Two Research Assistant Positions In Molecular Biology

Referência: EP1802028


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Unidade(s) Académica(s):
Escola Superior de Biotecnologia

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Two Research Assistant positions in Molecular Biology

Reference: ICETA 2018-15


Link to the call


Main research field: Biological sciences


Two Research Assistant positions in molecular biology (Reference ICETA 2018-15) are available to work on a range of projects that employ analysis of environmental DNA to address ecological questions. The positions will be contracted under the scope of the project “EnvMetaGen – Capacity Building at InBIO for Research and Innovation Using Environmental Metagenomics” (Reference Nº 668981), funded by the European Commission under the call H2020-WIDESPREAD-2014-2. The project aims to expand the research and innovation potential of InBIO, supporting emerging research areas in environmental metagenomics for applications in biodiversity surveys, invasive species control, ecosystem services assessment, and environmental (bio)monitoring. The successful candidates will work on multiple projects that will be developed by researchers at CIBIO-InBIO associated with the EnvMetaGen project. Examples include analysis of diet of bats and birds by DNA metabarcoding of faecal DNA; analysis of invertebrate species composition of rivers, lakes and estuaries; researching critical components of the diet of endangered species; and biodiversity surveying by metabarcoding of bulk samples of terrestrial arthropods. Similar research topics will be developed as the EnvMetaGen project progresses and the Research Assistants will provide molecular biological support for researchers working on these topics.



The Research Assistant positions are suitable for candidates of any nationality holding a degree in an area that involves laboratory molecular biological research such as microbiology, genetics or biochemistry. The candidates should have skills and experience in:

1. Laboratory research in molecular biology, preferably applied to environmental or ecological questions.
2. Experience in implementing new molecular biology protocols, including skills such as PCR primer design and testing; maintaining good laboratory experimental practice when working with both dilute DNA and concentrated PCR products; preparation of libraries for high throughput sequencing; and DNA purification from environmental samples.
3. Experience in record keeping and laboratory management, including managing stocks of consumable items for a larger group of researchers; purchasing of consumables and interacting with supply companies;
4. Experimental planning and working effectively both independently and as part of a multi-disciplinary team.
5. Experience of sample collection, record keeping for sample collection and preservation and archiving of samples for genetic analyses.


Project overview:
The goal of the project is to expand the research and innovation potential of InBIO – Research Network in Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology, through the creation of a European Research Area (ERA) Chair in Environmental Metagenomics and recruitment of a team of researchers and support staff to work with the ERA chair. The project aims to strengthen the research potential of human resources, lab facilities and next-generation genome sequencing equipment funded by a FP7 CAPACITIES project, supporting an emerging research line in environmental metagenomics for applications in biodiversity conservation, invasive species control, ecosystem services assessment, and environmental (bio)monitoring. The project will contribute to the regional and national smart specialisation strategies, by developing tools and approaches to foster environmentally sustainable development, and strengthening innovation and knowledge transfer activities in close collaboration with local and global industrial partners, as well as with governmental agencies. In addition, the project will contribute to the advanced training of new scientists to expand the locally available expertise in this area, and to the communication, dissemination and exploitation of InBIO’s research and innovation. These two Research Assistant positions are a key component of the EnvMetaGen team and will provide support to the postdocs, affiliates, PhD students, project manager and coordinating researchers to ensure the overall success of the project.



· Initial appointment for 2.5 years;
· Competitive salary commensurate with qualifications and experience;
· A diverse and innovative working environment and opportunities to learn new skills in environmental metagenomics.


Work place:
The work will be mainly conducted at the Vairão campus of the Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos (CIBIO-InBIO), Universidade do Porto. However, the candidates may be required to do some field work and spend some time in other labs, both in Portugal and elsewhere, in the scope of research, training and networking activities.


The call for applications is open between 09/02/2018 to 02/03/2018.

Applications should be submitted by email to with the fellowship reference (Reference ICETA 2018-15) and should include a Curriculum vitae including a publication list and other relevant information relating to the goals of the project and a Motivation Letter that includes a brief description of the candidate’s research experience and why they are suitable for the position.


Selection criteria:
The jury panel will select the best candidate based on his/her merit, through the analysis of:

1. The strength of the candidate’s Curriculum Vitae in meeting the requirements for the position.
2. The candidate’s experience in similar projects in the past.
3. The performance of the candidate in an interview that will be arranged either in person or by videoconference after short-listing of candidates based on their Curriculum Vitae.

Applicants will initially be evaluated based on their Curriculum Vitae (40%) and motivation letter (10%). A shortlist based on the evaluation of the written applications will be used to select candidates for interview, which will allow a final evaluation (50%).


Selection Jury:
Nuno Fonseca
Pedro Beja
Paulo Alves
Joana Paupério
Fredrik Oxelfelt


Results announcement:
Candidates will be directly informed by email about the result of their application