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PROJECT: EU Horizon 2020 Teaming Phase 2 project: "Baltic Biomaterials Centre of excellence - BBCE" grant agreement No. 857287.

ANNOUNCEMENT 3 PhD positions available within research area of materials for bone tissue regeneration.

Location of the positions

Rudolfs Cimdins Riga Biomaterials Innovations and Development Centre of Riga Technical University, Riga, Latvia.

International networking opportunities

The positions include participations in short-term (up to 14 days) and/or long-term (up to 6 months) training visits in world leading research centers within the network - AO Research Institute Davos, Switzerland and Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany. Yearly meetings (summer schools and symposia) of the complete network are also foreseen.

Positions start

Starting date is negotiable but tentatively between September and December 2020.

RECRUITING ORGANIZATION

BBCE coordinating institution - Riga Technical University (RTU) is one of the oldest institutions of higher technical education in Eastern Europe. RTU gathers more than 16000 students, staff of 611 people for research and 572 for teaching, currently is the top 1 University in Latvia in terms of scientific potential and it is ranked among the top 651–700 Universities worldwide. Rudolfs Cimdins Riga Biomaterials Innovation and Development Centre of RTU (RTU RBIDC) is the biggest and the most modern biomaterial research centre in the Baltic States. RTU RBIDC research team consists of 30 scientists with background in chemistry, chemical engineering and materials science. The main areas of RTU RBIDC research activities include training and research on synthesis of calcium phosphates, preparation of inorganic/organic composite materials, bone cements, and upscaling of chemical engineering processes for bone regeneration purposes. Additional research fields include drug/ion delivery systems and nanostructured implant composites with drug eluting properties. The biomaterials developed at RTU RBIDC have been tested in clinical practice for more than 15 years in more than 400 patient cases.

THE SCIENTIFIC AND FORMATIVE CHALLENGE OF THE BBCE PROJECT

The overall objective of the BBCE is to develop a joint centre for advanced biomaterials development based on the long-term strategic cooperation between Riga Technical University, Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis, Rīga Stradiņš University and LLC Rīga Stradiņš University Institute of Stomatology, on the one part, and AO Research Institute Davos, Switzerland and Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany, on the other part. Strategic research direction of Baltic Biomaterials Centre of Excellence (BBCE) is development of patient specific personalized solutions for bone regeneration in 3 levels: biomaterial composition, geometry and bioactive compound delivery. Full cycle of biomaterials for bone regeneration development consists of continuous steps: 1. Development of biodegradable, osteoconductive and osteoinductive materials, composites and drug delivery systems. 2. Preclinical in vitro/in vivo investigations. 3. Clinical trials.

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AVAILABLE RESEARCH DIRECTIONS

Within the scope of BBCE project currently there are 3 PhD positions available in development of biomaterials for bone regeneration, more specifically development of biodegradable, osteoconductive and osteoinductive materials as well as composites and drug delivery systems for bone regeneration, with the following envisaged research groups and topics:

  1. Group 1 – Calcium phosphates and composites (calcium phosphate (CaP) nanoparticles, nanosuspensions, granules, bone cements, CaP/biodegradable polymer (e.g. PLA, PCL, hyaluronic acid) composites, gradient materials and hydrogels (CaP/polymer) for bone tissue regeneration. 1 PhD position available.
  2. Group 2 – Drug/ion/cell delivery (controlled drug delivery systems for bone regeneration - local drug, biopharmaceutics and functional ions, cell delivery systems (antimicrobials, bisphosphonates, growth factors, anti-inflammatory agents, functional ions and combinations of drugs/ions etc.). 1 PhD position available.
  3. Group 3 – Materials in vitro (cellular responses, fundamental mechanisms that govern cell-biomaterial and cell-cell interactions, novel materials for bone regeneration and their in vitro behaviour). 1 PhD position available.

OUTLINE OF THE POSITIONS

The BBCE project, funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme (WIDESPREAD-01-2018-2019: Teaming Phase 2) calls for applications of 3 fully funded PhD positions (early-stage researchers), with attractive complementary training activities and multidisciplinary and international scientific environment. The successful candidates will learn how to perform full cycle of biomaterial development, how to write high impact original research and review articles, on research metrics and ethics, quality system, experimental planning, entrepreneurship skills, intellectual property strategy development at early stage biomaterials research, on translational research and exploitation of the research results. Each PhD student will be enrolled in the PhD Program (e.g. Materials Science”, “Chemistry”, “Chemical Engineering” depending on the previous experience) at RTU and will have an appointed supervisor based on the subject of her/his PhD research project (supervisors and contact persons: Prof., Dr.sc.ing. Janis Locs (janis.locs@rtu.lv) and Assoc. Prof., Dr.sc.ing. Dagnija Loca (dagnija.loca@rtu.lv )).

EMPLOYMENT TERMS AND BENEFITS

For PhD students the full time contract in the length of study program will be offered with the obligations to defend the PhD thesis. The PhD students will undergo yearly performance assessment related to their research and study activities (criteria will include: e.g. exams successfully passed, participation in BBCE training programmes, papers published, co-supervising of bachelor and master thesis, assisting in teaching). Initially, a 3-year contract will be offered to the PhD student with a potential renewal for another 1 year. Contract involves full time job with 40 working hours per week with annual gross salary in range of €19.000 – €21.000. The PhD annual gross salary will be subjected to all local taxes, social benefits and other deductions following national regulations (https://www.fm.gov.lv/en/s/taxes/). If successful candidates will be eligible for election as scientific personnel of RTU, they will benefit 40 working day vacations annually. Health insurance must be covered by applicants themselves.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA (requirements and necessary competences)

The 3 PhD positions are open to applicants of all nationalities fulfilling the following eligibility requirements:

  1. PhD students have to adhere to the PhD program’s requirements and examination procedures of the host university. This includes master degree compliant with the scientific topics of the research groups described in the section “AVAILABLE RESEARCH DIRECTIONS” (e.g. biomedical sciences, biotechnology, physics, chemistry, materials sciences, engineering etc.). Total amount of European academic credit points obtained together during Bachelor and Master studies should be ≥300 ECTS. This includes also the applicants who will receive their Master degree until the end of August 2020.
  2. Excellent/good oral and written English language skills, if English is not his/her first language (at minimum B2 level).
  3. Good skills in scientific writing and presentation of the results.
  4. Experience of using laboratory equipment for biomaterials characterization.
  5. Ability to carry out the independent research under the BBCE scope and to produce the data under supervision.

DUTIES AND RESPONSABILITIES

  1. Applicant should successfully pass the exams of PhD Program and defend the PhD thesis.
  2. Applicant should be able to explain the outcomes of the research and summarize them into the high impact scientific publications. Each year 1 high impact scientific publication should be submitted and published.
  3. Applicant should yearly participate in BBCE organized training seminars, summer schools of high impact scientific writing organized at Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen Nuremberg, Germany and at least 1 international scientific conference.
  4. During the Doctoral Program participate in at least one up to 6 months long training visit to Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen Nuremberg, Germany or AO-Forschungsinstitut Davos (ARI), Switzerland depending on the scientific topic.

DESIRABLE COMPETENCES

  1. Ability to carry out research under supervision.
  2. Applicant has the ambition to develop knowledge of research methodologies and discipline.
  3. Applicant has demonstrated a good understanding in a field of study.
  4. Applicant has demonstrated the ability to produce data under supervision.
  5. Applicant is capable of critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of new and complex ideas.
  6. Applicant is able to explain the outcome of research and value thereof to research colleagues.

SELECTION PROCESS OF PhD STUDENTS

Candidates are asked to apply on-line max for two of the above-mentioned PhD positions, indicating the 1st and the 2nd priority. The application must include the following:

  1. CV in English (Europass format, max. 5 pages, including list of publications (if any)).
  2. Copy of a valid ID document (passport or equivalent).
  3. A motivation letter in English (max 2 pages), including statement that the applicant fulfils all eligible criteria listed in the paragraph above, indicating envisaged research groups and specifying the 1st and the 2nd priority. Also the statement that the applicant is eligible to apply for work permission in Latvia should be included in the motivation letter.
  4. Degree transcripts (Bachelor and Master).
  5. Letters of recommendation (at least two).

NEW DEADLINE

All documents must be submitted to bbcentre@rtu.lv before June 14th, 2020 5.00 PM (CET).

For additional information please contact Prof., Dr.sc.ing. Janis Locs (janis.locs@rtu.lv) and Assoc. Prof., Dr.sc.ing. Dagnija Loca (dagnija.loca@rtu.lv) and visit https://bbcentre.eu and http://vkti.rtu.lv/en. The selection procedure will be based on two steps: the first step will consist on the screening of all applications received and on the selection of a shortlist of candidates based on CV, academic transcripts, motivation and relevance with the specific research project; the second step will consist of an interview (held in person or Skype), at the end of which successful candidates will be recruited. Prior to recruitment, successful applicants will be requested to produce the original copies of all certificates and documents declared. Incorrect or lacking of documentation may invalidate the recruitment procedure.

When applying for a competition, the candidate agrees to the processing of his personal data pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data and repealing Directive 95/95 / EC / 46 / EC (General Data Protection Regulation) and for storage at the Riga Technical University Personnel Department. Without the consent of the candidate, personal data will not be transferred to third parties, except in the cases specified in the laws and regulations in force in the Republic of Latvia.

/credits to the 1st picture https://leverageedu.com/blog/phd/ /

Posted on Apr 29, 2020

BBCE project´s main objective is to establish a joint Baltic Biomaterials Centre of Excellence for advanced biomaterials development based on the long-term strategic cooperation between AO Research Institute Davos, Switzerland (ARI) and Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany (FAU) on the one hand and RTU RBIDC, LIOS and RSU on the other hand.



This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 857287