Team 2 LIVING MATERIALS, INSITUTE OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY PAS
NATIONAL SCIENCE CENTRE, POLAND
Project title, type and project number
National Science Centre, Poland, 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”, 3/2024
Dr hab. Jan Paczesny, prof. IChF
Viruses are parasites with living cells as their hosts. Without cells, viruses cannot perform their life cycle. Often, viruses cause the host's death upon release of the number of copies of virions. A cascade of progeny virions attacks neighbouring cells or transfers to another host organism. Some viruses attack animals and humans, causing various diseases (like HIV, HPV, Hepatitis A and B, influenza, rotavirus, Zika, and 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 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 ensure 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 verification of bioactivity of prepared materials (nanoparticles and polymers) against virions and bacteria. The work will be focused on experimental work in the wet-lab, including plating methods.
It is expected that the successful candidate will be able to perform experiments independently, plan the workflow and participate in the decision-making process.
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
• 12 months with possible extensions based on the performance
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 12 months with possible extensions based on the performance (the maximum duration of the contract is planned for 24 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.
The institute provides an opportunity to participate in the ERASMUS+ programme.
Link to Euraxess websitesee website
More detailssee website
Biotechnology, biology, 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. Background in biology, biotechnology, or related sciences.
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.
The application deadline is on the 19th of February, 2024, 2 PM.
• Top candidates will be invited for an online or in-person interview (on the 21st of February 2024). A 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 29nd of February, 2024.
• 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 may 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:
their PhD degree has been awarded by another institution than the one planned to employ them at this post or they have completed a continuous and evidenced post-doctoral fellowship of at least 10 months in another institution than the host institution for the project and in another country than the one in which they have been conferred a PhD degree;
they will be employed for a period of at least 6 months
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
the principal investigator was not a supervisor / auxiliary supervisor in his/her doctoral thesis;
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 email@example.com;
IMPORTANT! email subject: “Recruitment no 3/2024”
(emails without this number will not be considered)
Contact person: Jan Paczesny, firstname.lastname@example.org, +48223432071
A post-doc type post is a full-time post, scheduled by the project’s principal investigator for a person who has been conferred a PhD degree 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. This period may be extended by a time of long-term (in excess of 90 days) documented sick leaves or rehabilitation leaves granted on account of being unfit to work. In addition, the period may be extended by the number of months of a child care leave granted pursuant to the Labour Code and in the case of women, by 18 months for every child born or adopted, whichever manner of accounting for career breaks is preferable.
Deadline for the settlement of the competition
Archival announcement. We would like to thank all candidates for their submitted applications.