Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

FUNDED PhD: Dr Marco Monopoli - Nanotechnology

The project seeks to find a highly-motivated student to carry out a study focused on obtaining a complete understanding of the mechanisms of interaction between nanomaterials and living systems essential for nanomedicine, nanotoxicology applications and to evaluate their environmental impact.

Project description

This PhD position is available in the research group of Dr Marco Monopoli. 

The candidate will be developing a novel type of nanomaterial for drug delivery and targeting and will assess their capacity of targeting while being biocompatible. [1,2,3]

The research project is highly multidisciplinary and it is interested in development and assessment of smart nanoparticles for applications in nanomedicine where the student will develop knowledge in physical chemistry, proteomics and cellular biology.

The successful PhD student will be trained in:

  • Nanoparticle synthesis, surface functionalisation and characterisation with several techniques.
  • Biomolecular corona characterisation with a particular focus in the interactome with biomolecules from the surrounding environment and cells.
  1. Monopoli et al., Nat Nanotechnol. 2012 Dec;7(12):779-86.
  2. Wan et al., ACS Nano. 2015 Feb 24;9(2):2157-66.
  3. Monopoli et al. J Am Chem Soc. 2011 Mar 2;133(8):2525-34
  • Department: Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry
  • Funding agency: RCSI StAR Programme
  • Tenure: Three years
  • Salary: €18,000 per year (plus fees) up to a maximum of three years (with a possible extension of six months)


The successful candidate should be able to demonstrate the following: 


  • High honours degree in Chemistry, Biology, Physics or related areas with a classification of 2.1 or above.
  • Strong interest in a research career.
  • Capacity of applying a multidisciplinary approach in research and thinking.
  • Understanding of fundamentals in proteomics, physical chemistry and cellar biology.
  • For candidates who do not speak English as their first language: a high standard of written and spoken English is required. IELTS or equivalent English language test scores (for both written and spoken English) are accepted e.g. TOEFL, Cambridge, etc. An IELTS score of 7.0 is desirable, but scores > 6.5 are acceptable. Applicants who do not hold a valid English certificate at the time of the application, must indicate a clear plan of obtaining the certificate otherwise the application will not be taken into consideration.
  • Applicants must have a basic understanding of physical chemistry, nanoparticle surface functionalisation, proteomics and cellular biology, along with at least a six months experience in a research laboratory. Applicants with a Master in nanotechnology, biochemistry (or equivalent), will be particularly advantaged.

Skills and competencies:

  • Proven ability to communicate complex ideas both verbally and written.
  • Ability to ensure that project plans are communicated and that all timelines are met.
  • Ability to operate effectively as part of a team – is cordial, tolerant and willing to help others, is co-operative and patient; shares work and information; establishes rapport, can influence and develop effective networks.
  • Knowledge of MS Office suite and of searching for peer reviewed publications.
  • Have a proactive approach to work, anticipating and resolving problems in advance; have keen attention to detail – from anticipating and addressing issues in advance to understanding requests and delivering quality work with minimal errors.
  • Can operate flexibly within a busy environment; can shift focus when required.
  • Have strong customer service skills. Be able to communicate with a high level of initiative, tact, diplomacy and confidentiality.
  • Display a ‘can-do’ attitude, be committed to RCSI and its development; demonstrate enthusiasm and passion for science.


Application process

Please apply here with the following:

  • Updated curriculum vitae inclusive of contact details of previous supervisors(max three pages).
  • Statement of interest and motivation in doing the PhD in this research field along with the description of your research skills, experience and publications(max three page).
  • Desirable: One page about the research project you would like to carry out if successful.
  • Desirable:Recommendation letter(s)from previous supervisors.
  • Application deadline: Friday, 29 September 2017 at 5pm.
  • Start date: 1 November 2017

Informal enquiries can be directed to Dr Marco Monopoli on

Mentors Dr Marco Monopoli