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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 675106.

Doctoral Industrial School on Human Skin models for Staphylococcal infections
Call for 4 Early Stage Researcher Fellowships in “Doctoral Industrial School on Human Skin models for Staphylococcal infections”
INTRODUCTION

DISSection (Doctoral Industrial School on Human Skin models for Staphylococcal infections) aims at delivering industry-oriented PhD training in the area of Infection and Immunity. The four selected Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs) will experience an intersectoral training programme encompassing a 18 months of internship in Glaxo Smith Kline Vaccines (GSKVACSRL), based in Siena, Italy, and 18 months internship at Department of “Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht” (UMCU), NL. A period of secondment is planned for ESR3 and ERS4. The Program is integrated with complementary courses on dermatology, human skin infections, hydrogel scaffolds, mass spectrometry, and induced pluripotent stem cells technology, that will be held by associate partners.

The students will be enrolled in the PhD school Program at Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht for a period of 4 years and will receive a PhD degree in the area of Infection and Immunity.

The ESRs will have the chance to learn front-edge technologies and will deal with very important and diverse scientific aspects of Microbiology, Immunology, Biochemistry, Dermatology and Vaccinology. All students will engage in training-by-research, and will participate in a series of scientific, technical and complementary skills training events.


RESEARCH PROJECT

DISSection (Doctoral Industrial School on Human Skin models for Staphylococcal infections) is a European Industrial Doctorate (EID) funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions of Horizon 2020, with the aim of training four young scientists in the area of Infection and Immunity. The scope of the Project is to develop a human skin models. The model will be used and optimized to the following main objectives: better understanding of human-specific pathogenesis of S. aureus as well as protective mechanisms against the pathogen; development of the first immune-competent human skin models for vaccine research; provide alternative methods to animal models.

This represents a good opportunity for students that are willing to grow both in basic science as well as in innovative and applicative experimental research.

Specifically, students will be involved in one of two work packages aimed at:

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Exploit skin equivalent models as well as human skin explants to achieve the following major objectives:
  1. determine the role of toxins and virulence factors in invasive processes of the skin;
  2. study the role of immuneevasion factors in bypassing responses of immune-competent skin equivalents;
  3. characterize S. aureus infection in human skin;
  4. study the role of neutrophils and macrophages as well as their cooperation against S. aureus.
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Exploit skin equivalent models to achieve the following major objectives:
  1. establish the first human skin equivalent for vaccine research;
  2. measure expression of virulence factors and vaccine antigens in bacteria interacting with skin cells;
  3. assess the response of skin cells to infection in terms of cytokine expression;
  4. dissect protective mechanisms associated with antibodies, complement factors and professional phagocytes against S. aureus skin pathogenesis;
  5. improve S. aureus vaccine targets by structural modelling;
  6. broaden application of the skin model for characterizing skin delivery systems.

The 4 Early Stage Researchers (ESR)’ projects are in the following table; to apply to a specific project, click on the title and follow the instructions.


ESR1: Project: Human-specific S. aureus pathogenic and immune evasion mechanisms

First Host Institution: UMCU

OPEN Expected start date:
01/06/2017
ESR2: Project: Characterization of the role of different professional phagocytes and their
  cooperation against S. aureus

First Host Institution: UMCU

OPEN Expected start date:
01/06/2017
ESR3: Project: Human skin model for vaccine research

First Host Institution: GSK

OPEN Expected start date:
01/06/2017
ESR4: Project: Structural modelling of S. aureus vaccine targets

First Host Institution: GSK

OPEN Expected start date:
01/06/2017

Call deadline: February 28th 2017


TRAINING PROGRAMME

The training programme comprises:

  1. Research training activities, performed locally, leading to award of the PhD title.
  2. Scientific/technical training courses and activities performed locally and at the project level to train the ESRs in scientific topics, advanced technology and methodologies necessary for the project implementation.
  3. Transferable skills training to prepare the ESRs for an academic or industrial career will be provided through local and joint training courses.
  4. Scientific events, such as 3 annual project meetings.

IMPLEMENTATION

ESR1 and ESR2 will be employed by UMCU for the first 18 months of their fellowship, and by GSK for the second period of the fellowship (months 19-36). ESR3 and ESR4 will be employed by GSK for the first 18 months of their fellowship, and by UMCU for the second period of the fellowship (months 19-36). A secondment period is foreseen for ESR3 (2 months at Stanford University Medical Centre) and for ESR4 (2 months at University of Siena Department Biotechnology,Chemistry and Pharmacy).

All the fellows will be enrolled in the PhD school at UMCU for a period of 4 years, at the end of which they will obtain the PhD degree in “Infection and Immunity”. The students will receive the fellowship within the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Program for the first 36 months. A possible 12-month extension is envisaged, pending the availability of additional funding.

The ESRs will be contractually employed according to Dutch and Italian legislation and will be covered under the social security scheme of Netherlands and Italy. They will monthly receive a Living Allowance, a Mobility Allowance and a Family Allowance (where applicable) compliant with the applicable EC Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions - ITN general conditions (see the pdf document - page 49).


ELIGIBILITY RULES

At the time of recruitment, i.e., June 1st 2017 applicants must fulfil the following rules:

Experience:

  1. applicants must be in possession of the degree (usually the Master Degree) which would formally entitle them to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher will be recruited.
  2. applicants must be ESRs, i.e. must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not yet been awarded a doctoral degree.


Mobility:

ESR1 and ESR2: applicants can be of any nationality but, at the time of recruitment, may not have resided or carried out their main activity in Netherlands for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the enrolment. Short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.

ESR3 and ESR4: applicants can be of any nationality but, at the time of selection, may not have resided or carried out their main activity in Italy for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the enrolment. Short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.


Other requirements:

  1. ESR1: Basic knowledge: Microbiology, Immunology
    ESR2: Basic knowledge: Cell Biology, Immunology
    ESR3: Basic knowledge: Microbiology, Cell Biology
    ESR4: Basic knowledge: Biochemistry

  2. The CV must be without gaps, in order to easily check the mobility and experience rules. CVs that either do not clearly show the applicant’s past experience, or have unexplained gaps, will be considered ineligible.

HOW TO APPLY

To apply to a specific project, click on the title in the table above, and follow the instructions.

For more information and details on the application procedure, please contact info@dissection.eu



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Last update: January 11, 2017


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