  • Develop a delivery device functionalised to target neuroprotection and inflammation

  • Participate in training events for researchers and Principal Investigators involved in the programme

  • Liaise and report to the Project Manager, which includes contributing to periodic scientific reports

  • Contribute to the reporting of project milestones and deliverables in accordance with EU deadlines

  • Promote and disseminate results from the programme, which includes contributing to newsletters and participating in outreach events

 Qualifications: Essential

  • Honours Master’s degree in life science, chemistry or a biomedical engineering discipline

  • Less than four years’ full time-equivalent research experience and has not yet been awarded a doctoral degree (PhD)

  • Resided less than 12 months in Ireland in the last three years

  • Excellent communication and organisation skills

  • Fluent in spoken and written English

  • Excellent writing and presentation skills

  • Flexibility and ability to work in a team environment

  • Availability to travel nationally and internationally two to three times a year

 Qualifications: Desirable

  • Experience with outreach events

  • A keen interest in pursuing translational research in multiple sclerosis

 Salary: The remuneration will be in line with the European Commission rules for Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant holders (Early-Stage Researchers, Initial Training Network).

  Start date: Position is available from October 2019

 Continuing Professional Development/Training:

Researchers at NUI Galway are encouraged to avail of a range of training and development opportunities designed to support their personal career development plans.

Further information on research and working at NUI Galway is available on Research at NUI Galway.

For information on moving to Ireland, please see

In line with the university Child Protection Policy, this post requires Gárda vetting.


Apply with CV and Cover Letter

Must be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and no larger than 1MBMust be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and no larger than 1MB

NUIG 132-19 PMSMatTrain Early Stage Researchers