PhD position in the Rizzello/Battaglia Research Group

Introduction to the vacant position:


The group led by Loris Rizzello and Giuseppe Battaglia at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) is looking for a Predoctoral researcher to investigate the pathophysiology of Tuberculosis in order to decipher the host-pathogens interactions during the infectious process.


The successful PhD candidate will be employed at the IBEC in Barcelona under Spanish law. The PhD student is expected to carry out his/her multidisciplinary research project through the combination of experimental work, theoretical and computational efforts. We seek self-motivated and ambitious candidates keen to work at the interface between Biology, (bio)Physics, Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science.


The general aim of the project is to study and characterize the mechanical cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions within biological tissues that undergo morphogenetic processes associated with tuberculosis pathophysiology. The PhD student will generate new computational algorithms and combine advanced computational modelling with results proceeding from advanced image-analysis methods and experimental techniques for cellular force inference. Concurrently with the mechanobiology study of the tuberculosis infectious disease, super-selective polymeric nanoparticles will be engineered with the aim of identifying the specific membrane proteins that cells express upon infection. The trafficking vesicles will carry ligands to recognize, bind, and selectively attack infected cells only, while leaving non infected cells completely untouched.




Main tasks and responsibilities / The successful candidate will develop research involving:


  • Theoretical and computational analysis applied to cellular force inference
  • Synthetic and cell biological methodology to reconstruct/purify polymeric nanoparticles
  • Drugs encapsulation and delivery
  • Imaging analyses



Requirements for candidates:



  • Degree and Master on any field on Physical Sciences or Engineering (including Biophysics, Natural Sciences (with Physics), Material Science and Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Biochemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Physical Engineering or Bioengineering.
  • Programming skills (e.g. Matlab, ImageJ, Python or similar).
  • Multidisciplinary qualifications (biological physics, soft matter physics, physical biology, pathophysiology, cell culture skills)
  • Competencies and skills: Communication, Teamwork, Proactivity, Commitment, Collegiality, Integrity, Critical and Analytical thinking
  • High proficiency in written and spoken English


Candidates must have obtained a university master’s degree by the time of their incorporation/appointment into the doctoral program 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.


We Offer:

  • Number of available positions: 1
  • Starting date: January 2021
  • 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:

Until January 31th

an online application form is available through IBEC dedicated site: 


Only those applications submitted before the deadline will be evaluated.

 Reference: PhD_LR


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.”

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 350 people from 30 different countries.