International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL)

Ref. 07.19.27. Research Associateship / Bolseiro de Investigação – Research Associateship in Bacteriophage Encapsulation

International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL)

Braga, Portugal

Ref.07.19.27 - Research Associateship / Bolseiro de Investigação Research associateship in bacteriophage encapsulation

Research Centre: International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory – INL

Location: Braga, Portugal

Research Field: Microbiology, Food Safety and Nanotechnology

Career Stage:  MsC entry level

Open date for applications: August 6th 2019

Closing Date for applications: August 20th 23:00 WEST (Western European Summer Time)


The International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory – INL (, was founded under an international legal framework to perform interdisciplinary research and to deploy and articulate nanotechnology for the benefit of society. INL aims to become the world-wide hub for nanotechnology addressing society’s grand challenges in Aging & Wellbeing and Mobility & Urban Living and developing a Safe & Secure Society.


SR&TD project specifications: INL participates in the following Scientific Research and Technological Development project (PhageSTEC) co-funded by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (‘FCT’) and FEDER:

(a)   Name of the project: Development of a formulation of encapsulated bacteriophages to reduce enterotoxigenic E. coli in ruminants (PhageSTEC).

(b)   Reference number: POCI-01-0145-FEDER-029628

©    Description: The PhageSTEC project aims at using naturally occurring bacteriophages against the most relevant Shiga toxin-producing E. coli serotypes (STEC) of Portugal. The bacteriophages will be encapsulated and administered to live ruminant animals, as a way to condition the animal gut microflora gently and favourably, thereby improving animal and public health, and facilitating international food trade.

(d)   Scientific Area: Microbiology / Food Science & Technology / Nanotechnology/ Nanomaterials / Bioactive encapsulation.


Description of the functions and key primary responsibilities: The successful Candidate will work on the tasks of the SR&TD project, and will be assigned the following working plan:

  • Design and conduct experiments and research activities to support the objectives of the PhageSTEC research project, using appropriate techniques and protocols to ensure the consistency and replicability of the results; adhere to the project timeline and develop comprehensive documentation of the performed research activities, which will include development of rumen-resistant capsules, encapsulation of bacteriophages, controlled-release studies, and tests of antimicrobial activity of the developed systems.
  • Conduct studies of the related literature to support the design of experiments and interpretation of results.
  • Communicate to the Project Team the progress, results and potential issues of research activities ensuring that communication is performed in a comprehensive and timely manner.
  • Collaborate on the writing of project reports and research articles for publishing in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Participate in national and international conferences.


Supervision: The work plan will be developed at the INL within the Food Processing Group (Life Sciences Department) under the scientific guidance of Dr. Pablo Fuciños.

Eligibility conditions, required qualifications and expertise: Candidates must comply with the following requirements:

(a)   Hold a MsC Degree in the field of Chemistry, Biology, Food Science, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Biological Engineering or related areas;

(b)   Be a Portuguese citizen, a European Union citizen or a non-European Union Citizen residing in Portugal;

©    Expertise and/or knowledge in encapsulation techniques (electrospray / electrospinning, spray-drying, coacervation, extrusion, etc.), Microbiology (bacteria/bacteriophages), Transmission Electron Microscopy and/or Scanning Electron Microscopy and characterization of nano/micro-materials will be highly evaluated;

(d)   Have a good knowledge of English/Fluency in English is required.


Supporting Documents

Candidates must enclose the following supporting documents in pdf format, failing which the application will not be considered for evaluation:

(a)   Cover letter;

(b)   Curriculum Vitae;

©    Official transcripts of all relevant academic degrees;

(d)   For non-EU Citizens residing in Portugal, documental evidence attesting the legal right to reside in Portugal.


Selection Criteria

Candidates will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Curriculum vitae: 50%
  • Interview(s): 50%


Selection Committee

The selection of candidates will be carried out by a Selection Committee consisting of the following persons:

1)      Dr. Pablo Fuciños

2)      Dr. Lorenzo Pastrana

3)      Dr. Miguel Cerqueira

4)      Renata Silva


Evaluation process

The evaluation process will follow a four-stage process:

  1. Candidate eligibility check:

Only full applications will be considered for evaluation. The applicant will be responsible for the data submission and validation. The application language is English.

Candidates who do not meet the eligibility requirements will not be included in the CV evaluation.

  1. Curriculum Vitae evaluation:

The top four ranked candidates will be shortlisted for interview, provided however that they pass the thresholds for this stage. The threshold for the curriculum vitae evaluation, is (80%) of the possible score (i.e., 40). Candidates who do not pass the thresholds will be excluded from the evaluation process.

  1. Interview(s) and final assessment:

Interviews will be conducted through telephone, web conference or face-to-face meetings, as may be deemed appropriate. A formal report will be issued by the selection committee recommending the selected candidate ranking candidates in order of preference.

Approval and formal offer.

If your application results successful, you will be offered a contract of association.


How to apply

The application is made online. Please click on the ‘Apply for this job’ button below.

For the application to be valid, the candidate must complete all required sections of the online application form as well as submit all required documents.

What we offer

The successful Candidate will have the status of associated member of the personnel and will be awarded a contract of association with the INL.

Taking into account that the SR&TD project is co-funded by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (‘FCT’) and FEDER, the successful candidate shall also have the status of ´Bolseiro de Investigação`(‘B.I.’) under the applicable regulations of the FCT.


Duration of the contract

The total duration of the contract of association shall be 12 months and may be renewed based on the performance of the individual and project duration. In any case, the contract of association cannot exceed the duration of the project. The expected starting date is September 1st 2019.

Financial Benefits

An associated member of the personnel selected and hosted in the framework SR&TD projects funded by the FCT shall be entitled to a monthly subsistence allowance in the amount of €989, 70.

The INL will provide insurance cover on behalf of the associated member of the personnel against professional accidents to the extent and for the period of association with the Organisation.

Social Insurance cover of associated members of the personnel will be the responsibility of the associated member of the personnel. However the foregoing, in the event the associated member of the personnel joins the Portuguese Voluntary Social Insurance system under the terms laid down in the Portuguese Statute for Research Grant Holders, the Organisation will take on the costs provided for in said Statute.

Applicable legal and regulatory framework, taking into consideration the international status of the Organisation

The contract of association with the associated member of the personnel will be subject to the INL Staff Rules and regulations, as well as other relevant procedures.

The contract of Association shall also be supplemented by the terms and conditions of the Grant Agreement between the Organisation and the FCT governing the implementation of the SR&TD project.

Notification of results

A ranking list, after final evaluation, will be organized being the chosen candidate notified via e-mail. If the first candidate refuses the offer, the Human Resources will send an offer to the second candidate on the ranking, and so on until the vacancy is filled. We highly value the interest shown from applicants wishing to become a part of the INL experience. It is important for us to maintain good communications with candidates. No matter the outcome of the application, we always send the applicant an answer. 

Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Principle

INL is an equal opportunity organisation, committed to providing equal career opportunities and firmly adheres to a principle of non-discrimination in respect of gender, age, nationality, racial group, or any other possible discriminatory issues.



Applicants can receive support regarding applications to this positions via e-mail:


This position is funded under the project POCI-01-0145-FEDER-029628, which is financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Operational Programme for Competitiveness and Internationalization (COMPETE 2020) and National Funds through Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT).

Please apply via recruiter’s website.