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10 PhD student positions in EU Horizon 2020

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)

Innovative Training Networks (ITN)

Novel vaccine vectors to resist pathogen challenge – VacPath

Applications are invited for 10 PhD student / Early Stage Researcher (ESR) positions on a Horizon 2020 MSCA-funded Innovative Training Network, VacPath. VacPath aims to develop novel vector-based vaccines eliciting mucosal immunity against the intracellular bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. The network joins five academic European research groups and two SMEs within The Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark and Italy. PhD students will be appointed at one of these locations and receive additional training through courses and secondments at network partners.

Project description

In this project, you will be educated in the diverse aspects of vaccine development, from fundamental research to valorization of results. You will design and construct innovative and safe virus-, bacterium-, or plasmid-based vector vaccines inducing both cellular and humoral immunity, evaluate their immunogenicity and unravel the mechanisms underlying their functioning to further optimize vaccine design.

Your responsibilities will include the design and execution of experiments based on leads from a previous project, communication with network partners, data analysis, and manuscript preparation. You will have the opportunity to work in different European laboratories and get a taste of different research cultures.


We are looking for highly motivated ESR holding a Master’s degree in the Life Sciences, with an interest in fundamental research, and the drive to pursue a multi-disciplinary project. Excellent organisational and communicative skills and the ability to work as part of an (inter)national team are an asset.


  • Masters degree in Cell Biology, Microbiology, Virology Biochemistry, Immunology or Pharmaceutical Sciences;
  • Expertise in molecular biological, biochemical, pharmaceutical formulation and/or immunological techniques;
  • Excellent English oral, written and presentation skills;
  • Ability to think critically and creatively.

In addition, ESR are obliged to adhere to the MSCA ITN-mobility rules associated with ITN, requiring not to have lived for over 12 months, within the last three years, within the country of the hosting institution. ESR further must be in the first four years of their research career and not yet have a doctoral degree.

Network partners

  • Dr. A. Sijts, Utrecht University, The Netherlands (link)
  • Prof. Dr. D. Pinschewer, University of Basel, Switzerland (link)
  • Prof. Dr. I. Drexler, University of Duesseldorf, Germany (link)
  • Dr. F. Follmann, Statens Serum Institute, Denmark (link)
  • Prof. Dr. G Pozzi, University of Siena, Italy
  • Dr. A. Gerlini, Microbiotech srl, Siena, Italy
  • Dr. J. Luirink, Abera Bioscience, The Netherlands (link)

Our offer

We offer 36 – 48 months ESR positions (1.0 FTE) with an attractive salary including a living, mobility and family allowance, according to the MSCA regulations for ESR. Benefits include a pension scheme, (partly paid) parental leave, and collective insurance schemes.

For further information, please contact A. Sijts (email)

How to apply

Fill the form and send it with your CV and motivation letter to email

Application deadline 3rd of February 2019.

In case your application will be selected we will contact you to organize a Skype interview.



Application form