Application deadline: March 1, 2018

Applications are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship in RNA nanotechnology at Aarhus University, Denmark. The project will be conducted in the research group of Associate Professor Ebbe S. Andersen at the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO) and Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics. The position is available from August 1, 2018.

Research area and project description:

The RNA nanotechnology research field aims at rationally designing RNA-based devices for applications in for example medicine and synthetic biology. The benefit of RNA-based nanostructures is that they can be designed to fold during synthesis and thus be produced and function in cells. In this PhD project, we will develop RNA-based nanorobotic devices that can be produced in cells to sense, compute and act depending on intracellular signals. We will attempt to interface the RNA nanorobotics devices with cellular signaling pathways and to communicate the cellular state to DNA-based robotic devices outside the cell through DNA-based nanopores. During the PhD project, research visits are planned to Technische Universität München (TUM), Autodesk Research (in San Francisco) and University of Oxford to collaborate on developing crucial elements of the project.

The position is for 3 years and is funded by the PhD school DNA-Robotics, a recently established Innovative Training Network (ITN) under the European Commission’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions research fellowship programme. DNA-Robotics will foster the development of a new generation of scientists with the skills required to meet futures challenges in bionanotechnology, from fundamental science to novel applications. The PhD study involve 3 months of secondments in total at one or more of the other partner universities in the network.

 Qualifications and specific competences:

The successful candidate should have completed a master’s degree (or equivalent) in molecular biology or related disciplines no later than August 1, 2018. The candidate should have laboratory experience within experimental molecular biology. Furthermore, the candidate should be interested in and qualified to use software tools for advanced structure design and for making illustrations by 3D rendering.

To qualify for funding under the rules of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie action, candidates must: i) not have lived in Denmark for more than 12 months in the last 3 years ii) not already possess a PhD degree and iii) be in the first four years of their research career, since, for example, completion of a masters’ degree.

Application procedure and deadlines:

The application procedure contains two steps:

  1. First applicants must send an application containing: a motivation letter, a CV (including date of birth, nationality and a photo), two letters of recommendation, certificates, and transcripts of grades to: esa@inano.au.dk. The deadline for the initial application is March 1, 2018.
  2. Secondly, selected candidates will be invited for a 1-2 week visit to the research group of Associate Professor Ebbe S. Andersen at Aarhus University in March/April 2018. The selected candidate, for which funding is secured, will then apply to the Graduate School of Science and Technology, Aarhus University at May 1, 2018 for enrolment on August 1, 2018.

For further information please contact Associate Professor Ebbe S. Andersen by email (esa@inano.au.dk) writing “Position ITN 3” in the subject line, and/or visit the homepage of the research group www.andersen-lab.dk, and the DNA-Robotics network www.DNA-robotics.eu.