Predoctoral researcher in Cellular and molecular mechanobiology

Proyecto de Generación de Conocimiento 2022 by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation

Introduction to the vacant position:

The Cellular and Molecular Mechanobiology Group is looking for a Pre-doctoral Researcher to work on nuclear mechanobiology. The cell nucleus is a central decision hub in cells, receiving inputs from the cell environment and integrating them to control cell function. In recent years, it has become clear that the nucleus receives not only biochemical signals but also mechanical forces, and that these forces regulate nuclear function. This implies that there are likely multiple regulatory mechanisms deciding when and how forces reach the nucleus, with potential implications in diseases such as cancer or fibrosis, where there are major mechanical alterations to tissues.

The candidate will carry out a PhD focused on the process of mechanotransduction, which is the conversion of mechanical forces into downstream biochemical signals (such as for instance transcription). More specifically, the candidate will explore different mechanisms by which cells can regulate whether forces reach or not the nucleus, and for how long. This will be studied in the context of fibroblasts and mesenchymal cells in a pancreatic cancer setting, which is characterized by a dramatic alteration in tissue mechanical properties.

This fellowship is associated with the research project Generación de Conocimiento, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.

Main tasks and responsibilities:

  • Work with a model system of fibroblasts due to their robust mechanical responses, and their involvement in pathologies such as cancer or fibrosis, with well-established mechanically-dependent functions (such as matrix remodelling).
  • Establish a toolset for probing ECM-nucleus mechanical coupling, involving mechanical and molecular techniques.
  • Unveil how ECM-nucleus mechanical coupling regulates mechanotransduction.
  • Assess the functional consequences of ECM-nucleus mechanical coupling.
  • Focus on events known to be triggered by mechanical force application to the nucleus. This includes nuclear translocation of transcription factors, activation of calcium signalling, changes in chromatin methylation, and DNA damage.

Requirements for candidates:


  • Degree in physics or biology-related topics (physics, biology, biomedical engineering, biomedicine…).
  • Candidates should be ready to enter an official doctoral programme on December 2023 (under Spanish Law). By this time, they must have obtained a university degree and a master’s degree; or must hold an official university qualification from a country of the European Higher Education Area with a minimum of 300 ECTS of official university studies, of which at least 60 are at master’s level. Candidates who expect to be awarded with such degrees by October 2023 are eligible to apply.
  • Candidates must have a strong commitment to scientific research and an excellent academic record.
  • Candidates must have a good working knowledge of English.
  • Candidates must not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree.
  • Candidates must not have held a Ph.D. contract exceeding twelve months by the beginning of the fellowship (December 2023 to January 2024).
  • Good skills in communication, teamwork, proactivity, characterisation, integrity, time management, critical and analytical thinking, precision, and focus.

For the conditions, requirements, details of the research project and other relevant data, please check the general call Proyectos de Generación de Conocimiento 2022 by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation at

We Offer:

  • Number of available positions: 1
  • Starting date: As of December 1st, 2023 (to be confirmed, based on the resolution of the call Proyectos de Generación de Conocimiento 2022 by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation).
  • For labour conditions, please click in the call at
  • 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.

How to apply:

Until October 15th  an online application form is available through IBEC dedicated site:  

Only those applications submitted before the deadline will be evaluated.

Reference: FPI_PR

If you have any further questions 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 to 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.”

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 manages 3.800 square meters of 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.

Grant funded by: