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

PhD: Dr Marco Monopoli - NanoCarb - Glyco-Nanoparticles for Applications in Advanced Nanomedicine

European Training Network Positions in H2020 ITN NanoCarb

Project description

A call for 15 PhD positions (Early Stage Researchers [ESRs]) is open in the recently granted Marie Curie European Training Network (MC-ETN) project NanoCarb - Glyco-Nanoparticles for Applications in Advanced Nanomedicine. NanoCarb is a multidisciplinary consortium including universities, research centres and SMEs with broad expertise ranging from Nanotechnology, Carbohydrate Chemistry. Glycobiology and in vitro/in vivo screening specialists. The network will develop novel and well-characterised nanomaterials with synthetic and native glycans that will be used for therapeutics and guide development of new drug delivery applications. The project will train early stage researchers at the interface of nanotechnology and glycosciences, with the overall goal of achieving a new generation of professionals in nanomedicine for a prospective career in both academia and industry. For further information on the project please go to

The successful candidates will benefit from an international scientific network of high-profile academic and industry partners offering state-of-the-art research facilities in nanotechnology, carbohydrate chemistry, glycoprofiling and in vitro/in vivo screening as well as career relevant training through research, courses, outreach activities, participation in seminar, and workshops. An ambitious training plan will be implemented including courses, outreach activities, participation in seminars and workshops for the development of scientific and transferable skills. Each ESR will be supervised by an Industry-Academia supervisory team consisting of at least one supervisor from each sector. ESRs will receive an attractive salary in accordance with the MSCA regulations for Early Stage Researchers 


Two PhD positions are available in the research group of Dr. Marco Monopoli. The project seeks to find a highly motivated student to carry out a study focused in obtaining a complete understanding of the mechanisms of interaction between nanomaterials and living systems essential for applications in nanomedicine. The candidate will develop a novel type of nanomaterial for drug delivery and targeting and will assess their capacity of targeting while being biocompatible. A particular focus will be placed on the nanomaterial surface functionalization with biocompatible biopolymers, such as carbohydrates and on the cellular uptake and in vitro toxicity.[1,2,3]

The research project is highly multidisciplinary where the scholar will develop knowledge in physical chemistry, proteomics and cellular biology by developing and assessing smart nanoparticles for applications in nanomedicine. During the PhD programme, the candidate will carry out a secondment with an industry and academic partner. 

[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


  • Research theme: Nanotechnology, Glycobiology, Carbohydrate Chemistry
  • Keyword: Glycosylation, proteomics, nanomedicine


  • The ideal applicant will have a 1st Class Honours Bachelor's degree or Master Degree in Chemistry, Biology, Physics or related areas with a classification of 2.1 or above.
  • Specific skills that would enhance a candidate's application include experience in some of the following areas: materials science, nanoparticle synthesis, proteomics, nanoparticle cellular uptake and in vitro toxicity. Excellent written and oral communication skills are also desired. 
  • For candidates who do not speak English as their first language, IELTS or equivalent English language test scores of at least 6.5 is required. Applicants, who do not hold a valid English certificate at the time of the application, must indicate a clear plan with dates of how they seek to obtain the certificate.

Specific Eligibility Criteria valid at time of recruitment on the H2020 Marie Sklodowska Curie programme

  • The applicants should be within the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.
  • Mobility rule: The applicants should not have resided or carried out main activity (studies, work, etc.) in Ireland for more than 12 months in the 3 years prior to the recruitment date.


Application Process

Applicants must apply here with the following documents. Applications sent by email will not be reviewed.

Up-to-date Curriculum vitae inclusive of contact details of previous supervisors (max. 3 pages).

Cover letter stating your motivation and suitability for the position (max. 1 page).

Names and contact details of three referees. 


The closing date for receipt of applications is 5.00 pm on Friday 2nd November 2018. All applications will be handled confidential. By submitting an application applicants consent to their application being shared with the other principle investigators of the NanoCarb consortium for the sole purpose of the candidate recruitment. Only short-listed applications will be acknowledged.


  • Application deadline: Friday, 2 Nov 2017.
  • Department: Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry
  • Tenure: Three year PhD
  • Reporting to: Dr Marco Monopoli
  • Start date: January 2019