Team 2 LIVING MATERIALS, INSITUTE OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY PAS
NATIONAL SCIENCE CENTRE, POLAND
Project title, type and project number
OPUS 23 Project No. 2022/45/B/ST5/01500 entitled “Antiviral nanoparticles and polymers to selectively fight phage infections without harming bacteria and eukaryotic cells”, 24/2023
Dr hab. Jan Paczesny, prof. IChF
Viruses are parasites with living cells as their hosts. Without cells, viruses cannot perform their live cycle. Often viruses cause the host's death upon release of the number of copies of virions. Cascade of progeny virions attack neighboring cells or transfer to another host organism. Some viruses attack animals and humans, causing various diseases (like HIV, HPV, Hepatitis A and B, influenza, rotavirus, Zika, rubies, to name only a few), plants (Tabaco mosaic virus), or even bacteria (bacteriophages). The COVID-19 pandemic gave the realization that we do not have suitable antiviral measures to provide the necessary protection.
The proposed project within Opus-23 call focuses on fighting viruses attacking bacteria – named bacteriophages, or phages for short. Phages cause serious problems when they infect the bacteria-based biotechnological factories. Within hours a single bacteriophage can be multiplied in millions of copies utilizing the biochemical machinery of the host. In each bacterial cell, up to a few hundred copies are formed and released. This usually results in the death of bacteria. Phage infections have profound repercussions as bacteria-based processes are one of the most important in biotechnology and dominate many branches of industry which exploit the natural metabolic capabilities of bacteria to produce active substances. All factors, which affect bacteria-based factories, cause millions of dollars in losses.
Here, we propose the strategy to obtain antiphagents (antibacteriophage agents) that will be safe for bacteria and eukaryotic cells. This will allow online protection against phage infections. We will synthesize, purify, and characterize “mixed” (bearing positively charged, negatively charged, neutral and hydrophobic domains) nanoparticles and polymers and test them against model phages (T1, T4, T7, M13, MS2, phi6, PhiX174, QBeta), bacteria, and eukaryotic cells. We will tune the composition of the “mixed” domains to assure efficacy against virions and safety towards cells.
The knowledge gained upon realization of the project might also be utilized against pathogenic viruses attacking humans, helping to fight against numerous diseases. Among the many bacteriophages, some (MS2, phi6, PhiX174, QBeta) are considered good surrogates for studies on eukaryotic, often dangerous, viruses.
Number of vacancies
Key responsibilities include
Post doc will be involved in the synthesis and characterization of both nanoparticles and polymers. It is expected that the successful candidate will be able to perform experiments independently, plan the workflow and participate in the decision-making process.
• Designing, planning, and carrying out experimental work independently, maintaining regular research notes.
• Scientific initiative and contribution through regular reporting and publishing, as well as presenting at group meetings, national and international conferences;
• Providing help and supervision to junior members of the group;
• Contribution to the efficient functioning of the lab, including necessary organizational tasks.
Position in the project
POST DOC position
• Type of contract: temporary • Status: full-time employment • Hours Per Week: 40
Around 9600 PLN gross
Position starts on
Maximum planned period of contract/stipend agreement
18 months with possible extensions based on the performance and depending on project funds
We offer a post-doctoral position (full-time employment) in the Institute of Physical Chemistry PAS with a gross salary of around 9600 PLN per month financed from the NCN OPUS 23 Project No. 2022/45/B/ST5/01500. 100% of the work time of Postdoc will be devoted to the realization of the proposed project. The offer is for 18 months with possible extensions based on the performance and depending on project funds (the maximum duration of the contract is planned for 34 months).
Career development prospects at IPC PAS
The successful candidate will benefit in the form of new knowledge and methods added to his/her toolbox. The project deals with nanotechnology, physics, material sciences, and physical chemistry, so a broad range of candidates will find new knowledge to be gained upon the realization of the project.
We plan to publish the results of the work in high-impact factor journals.
The successful candidate will be able to take advantage of all programs in the IPC PAS, including Young Scientists of IPC PAS competition and Mobility of Young Scientists of IPC PAS competition.
Institute provides an opportunity to participate in ERASMUS+ programme.
More detailssee website
Chemistry, nanotechnology, material science, or similar fields.
Scientific profile of a candidate
Recognised Researcher (R2)
1. PhD degree in chemical or physical sciences, obtained in the year of employment in the project or within 7 years before 1 January of the year of employment in the project. For researchers with multiple PhDs, the date of the first PhD award is deemed the reference date. Extension might apply according to National Science Centre, Poland, rules.
2. Publication record and rich scientific experience.
3. Ability to work independently as well as in a group.
4. Skills in nanosynthesis, organic synthesis, polymer chemistry, and purification.
5. Ability to communicate fluently in English (written and spoken).
6. Strong motivation to work and pursue scientific questions, creativity, and analytical thinking.
7. Research experience in related fields will be advantageous.
Key assessment criteria
The Commission will take into account the following criteria:
a) competencies of candidates for specific tasks in a research project,
b) previous scientific achievements of candidates,
c) awards and distinctions of the candidate resulting from the conducted research.
The commission evaluates applications on a point scale.
• employment application,
• professional curriculum vitae,
• PhD certificate,
• a list of scientific achievements (publications, patents, conference presentations, etc.),
• at least one letter of recommendation written by academics.
The application deadline is on the 30th of June, 2023 23:00.
• Top candidates will be invited for an online or in-person interview (between the 3rd and 6th of July 2023). Good command of English is required. We reserve the right to contact and reply to only selected candidates.
• A position will be offered to the person who obtains the highest number of points.
• The results of the recruitment are planned to be announced on the 18th of July 2023.
• An agreement will be signed with successful applicants on condition that the Institute of Physical Chemistry signs the grant agreement with NSC.
• Employment will take place in accordance with the provisions of the competition documentation of the National Science Center (NSC) for the OPUS 23 https://www.ncn.gov.pl/ogloszenia/konkursy/opus23
and Employment policy of the Institute of Physical Chemistry PAS
• The incomplete applications will not be considered.
• The results of the competition are made public.
• Candidates who have been issued a negative opinion by the Competition Committee or candidates not selected for employment have the right to appeal against the results of the evaluation. The appeal shall be lodged with the Director of the Institute within 7 days from the date of receipt of the appropriate information. The decision of the Director of the Institute shall be final.
• If the top candidate does not sign the contract due to the resignation, we reserve the right to choose the next candidate from the ranking list.
Candidate needs to meet formal requirements:
a) at the time of receiving remuneration, they will not be receiving any other remuneration paid from the funds granted to research projects under NCN calls under the heading of direct costs
b) the principal investigator was not a supervisor / auxiliary supervisor in his/her doctoral thesis;
c) in the period of receiving the remuneration they will be receiving no remuneration from another employer pursuant to an employment contract, including an employer with registered office outside of Poland.
How to Apply: Send application directly to firstname.lastname@example.org;
IMPORTANT! email subject: “Recruitment no. 24/2023”
(emails without this number will not be considered)
Contact person: Jan Paczesny, email@example.com
Deadline for the settlement of the competition
Send the application via the "Apply to the position" button, or to firstname.lastname@example.org with the title 24/2023.Apply to the position
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