INITIATE (lnnate-lmmunometablism as Antiviral Target) is an international Innovative Training Network funded by the European Commission with the goal to train a new generation of young researchers in the emerging field of antiviral immunometabolism, coordinated by the department of Viroscience of Erasmus Medical Centre, Dr. B.G. van den Hoogen. Viral outbreaks and epidemics continue to impose high mortality and morbidity burdens on mankind and animals, thus emphasizing the urgent need for improvement and innovation in the development of new antiviral strategies. While it is clear that viral replication, metabolic pathways and host immune responses are tightly interconnected, the molecular pathways and impact on viral pathogenesis are not well-defined and will be the focus of lNlTlATE. A detailed understanding of the role of metabolic regulation of the host innate immune response with regard to antiviral response and inflammation, together with knowledge of the strategies used by viruses to exploit these pathways, will fundamentally change clinical intervention in the treatment of pathogenic viral diseases. INITIATE brings together world leaders in virology, inflammation, innate immunity and immunometabolism to educate a new generation of research scientists with interdisciplinary expertise in virology, immunology and immunometabolism. INITIATE includes partners from 7 academic institutes and 3 industrial partners from 7 countries. The consortium will host L5 PhD students - Early Stage Researchers (ESRs), each performing an individual research project at one of the partners.
ESRs will be part of a vibrant and stimulating international and inter-sectorial collaboration. The INITIATE training programme will equip its ESRs with appropriate scientific and transferable skills, through related and interdependent research projects, interdisciplinary and intersectoral secondments, and network-wide training activities. Scientific training will be supplemented with workshops devoted to academia/industry collaboration, dissemination and public engagement, as well as the maintenance of a successful research environment. ESRs will meet other ESRs involved in the program during the network meetings, secondments and international meetings.
The Department of Viroscience of Erasmus MC runs an extensive experimental research program on the epidemiology, pathogenesis, prevention and treatment of infections by human and animal viruses. The research groups of Prof. R. Fouchier and Dr. B. van den Hoogen are focused on the molecular biology and evolution of (respiratory) viruses in humans and animals. Within the group of Prof. Fouchier, studies on viral zoonoses and virus transmission are performed to understand viral pathogenesis and the emergence of pandemic strains, with the aim to improve preparedness. Additional research on adaptive and innate immune responses and influenza virus antigenic drift is conducted with the aim to improve vaccination strategies. Within the group of Dr. van den Hoogen, studies on the interaction of human metapneumovirus and respiratory syncytial virus with the immune system are conducted with the aim to design novel antiviral therapies. These basic research lines are continuously supported by the development of novel assays in molecular biology, virology, genetics, and bioinformatics.
Qualifications and skills
We are looking for 15 talented and highly motivated early career researchers educated in biology, infection & immunity, biochemistry or related subjects and experience in cellular biology, (bio)chemistry, immunology and/or virology. We expect dedication and enthusiasm for experimental research, combined with scientific curiosity and the capacity to teamwork in an interdisciplinary environment. Positions are open from August 1st 2019, until the positions are filled (at the latest January 1st 2020) and ESRs will be based in the Netherlands, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Austria, France or Italy.
Candidates must have not been awarded a doctoral degree. Candidates must have excellent proficiency in written and spoken English (at least level B2) and fulfil the specific University recruitment criteria of each position. Candidates can be of any nationality but need to demonstrate mobility in terms of moving from one country to another when taking up their appointment. Importantly, candidates must not have resided or carried out their activities - work, studies, etc.- in the country of their host organization for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before August 1st 2019.
The INITIATE training programme will comply with the EU Charter and Code of Conduct for Recruitment, ensuring no discrimination on the basis of gender, age, ethnic, national or social origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, language, disability, political opinion, social or economic condition and an open, transparent, supportive and internationally comparable recruitment procedure.
Being able to present a certificate of good conduct, a valid proof of identity, diploma's and/ or relevant registration such as BIG/ RGS are conditions for the appointment.
Terms of employment
The successful candidates will be employees of the beneficiary's institutions, with a contract period of 36 or 48 months, depending on the length of the PhD program at the hosting institute. The position is funded by a Marie Curie Initial Training Network initiative. The successful candidates will receive an attractive salary in accordance with the Marie Skfodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) regulations for early stage researchers. The exact salary will be confirmed upon appointment and is dependent on the country correction coefficients (to allow for the difference in cost of living in different EU Member States) as well as applicable regulations. Basic gross rates include a living allowance subject to taxes, social security, employee and employer pension contributions), a mobility allowance and a family allowance. Envisaged job starting date: between August 1st 2019 and January 1st 2O2O. You will receive a temporary position for 4 years.
Information and application
You can apply for a maximum of five positions. For each position, you must submit an application to the project coordinator via this link according to the procedures described in each project description.
Please do NOT use the application form on the website of Erasmus MC.
No agencies please.