DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY OF BIOLOGICAL SYSTEMS, Team 2 LIVING MATERIALS, INSITUTE OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY PAS
NATIONAL SCIENCE CENTRE
Project title, type and project number
National Science Center PRELUDIUM BIS-2 Project No. 2020/39/O/ST5/01017 entitled “Development of a comprehensive bacteria detection procedure: the creation of a sensor and development of new protocols for sample preparation and deposition”, 40/2021
prof. dr hab. Maciej Daniel Wojtkowski
Bacterial infections cause a severe socio-economic burden. In 2005 1.8 million people died due to consumption of infected food or water. Only in the USA number of infections and illnesses originating in food reaches 76 million. Among them, 325 000 are admitted to hospitals, and 5200 died. To make the situation even worse, hospitals are a natural place of occurrence of pathogenic bacteria. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control reports that only in Europe, 4.1 million patients are affected by healthcare-associated infection each year. In the USA, nosocomial infections cause around 100 000 deaths per year. The additional costs of treatment of hospital-related infections are enormous. It is estimated to be around 7.5 billion euros in the EU and around $5 billion in the USA. Targeted treatment of infections becomes a must as new bacteria strains, resistant to antibiotics, emerge. Modest estimates ($1.3 billion to $2.7 billion in the USA and $1.5 billion in the EU) were reported. In the majority of cases, serious repercussions can be avoided thanks to the fast and reliable detection of bacteria.
Within the proposed project, we aim at the development of the whole procedure for bacteria detection utilizing
phage-based sensing elements. We aim to combine the knowledge gained by the members of the Department of Physical Chemistry of Biological Systems at the Institute of Physical Chemistry PAS. The leader of the project is the head of the Department. The PhD student will develop further the method for increasing the sensitivity of phage-based sensors by proper orientation of virions, and the method for enhanced deposition of the target analyte at the surface of the transducer, and combine it with novel transducers based on optics, optoelectronics, and/or electrochemistry. It seems that the most promising are transducers based on optoelectronics (e.g., optical ring resonator, surface vertical grating coupler or Mach-Zender interferometer., surface plasmon resonance (localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR), surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS)) and electrochemistry (differential pulse voltammetry).Additionally, we aim at the development of fast methods of sample preparation for the analysis of complex samples. All of these should lead to the development of a novel method for bacteria sensing, offering a limit of detection (LOD) below 10 CFU/mL within 1 h.
Number of vacancies
Key responsibilities include
PhD student will be involved in the realization of the project which is at the border between biology, physics and chemistry. This person will work with both viruses and bacteria. Moreover, understanding of electromagnetism and physical chemistry (electrochemistry, thermodynamics, processes at interfaces) will be
necessary. It is expected that the enrolled candidate will be able to perform experiments independently, plan the workflow and participate in the decision making process. He/she will need to build experimental setup, calibrate it, plan and perform control experiments and analyze the data
1.Designing, planning and carrying out experimental work independently and under the supervision, maintaining regular research notes.
2. Scientific initiative and contribution through regular reporting and publishing, as well as presenting at group meetings, national and international conferences.
3. Cooperation with researchers, including communication with English-speaking colleagues 4. Providing help and supervision to junior members of the group.
5. Contribution to the efficient functioning of the lab including necessary administrative and organizational tasks
6. Preparation of the Ph.D. thesis.
Position in the project
• Type of contract: temporary • Status: scholarship • Hours Per Week: 40
5000 PLN before mid-term evaluation, 6000 PLN after positive mid-term evaluation
Position starts on
Maximum planned period of contract/stipend agreement
We offer a PhD student scholarship in the Institute of Physical Chemistry PAS with a stipend amount of 5000/6000 PLN per month financed from the NCN PRELUDIUM BIS-2 Project No. 2020/39/O/ST5/01017. The successful candidate is expected to start work within the project on 1st of October 2021.
Career development prospects at IPC PAS
The successful candidate will benefit in form of new knowledge and methods added to his/her toolbox. The project deals with biology, biotechnology, nanotechnology, physics and physical chemistry, so any profile of candidate will find some new knowledge to be gained upon 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.
Link to Euraxess websitesee website
More detailssee website
biology, biotechnology, chemistry, physics, nanotechnology or similar fields.
Scientific profile of a candidate
First Stage Researcher (R1)
1. MSc diploma in chemistry, biotechnology, chemical engineering, physics or similar
2. Creativity measured by the quality and number of projects, study record, internships, authorship in peer-reviewed publications and patents in which the Candidate participated and contributed.
3. Experience in biotechnology, virology or similar would be beneficial.
4. Knowledge of physical chemistry and analytical chemistry would be beneficial.
5. Excellent communications, organization and time management skills.
6. Ability to work independently as well as in a group.
7. Analytical thinking and critical problem-solving skills.
8. Fluent in spoken and written English.
Key assessment criteria
The Commission will take into account the following criteria:
a) competences of candidates for specific tasks in a research project(70% of the final score),
b) previous scientific achievements of candidates, including publications in the renowned publishers/scientific journals (30% of the final score).
The commission evaluates applications on a point scale.
• Complete application should include the following items: Cover letter, professional curriculum vitae, university degree diploma or confirmation that the candidate will have MSc before the 1st of October 2021, a list of scientific achievements (publications, patents, conference presentations, etc.), at least one letter of recommendation written by academics, agreement for personal data processing. The application deadline is on 18th of August 2021.
• Top candidates will be invited for an on-line or in person interview (before 6th of September 2021). Good command of English is required. We reserve the right to contact and reply to only selected candidates.
• A person who obtains the highest number of points will be invited for the entrance exam for Warsaw4PhD doctoral school, which will take place between 6th and 16th of September.
• To be eligible to take the entrance exam, candidates need to apply also to Warsaw4PhD doctoral school and fulfil all the requirements related to both applications. This is because PRELUDIUM BIS is dedicated to people who plan to start education at a doctoral school in 2021/2022. The application deadline for Warsaw4PhD doctoral school is on 18th of August 2021. Link to the thesis topic: https://warsaw4phd.eu/warsaw4phd/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Project-3.3-M.-Wojtkowski-J.-Paczesny.pdf
• The results of the recruitment will be announced no later than on 23rd of September 2021.
• The academic year 2021/2022 starts on 1st of October 2021, and the successful candidate is expected to start the work on this date.
Deadline for the settlement of the competition
Archival announcement. We would like to thank all candidates for their submitted applications.