PhD position in the Molecular Bionics Research Group

Introduction to the vacant position:

The Molecular Bionics Group is looking for self-motivated and ambitious candidates who have (or will have by Sept 2020) a Master level (or equivalent) degree. While the project will be mostly experimental, we seek to complement our work with both theoretical and computational efforts. Within our group we actively encourage students to look beyond the boundaries of their chosen discipline, as well as sharing and broadening knowledge across disciplines through societies and competitions. We seek candidates keen to work at the interface between physics and cell biology with a strong interest in out-of-equilibrium physics and active matter.

The general aim of the project is to study and characterise biological trafficking vesicles to identify and characterise potential active phoretic transport.   We will combine de novo synthetic biology with cell and molecular biology and out-of-equilibrium physics including active matter principles to assess the minimal components required for controlling processes such as chemotaxis, self-diffusophoresis and osmophoresis.
We are looking for
Main tasks and responsibilities / The successful candidate will develop research involving:

  •  Advanced imaging techniques to track nanoparticles
  • Synthetic and cell biological methodology to reconstruct/purify natural vesicles
  • Theoretical and computational analysis applied to phoretic transport

Requirements for candidates:

  • Degree and Master on any field on Physical Sciences or Engineering (including Physics, Biophysics, Chemical Physics/Physical Chemistry, Natural Sciences (with Physics), Material Science and Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Biochemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Physical Engineering or Bioengineering,
  • Multidisciplinary qualifications (biological physics, soft matter physics, physical biology, transport phenomena, fluid dynamics etc.).
  • Competencies and skills: Communication, Teamwork, Proactivity, Commitment, Collegiality, Integrity, Critical and Analytical thinking
  • High level of English


  • Previous experience in complex fluids, fluid dynamics, vesicles, cell culture, active colloids, and optics is desirable but not essential as training will be provided.
  • Familiarity with scientific computing for instrument control, data analysis and modelling, e.g. R, Python, Matlab, LabVIEW, COMSOL.

 We Offer:

  • Number of available positions: 1
  • Starting date: 1st October 2020
  • Working conditions:
    • Full/Part time 3-year contract. Very competitive salary/ Salary will be commensurate with academic level and experience.
    • Measures to reconcile work and family life (maternity and paternity leave, flexible schedule working hours, teleworking, 23 working days of paid holidays, 9 leave days for personal matters, among others).
    • 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. Mobility grants for first stage researchers, as well as a Mentoring programme for Postdoctoral researchers are offered.
  • Stimulating, interdisciplinary research and 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:
Interested applicants should send their CV, cover letter and the contact of two referees to: before 15/08/2020 (Reference: PR-GB).

Protection of personal data: 
IBEC ensures that applicants’ personal data are processed as required by EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Spanish Law 3/2018 on Data Protection.
Personal data shall thus be processed solely for the purpose of the selection procedure. 
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 Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (in charge of research and innovation policy in Spain), 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, 21 research groups and a team of researchers and support services of 300 people from 30 different countries.