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Stem cell modeling genetic defects underlying diabetes - PhD studentship

Stem cell modeling genetic defects underlying diabetes - PhD studentship

The Institute

The Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) is an international biomedical research institute of excellence, based in Barcelona, Spain, with more than 400 scientists from 44 countries. The CRG is composed by an interdisciplinary, motivated and creative scientific team which is supported both by a flexible and efficient administration and by high-end and innovative technologies.

In April 2021, the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) received the renewal of the 'HR Excellence in Research' Award from the European Commission. This is a recognition of the Institute's commitment to developing an HR Strategy for Researchers, designed to bring the practices and procedures in line with the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (Charter and Code).

Please, check out our Recruitment Policy

The role

We offer a 4-year contract for a PhD studentship to develop a project understand how certain genetic variants that alter regulatory genome elements contribute to the mechanisms of human diabetes. The successful applicant will develop human stem cell-based model systems, using genome editing and high throughput mutagenesis approaches, and potentially mouse models.

The work will be performed within a multidisciplinary lab located in the CRG. The successful applicant will join the CRG PhD training program. The selected candidate will develop a core PhD research project, and at the same time will engage in one or more collaborative projects The chosen applicant will join regular data and journal clubs and eventually give seminars within CRG and external forums. The successful candidate will be encouraged and given opportunities to learn and implement computational and statistical approaches to analyze high throughput sequence data.

About the team

The regulatory genomics and diabetes group studies the gene regulatory mechanisms that shape pancreatic beta cell differentiation, and uses this knowledge to understand disease, as well as to discover new therapeutic avenues. It is a multidisciplinary team that combines approaches such as genome engineering in model systems, single cell genomics, computational regulatory genomics and human genetics.  It is funded by an Advanced ERC Grant, a Horizon 2020 Human Cell Atlas Project, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, CIBERDEM,and Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovacion.

Relevant recent work from the lab in this area: Beucher et al, Nat Cell Biol 2022, https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.05.12.443907 ; Miguel Escalada et al, Dev Cell 2022 ; Rovira et al, Genes Dev 2021 Sep 1;35(17-18):1229-1242 ; Akerman et al, Cell Rep. 2021 Apr 13;35(2):108981 ; Miguel Escalada et al, Nat Genet. 2019 Jul;51(7):1137-1148.

Whom would we like to hire?

Professional experience

Must Have

• You have an excellent academic record and are committed to develop a doctorate thesis research project
• You have developed a successful molecular and cell biology postgraduate research project
• Candidates who have alternatively developed a successful bioinformatics or biostatistics postgraduate research project will also be considered for a hybrid (computational/experimental) or computational PhD project in the same area

Desirable but not required/ Nice to have

• You have worked with pluripotent stem cells
• You have experience in single cell genomics
• You have analysed NGS data
• You have publications in relevant area

Education and training

• You hold or will hold a MSc by September 2023


• You are proficient in English


• You have the ability to interact with others, both with colleagues within the group and from other groups inside and outside the CRG
• You have good (academic) writing and presentation skills
• You are creative, motivated, curious and proactive
• You have critical thinking 

The Offer – Working Conditions

• Contract duration: 4-year FPI fellowship linked to the duration of the project, with the possibility of an early start.
• Estimated annual gross salary: Salary is commensurate with qualifications and consistent with our pay scales.
• Target start date: Within 3 months of FPI fellowship approval.

We provide a highly stimulating environment with state-of-the-art infrastructures, and unique professional career development opportunities. To check out our training and development portfolio, please visit our website in the training section.

We offer and promote a diverse and inclusive environment and welcomes applicants regardless of age, disability, gender, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.

The CRG is committed to reconcile a work and family life of its employees and are offering extended vacation period and the possibility to benefit from flexible working hours.

Aplication Procedure

All applications must include:
1. A motivation letter addressed to Dr Jorge Ferrer
2. A complete CV including contact details
3. Contact details of two referees

All applications must be addressed to Dr. Jorge Ferrer and be submitted online on the "Apply" button below.

Selection Process

₋ Pre-selection: The pre-selection process will be based on qualifications and expertise reflected on the candidates CVS. It will be merit-based.

₋ Interview: Preselected candidates will be asked to pass a written test. Those passing the thresholds will be interviewed by Jorge Ferrer and the CRG Graduate Committee in September.

₋ Offer Letter: Once the successful candidate is identified the Human Resources department will send a Job Offer, specifying the start day, salary, working conditions, among other important details.

Deadline: Please submit your application by October 15th 2022.

Suggestions: The CRG believes in ongoing improvement and promotes a culture of feedback. This is one of the reasons we have in place, at your disposal as a candidate, a mechanism to gather your suggestions/complaints concerning your candidate experience in our recruitment processes. Your feedback really matters to us in our aim at creating a positive candidate journey. You can make a difference and help us improve by letting us know your suggestions through the following form.