PhD position in the Innovative Training Network UBIMOTIF on the role of Short Linear Motifs (SLiMs) and their phospho-regulation in ubiquitin signaling
Within the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 860517, Institute of Technology at the University of Tartu, Estonia, is offering a 48-month PhD position for an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) in in the area of ubiquitin biology, commencing in March or April 2020 or as soon as possible hereafter.
The UBIMOTIF consortium includes 13 research groups and 6 partners from 10 European countries and is a joint training and research program with focus on identification, characterization and exploitation of short linear motifs in the ubiquitin system.
Visit www.ubimotif.ku.dk for more information
About the host institution and group
Research in the Loog lab is focused on understanding the phenomenon of multisite protein phosphorylation and phosphorylation-dependent degradation of proteins via ubiquitin pathway during the cell cycle. Our greater vision is to apply the discovered rules of multisite phosphorylation to engineer synthetic circuits for synthetic biology. One practical application of such “molecular toolbox” of processors and circuit elements would be to use them in designer cells that act as cell factories producing pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals via sustainable bioprocessing.
The principal supervisor is:
Professor Mart Loog: mart.loog [ät] ut.ee
The Institute of Technology (TUIT) is active in the fields of molecular biology, synthetic biology, biomedical technology, sustainability research, material science, and robotics. The Estonian Centre for Synthetic Biology, founded at the Institute of Technology, combines Estonian labs that conduct research on various aspects of synthetic biology. With innovative international curricula on synthetic biology, and interdisciplinary research programs, the centre has already attracted many international students and scientists. We offer a vibrant, ambitious and highly international research environment, as well as access to cutting-edge facilities.
University of Tartu (founded in 1632) is the oldest, largest and the only classical university in Estonia with more than 16,000 students and 1,800 academic staff members. As Estonia’s national university, University of Tartu stresses the importance of international co-operation and partnerships with reputable research universities all over the world. the University of Tartu has topped a new Times Higher Education table of the best research-intensive universities in “New Europe”.
About the project/ job description
The successful candidates will join a multidisciplinary EU-funded Marie Sklodowska Curie International PhD training network aiming to understand the role of short linear motifs (SLiMs) in the regulation of ubiquitin signaling with a focus on mapping of SLiM motifs that control the substrate targeting specificity of APC and SCF ubiquitin ligases. The phospho-regulation of the discovered SLiM motifs will be further explored. The project will integrate different SLiM discovery approaches with biochemical methods and time-lapse fluorescence microscopy. In collaboration with other groups of the UBIMOTIF consortium, methods of computational structural modeling to determine SLiM binding determinants, and biophysical approaches to validate the structural predictions will be applied to comprehensively uncover novel regulatory principles within ubiquitin signaling. The PhD project aims to mechanistically dissect the functions of novel and uncharacterized SLiMs and their phospho-regulation by protein kianses and phosphatases. For these studies, the successful candidates will have the opportunity to study and apply a broad range of advanced cell-, biochemistry- and microscopy-based methodologies, as well as cutting-edge computational structural modeling and biophysical approaches.
Your key tasks as a PhD student are:
• Carry through an independent research project under supervision
• Complete PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to 60 ECTS points
• Participate in active research environments including a stay at another research team
• Obtain experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project
• Teach and disseminate your knowledge
• Write scientific publications and a PhD thesis on the grounds of your project
Key criteria for assessment of applicants
We are looking for a highly motivated and ambitious candidates with qualifications corresponding to a Master’s degree in the life sciences. Other important selection criteria are:
• Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
• Practical experience with molecular biology and biochemistry
• An open-minded, flexible and enthusiastic personality capable of interacting well within a group
• Excellent communication skills and fluency in English
• Applicants can be of any nationality.
• Applicants must have an ability to understand and express themselves in both written and spoken English to a level that is sufficiently high for them to derive the full benefit from the network training.
• Applicants must be eligible to enroll in a PhD programme at the host institution.
• Being a PhD student in an ITN includes a considerable amount of travelling including participation in meetings and workshops and stays of periods of a few months outside the host laboratory. Therefore, a requirement is the willingness to travel and stay abroad.
Candidates will be required to meet the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Early Stage Researcher eligibility criteria:
Mobility Rule: researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Estonia for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status are not taken into account. The earliest possible start date is 1 March 2020 (latest before 30th June 2020).
Early Stage Researcher (ESR) criteria: ESRs must, at the date of recruitment by the host organisation, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. Full-Time Equivalent Research Experience is measured from the date when the researcher obtained the degree entitling him/her to embark on a doctorate (either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited, even if a doctorate was never started or envisaged).
You will only be considered for the position if you fulfill (and can prove so) the eligibility criteria.
• The opportunity to conduct cutting-edge research and access to a network of leading researchers in the field
• Participation in research-specific, complementary and soft skills training that involve both the academic and industry sectors.
• Appointment for a period of 48 months
• Competitive salary, which is adjusted for their host country.
• Mobility allowance and a family allowance (where applicable) as part of the employment package.
Local HR and application process
The employment as PhD fellow is full time and for 4 years. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant. The PhD study must be completed in accordance with the University of Tartu rules on achieving the degree.
Deadline for applications is 3 January 2020.
All applications must include:
• Cover letter that describes the applicants’ motivation to apply (max. 1 page)
• Official copy of the diploma and diploma supplement (transcript/mark sheet) of the preceding study levels (both bachelor's and master's documents in the original language and official translations into English if applicable)
• Copy of the passport page stating the applicant´s personal particulars