Ref.10.18.60/1 – Research Fellow – Development and validation of a multiplex assay strategy for six stroke biomarkers using a MR Platform
Type of contract: Limited duration
Research Centre: International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory – INL
Number of vacancies: 1
Duty Station: Braga, Portugal
Career Stage: Up to 3 years after PhD
Open date for applications: 26th March 2019
Closing Date for applications: 28th April 2019 23:00 (Lisbon Time)
The International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory – INL (http://www.inl.int), 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.
This call is related to the Scientific Research and Technological Development Projects identified hereunder, which are cofunded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and National Funds through the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT).
Project specifications: INL participates in the following Scientific Research: Nanodevices Group
(a) Name of the project: A Fully Integrated Magnetoresistive Biochip Platform for Stroke Patient Stratification (FIM4STROKE)
(b) Reference number: NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-029561
(c) Scientific Area: Biosensing and Microfluidics
(d) Description: Ischemic stroke is a huge public health problem causing disability and deaths worldwide. The only drug approved by FDA as treatment of acute thrombotic strokes is the tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA), which is efficient but with reduced therapeutic window (< 4.5 hours). This treatment when administered to ineligible patients, may has severe side effects, which may lead even to death. Currently the identification of patients that are likely to benefit from tPA relies on neuroimaging techniques. Computed tomography assists the neurologist and emergency physician in treatment decision but with limitations for early ischemic injuries in the acute setting and restrictions in the ability to visualize posterior pathologies. Biomarkers in blood have revealed the potential to accurately identify the right candidates for rtPA treatment. Combining this information with a point-of-care (PoC) diagnostic/prognostic tool will facilitate patient stratification enabling a more efficient therapy. The present project takes advantage of an existent PoC bioanalytical device with already proved superior performance in biomolecular detection, including the analysis of biomarkers (MMP9 and Fibronectin) for rtPA management. This platform based on magnetic sensors will be integrated with a microfluidic serum/blood sample preparation unit for automation purposes. A significant number of real samples will be collected from patients treated or not with rtPA at a stroke unit (Partner: Health
Research Institute of Santiago de Compostela (IDIS)), and the results compared with the conventional techniques. In the end, an integrated device with high-level of accuracy, specificity and sensitivity, validated for the ischemic stroke patient stratification will be delivered.
Description of the functions and key primary responsibilities:
The successful candidate will work in the Nanodevices Group in the Department of Nanoelectronics Engineering. She/he will be assigned the following working plan:
- Development of a multiplex assay strategy for six stroke biomarkers;
- Clinical Validation of the integrated sample preparation and detection device;
- Cross-validation with conventional technology.
Specific Eligibility Conditions:
Candidates must meet the following conditions, as they are required by the nature of the duties the candidate will be required to perform:
- PhD in Biological, Biomedical Engineering or any other relevant fields;
- Candidates with less than 3 years of active research after PhD may be considered if their profile and scientific record clearly match the required profile and scientific background;
- The candidate should demonstrate a good research track record in the field of biomarker detection technology with experience in competitive research projects;
- Deep knowledge of surface functionalization techniques;
- Knowledge in microfluidics is a plus;
- Applicants are also expected to have high quality publications in international journals.
Applications that not meet these conditions will not be considered.
Supervision: The work plan will be developed at the INL under the scientific guidance of Dr. Elisabete Fernandes. The successful candidate will be integrated in the Nanodevices Group.
The selection of candidates will be carried out by a Selection Committee consisting of the following persons:
1) Professor Paulo Freitas
2) Dr. Elisabete Fernandes
3) Dr. Inês Pinto
4) Patrícia Oliveira
Duration of the contract
The total duration of the employment contract shall be 30 months and may be renewed based on the performance of the individual. In any case the contract cannot exceed the duration of the project. The expected starting date is June 2019.
General Eligibility conditions, required qualifications and expertise:
Candidates must comply with the following requirements:
- Hold a PhD Degree within the field of the selected vacancy;
- Be a Portuguese citizen, a European Union citizen or a non-European Union Citizen with a scientific and professional curriculum that demonstrates an appropriate profile for the activity to be performed;
- Fluency in English is required.
Candidates must enclose the following supporting documents in pdf format, failing which the application will not be considered:
(a) Cover letter in English;
(b) Curriculum Vitae in English;
(c) Official transcripts of all relevant academic degrees;
(d) At least one recommendation letter.
The evaluation process will follow a three-stage process:
1. Candidate eligibility check
Only full applications will be considered. The applicant will be responsible for the data submission and validation. The application language is English.
Applications that do not meet the eligibility conditions will not be considered.
2. Assessment of the Research Experience of the Candidate
The selection of candidates shall be made by means of an assessment of the research experience within the framework of the Project, which shall focus on the relevance, quality and up-to-date of the following items:
- Scientific and Technological Production (‘STP’);
- Applied and Practice-based Research Activities (‘RA’);
- Activities related to the Dissemination of Knowledge (‘DK’);
- Activities related to the Management of Science, Technology and Innovation programmes (‘MSTI’)
The research experience will be assessed according to the following criteria:
- STP (65%): Academic Qualifications (AQ) – 10%; Research Quality (RQ) – 40%; Impact and Efectiveness (IE) – 15%;
- RA (15%): Research Coordination (RC) – 5%; Development, operation and maintenance of core facilities “instrumentation and/or equipment” (DOM) – 2%; organisation of conferences, symposia and scientific cooperation activities (OCSS) - 2 %; teaching activities “advanced courses or university” (TA) – 3%; research stays and internships (RSI) – 3%;
- DK (5%): Transfer to other areas of society (TS) – 3%; promotion of the public understanding of science (PPUS) – 2%;
- MSTI (5%): Development of Laboratory facilities, management of research groups (DFMG) – 3%; evaluation of STI activities (EA) – 2%.
This criteria will have a total valuation of 90%. The minimum threshold for this stage is 65%.
The top four ranked candidates will be shortlisted for interview, provided however that they pass the threshold mentioned above.
Interviews will be conducted through web conference or face-to-face meetings, as may be deemed appropriate. This criterion will have a total valuation of 10%.
The Selection Committee will draw up the minutes of the R&S process in which candidates will be ranked according to their evaluation scores.
Approval and formal offer:
Successful applicants will be offered the corresponding positions.
How to apply:
The application is made online. Please click on the 'Apply for this job' button.
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:
- Social Security costs to be paid by INL;
- Work Accidents insurance costs to be paid by INL, to provide coverage for work accidents and invalidity benefits;
- Health insurance with excellent coverage;
- Tax Benefit: The personnel working at the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory are exempt from national income taxes so the only deduction from their part of the salary will be 11 % for social security and 12% for an internal tax;
- A family allowance of 160€/month for staff members that are married or that are living under the status of “common-law couple” and/or have any dependent child;
- A child allowance of 200€/month for each dependent child;
- Free Nursery Service at INL campus (subject to availability);
- Support for Education fees of dependent children;
- Depending on the place of residence, INL covers 100% of travel expenses for all family members.
INL offers an attractive financial package appropriate to an international research organization composed by a gross monthly Remuneration of 2600.00€ paid in 12 installments. Due to INL special legal status as intergovernmental organization, financial benefits are exempt for national income tax. Apart from the salary, INL may offer, depending on the personal situation, additional allowances and benefits for families and non-residents. The financial benefits already include the-amount equivalent to the level 38 of the single remuneration table (TRU) as set out in Implementing Decree no. 11-A/2017, of December 29.
Applicable legal and regulatory framework, taking into consideration the international status of the Organisation:
The contract will be subject to the INL’s Staff Rules, as amended from time to time, as well as to all other relevant instructions issued by the Organisation. For this purpose, a copy of the Staff Rules shall be provided. The contract may also be supplemented by the terms and conditions of the Financing Contract between the Organisation and the FCT governing the implementation of the FCT Project.
Disputes between the Organisation and the Employed Member of the Personnel shall be settled in accordance with the INL´s Staff Rules.
Notification of results:
Each candidate notified via email of the result of their individual application. 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 promotes a non-discrimination and equal access policy, wherefore no candidate can be privileged, benefited, impaired or deprived of any rights whatsoever, or be exempt of any duties based on their ancestry, age, sex, sexual preference, marital status, family and economic conditions, instruction, origin or social conditions, genetic heritage, reduced work capacity, disability, chronic illness, nationality, ethnic origin or race, origin territory, language, religion, political or ideological convictions and union membership.
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