National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway)

NUIG-187-19--PhD Fellowship – Mathematical Modelling of Biochemical Networks Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action: Innovative Training Network ITN School of Medicine

National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway)

Galway, Ireland


Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for a full-time fixed term position as a Marie Curie Initial Training Network early stage researcher – PhD student within the Discipline of Medicine at the National University of Ireland, Galway.


This position is funded by an Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, Innovative Training Network, and is available from the earliest agreed start date for three years fixed term.


Project Information:

The candidate would join a 3 year PhD position within the recently awarded EU Marie Curie Initial Training Network, entitled “Polymers in the Liver: Metabolism and Regulation” (PoLiMeR). This network the first research training initiative in Systems Medicine.


Job Description:

The successful candidate will address the problem of combinatorial explosion of biochemical reactions in current computational models of polymeric reaction networks will be addressed by dividing the existing reactions for synthesis of complex polymeric molecules into a set of modular synthesis and degradation reactions, based on chemical moiety conservation principles, resulting in a parsimonious but comprehensive mathematical representation, specifically as a stoichiometric matrix that admits integral flows (reaction rates that are integers). Each integral flow shall represent the synthesis and degradation of a different combination of polymers. Disease relevant human polymer abundance data will be mapped onto the metabolic network and analysed computationally in disease specific scenarios.



  • Acquire profound understanding of key technologies and knowledge in mathematical and computational modelling of biochemical networks, with insight into their application to medical biochemistry.

  • Engage actively with international collaborators in a collaborative EU Initial Training Network, entitled “Polymers in the Liver: Metabolism and Regulation” (

  • Contribute to writing of scientific publications, progress reports, and grant applications.

  • Present at national and international conferences.

  • Acquire working skills in time and project management

  • Assist in the supervision of student projects and in teaching.

  • Participate in outreach activities, seminars and workshops for the development of scientific and transferable skills.

  • Actively collaborate in an interdisciplinary, international team.


Qualifications/Skills required:


Essential Requirements:

  • Master degree (or equivalent) in Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Bioengineering or the like.
  • An interest in graph theory, discrete optimisation and continuous optimisation.
  • High motivation and interest in interdisciplinary research.

  • An interest in learning about existing methods for mathematically modelling of genome-scale biochemical networks with constraint-based modelling methods

  • An interest in making an original applied mathematics contribution to the fundamental problem of how to model polymer metabolism without a combinatorial explosion in the number of distinct species.
  • Demonstrable experience in scientific programming
  • Excellent working knowledge of English is required.

  • A mandatory requirement for any PhD student to avail of this funding instrument is that the primary location they carry out their PhD project would be a different country from the one they have resided in during the preceding years. 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.



Desirable Requirements:

  • Demonstrable experience in the constraint-based reconstruction and analysis approach is highly desirable.
  • Experience in biomedical science or statistics is desirable.


Employment permit restrictions apply for this category of post


Salary: €29,540 to €37,757 per annum

The PhD position is accompanied by a full stipend, including a living allowance, mobility allowance and a family allowance if this is applicable. Furthermore, two brief research secondments within the training network are also envisaged.


Start date: Position is available from the earliest agreed start date


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


Further information about the research project is available at


Informal enquiries concerning the post may be made to Asst. Professor Ronan Fleming.


To Apply:

Applications to include a covering letter, CV,and the contact details of three referees should be sent, via e-mail (in word or PDF only) to Assist. Prof Ronan Fleming:

 e-mail : 


Please put reference number NUIG-187-19 in subject line of e-mail application.


Closing date for receipt of applications is 5.00 pm on 20th December 2019


National University of Ireland, Galway is an equal opportunities employer.


All positions are recruited in line with Open, Transparent, Merit (OTM) and Competency based recruitment


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-187-19--PhD Fellowship – Mathematical Modelling of Biochemical Networks Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action: Innovative Training Network ITN School of Medicine