Postdoc on microscopy at the Bioengineering in Reproductive Health Research Group

Introduction to the vacant position:

The Bioengineering in Reproductive Health Group offers a postdoctoral position for an optics physicist or engineer with experience in advanced microscopy and image analysis. The project involves using and designing an optical system for label-free imaging plus multi/hyperspectral detection for the study of human embryos and oocytes.

The Open Innovation laboratory is a multidisciplinary environment where biologists, physicists, clinicians and business developers synergize to create a unique environment shaped by applied science and entrepreneurship through the creation of spin-offs companies. Due to the high translational component of our research, we have established collaboration contracts with the pharma industry, hospitals and venture capital to bring our technology to the clinics and the market.

The project:

This project aims to address the diagnostic limitations in IVF clinics and develop an objective, quantitative imaging system capable to discriminate competent embryos as well as oocytes. The system will be optimized for label-free microscopy and multi/hyperspectral detection. The candidate must design a minimal hyperspectral device based on commercially available modules (i.e. confocal system + spectral detectors). The biological data will be extracted from microscopy measurements of the live samples, via different image processing and statistical correlation procedures previously developed by the group. Biological samples are naturally auto-fluorescent due to the presence of different molecules which are crucial for the embryonic development. The goal of this project is to customize a commercial system to detect those endogenous signals from the embryo and the oocyte in a non-invasive way and extract meaningful biological information.

Main tasks and responsibilities:

You will develop applied research skills involving:

  • Advanced label-free microscopy and multi/hyperspectral techniques applied to the characterization of mouse and human embryos, oocytes and cells. 
  • Design experiments to obtain statistically significant results.
  • Participate in developments related to new prototypes and novel bio applications of interest.
  • Involvement with our industry and clinical partners and working on real-world applications.

Requirements for candidates:

We are looking for a dynamic, enthusiastic and motivated candidate with a solid background in optics, engineering or related discipline, interested to work in a multi-disciplinary environment and translational research direction. The candidate must have prior experience in optics, advanced microscopy. Knowledge of label-free (i.e. 2-photon, second harmonic generation) and multi/hyperspectral techniques will be valued positively.

  • PhD degree in Physics or Engineering with strong background in optics.
  • Programming skills (Python, Matlab, C++). The candidate must be able to analyze raw data from microscopy images, write code to analyze it.
  • Experience in developing optical systems (we are not planning on building a microscope from scratch, but to collaborate with microscopy companies to combine the right modules to get the system we need) .
  • Willingness to learn new skills in a multidisciplinary environment, critical and analytical thinking.
  • Communication, Teamwork and Collaboration skills.
  • Fluent use of English language.

We offer:

  • Number of available positions: 1
  • Starting date: November 2023
  • Working conditions:
    • Opportunity to either extend the contract at the end of the 2-year period or join a Spin off company derived from the project.
    • Salary will be commensurate with academic level and experience.
    • Opportunities and assistance to apply for scholarships.
    • Measures to reconcile work and family life (flexible schedule working hours, teleworking up to 2 days per week, 23 working days of paid holidays, 9 leave days for personal matters, among others).
  • Specific training for the position will be offered. IBEC ensures equality of access to professional development opportunities irrespective of employment status, length at IBEC or other factors. The IBEC’s yearly training catalogue offers a wide range of training in technical and transferable skills. 
  • High-quality international scientific environment.
  • Induction programme to facilitate incorporation at IBEC and additional support is provided for foreigners to obtain Visa-working permit and to install in Barcelona.
  • Stimulating, interdisciplinary research and high-quality international scientific environment.

How to apply:

Until November 1 st  online application form is available through IBEC dedicated site:  

Only those applications submitted before the deadline will be evaluated.

Reference: PD-SO.

If you have any further question regarding your application, please contact us at

Principles of the selection process:

IBEC is committed to the principles of the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers of the European Commission and the Open, Transparent and Merit based Recruitment principles (OTM-R)

IBEC´s Commitment on equal opportunity:

Our strength and excellence as an international transdisciplinary Research Institute are based on diversity.  Being an equal opportunity employer, we are committed to diversity and inclusion, so that we support employees irrespective of their gender, nationality, religion, disabilities, age, sexual identity or cultural and socioeconomic background.”

IBEC actively looks for female candidates for Senior positions (Postdoctoral and GL positions) ensuring that at least 40% of shortlisted applicants invited to interview have to be women with comparable level of CVs as the male candidates. At the end of the evaluation process, in case of equal merit, priority will be given to female candidates.

For candidates with children that come from outside Barcelona, we offer babysitting services during the interview, so you don’t have to worry about anything else than doing a good interview. Contact us if you are interested in this service.  

IBEC, as a signatory of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), will consider,  especially for early-stage investigators, much more the scientific content of research outputs, than publication metrics or the identity of the journal in which it were published.

Protection of personal data:

IBEC guarantees that candidates’ personal data are processed in accordance with the requirements of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Law 3/2018 on Data Protection.

Personal data will be processed solely for the purposes of the selection process.

Who we are?

The Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia, IBEC is an interdisciplinary research center focused on Bioengineering and Nanomedicine based in Barcelona. IBEC is one of the top research institutions named as a Severo Ochoa Research Centre by the Ministry of Science, Universities and Innovation, which recognizes excellence at the highest international level in terms of research, training, human resources, outreach and technology transfer.

IBEC’s mission is to develop international high-quality interdisciplinary research that, while creating knowledge, contributes to making a better quality of life, improving health and creating wealth. A close link with key universities, reference hospitals and corporations, are assets that facilitate achieving the mission.

IBEC was established in 2005 by the Generalitat de Catalunya (Autonomous Government of Catalonia), the University of Barcelona (UB) and the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC).

IBEC is located within the Barcelona Science Park and is managing 3.800 square meters facilities, with an annual budget of 13 Mio€; 3.800 square meters of facilities; 21 research groups and a team of researchers and support services of 350 people from 30 different countries.