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Ireland Scholarships

MRes Studentship

MRes Studentship 18 months

“Trade-offs in sexual selection and cognition”

Why do individuals vary in their cognitive abilities? EVOECOCOG, an ERC funded project, takes the disciplines of cognition and evolutionary biology into a natural setting to answer this question. It aims to do this by investigating a variety of proximate causes and population-level consequences of individual cognitive variation using a great tit Parus major population.

This MRes position will explore potential trade-offs between traits involved in pre-copulatory and post-copulatory sexual selection and their relationships with mating success and cognitive ability. The student will perform laboratory analyses of sperm sampled from male great tits in the breeding season to measure sperm quality and viability, and then relate this to mating success by performing paternity analysis using a newly purchased state-of-the-art DNA sequencer. These measures will be compared to measures of signal quality and cognitive ability to detect potential trade-offs among these traits.

The chosen study system, the great tit Parus major, is one of the most widely used in Europe, and consists of 12 subpopulations across deciduous and conifer woodland fragments in Co. Cork, Ireland. A recent state of the art aviary is also available for experimental study at the School of BEES.

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Ireland Scholarships

PhD in Soil Microbiology

Exploring microbial denitrifers and potential for mitigation of N2O emissions in agricultural soils – PhD position


We seek a highly motivated and able candidate to undertake a PhD project in soil microbiology that will address questions around greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural soils. Nitrous oxide (N2 O) is a potent greenhouse gas with global warming potential 310 times that of carbon dioxide. N2 O emissions comprise over one-third of all agricultural emissions and decreases of N2 O emissions are critical emissions reductions required by EU Climate and Energy Package targets. Reductions of emissions, particularly within the context of a rising human population and sectoral expansion, represent a major challenge for agriculture globally. Nitrogen (N) losses from agricultural soils also represent an economic loss to the agricultural sector. Thus, managing N resources in soil is critical for environmental and agronomic sustainability, and underpins efforts to meet global challenges of increasing food production and climate change mitigation.

This PhD is part of a larger project funded by the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, which includes 3 PhD studentships, a postdoctoral researcher and a technician. The overall objectives of this project, entitled MINE (Manipulation and Integration of Nitrogen Emissions) are to divert gaseous N losses from N2 O to N2 and Integrate N2 O emissions on a spatial and temporal scale. Within this it aims to (a) identify and quantify the contribution of different nitrogen transformation pathways on nitrogen budgets in soils, and their resulting impacts on N2 O emissions; (b) identify regulators of each pathway, particularly those regulating co-denitrification and denitrification to N2 and (c) devise strategies, based on those key regulators, to divert N2 O to N2 arising from urine and fertiliser N application. Microorganisms drive the majority of biogeochemical processes in soil and are responsible for much of the gaseous losses. By understanding how these organisms function there is great potential to predict when deleterious environmental N losses are likely to occur and to manage soils in such a way as to reduce losses. This PhD will focus on the occurrence, diversity and activity of microbial denitrifiers in Irish soils, and determine the impact of management, environmental and edaphic factors on microbial production of N2 0. This project will use a mixture of molecular, high throughput sequencing, biochemical and isotopic approaches, and will provide valuable multidisciplinary training and research opportunities in soil microbiology, soil chemistry, environmental science, agronomy and bioinformatics. The student will join a successful research group, and lively graduate training communities, and will also receive training in other aspects of scientific work, e.g. result dissemination, writing for publication and conference presentations.

Check out  15 Early Stage Research (PhD) positions (# of pos: 15)

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Ireland Scholarships

15 Early Stage Research (PhD) positions (# of pos: 15)

Post Specification

Post Title:

15 Early Stage Research (PhD) positions

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action

Innovative Training Networks TRAIN-EV


Post Status:

3-year contracts [fixed-term]

Research Group/Department/School:

Director of Consortium Prof. Lorraine O’Driscoll, School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences

& Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute,

Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin

College Green, Dublin 2, Ireland


Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin

College Green, Dublin 2, Ireland

Reports to:

Prof. Lorraine O’Driscoll

Terms and Conditions:

Salary is fixed based on EU provisions within the ITN TRAIN-EV


Closing Date and Time:

12 Noon on 18th December 2017

applications will be screened continuously until the positions are filled

NOTE: Applicants must have been resident in an EU member state for 3 out of the last 5 years to be eligible for EU fees

Post Summary

TRAIN-EV (Training in Extracellular Vesicles: for benefit in Health and Disease) aims to train the next generation of researchers on extracellular vesicles. Exosomes and microvesicles/ectosomes, collectively termed extracellular vesicles (EV), have attracted much recent interest because of their potential functions, use as disease biomarkers and possible therapeutic exploitation. Due to their enormous relevance, training of a critical mass of excellent researchers in this this relatively new field of research is necessary to, in turn, ensure optimal exploitation of EVs from health and Europe’s economic benefit.

TRAIN-EV will provide a comprehensive education in EV isolation, characterisation and analysis for Early Stage Researchers through individual mentored research training in both academic and industrial institutions, through inter- and intra-sectoral exchanges and secondments and academic workshops.

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The successful candidates are each expected to perform a research project according to the proposed workpackages of TRAIN-EV with the objective of preparing a PhD dissertation.

TRAIN-EV bring together a unique multidisciplinary, inter-sectoral team of 10 research groups, from academic and industry in 9 EU countries, with 4 additional Partner Organisations (3 industry; 1 academic) offering additional secondments, training and networking opportunities. The supervisory and training team have highly relevant and complementary medical/science/engineering/business expertise that will collectively contribute to the training of these 15 ESRs as academic and industry EV leaders for the future.

Standard duties and Responsibilities of the Post

Conduct research as proposed in Innovative Training Networks TRAIN-EV

H2020-MSCA-ITN-722148 and participate in inter-and intra-sectoral secondments for training and transfer of knowledge and technical skills.

Person Specification


Master Degree (with Distinction) or 4-Year First Class or High II (1) Honours Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent in a bio-related subject including biology, immunology, molecular biology, bio-engineering sciences, biotechnology, pharmacy, medicine or chemistry, nanoengineering, or chemical engineering particularly interested in GVS SPA or bioinformatics if applying to Bioinf2Bio Project 11].

– You must also pass the eligibility criteria for ESRs of:

a.) Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs) shall, at the time of recruitment by the host organisation, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree;


b.) Mobility Rule: at the time of recruitment by the host organisation, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the reference date.

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Knowledge & Experience (Essential & Desirable)


– Have some research experience in a bio-related area including biology, biochemistry, immunology, molecular biology, bio-engineering sciences, biotechnology, pharmacy, medicine or chemistry, nanoengineering, or chemical engineering particularly interested in GVS SPA or bioinformatics if applying to Bioinf2Bio Project 11].


– Some knowledge of EVs

Skills & Competencies

– Have good oral and written communication skills in English

– Have good organisational and planning skills

– Are stimulated by challenging scientific and technical problems and have a highly motivated, persistent and result-driven attitude

– Are able to work well both independently and in a team environment, with a sense of responsibility

Application Information

Candidates should submit as a single pdf document to [email protected]

– Cover Letter (1x A4 page) including a statement of reason and motivation for pursing

– Curriculum Vitae, including letters of reference from at least two referees who have been substantially involved in your previous education or employment

– Documentary evidence of current academic qualifications

– Completed Project choice Form (see below) indicating your project choices in order of preference

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Ireland Scholarships

PhD Studentship



This project will involve the design and development of novel 3D self-deployed and self-assembled devices for applications in minimally invasive surgery. The project is a key enabler to replace large incisions by percutaneous needle and natural orifice access to the target organ. This requires the development of intelligent, self-assembling technology, deployed via small ports (e.g., needle or miniature trocar) which self-assemble into a larger device. Magneto-mechanical solutions combining self-assembly (north/south attraction and repulsion) with mechanical mechanisms have shown great potential in this area (see  for additional background). This project seeks to extend prior 2D self-assembly to 3D self-assembly through theoretical and numerical design methods (e.g., magnetic potential energy analysis) followed by hardware design and prototyping. The project will demonstrate delivery and assembly of discrete self-assembled devices which can be magnetically coupled for clinical applications such as anastomotic repair. Finally, the project will seek to develop models for disassembly by investigation of biodegradable scaffolds and compliant elements. The project deliverables will include numerical simulation models, pre-clinical prototypes, and validation in the live pre-clinical model with specific application to magnetic anchoring of laparoscopic instruments and organs using 3D self-assembly for needle deployment.


The Biomedical Design laboratory at University College Cork and Tyndall National Institute is seeking outstanding engineering or physics graduates for a fully-funded 1-year research masters project in electrical engineering, followed by progression to a fully-funded 3-year doctoral position in electrical engineering. Exceptional candidates will be considered for direct entry to the doctoral programme. The successful candidate will be based at UCC/Tyndall National Institute and will report to Dr. Pádraig Cantillon-Murphy ( ). The successful candidate is expected to begin the programme in 2018 and will receive an annual tax-free stipend of €18,000 as well as reimbursement of tuition fees over the course of studies. The project is part of an international collaboration between UCC Tyndall National Institute, IHU Strasbourg and Hadasseh Medical Centre in Jerusalem. The successful candidate should be willing to travel to and spend time with international partner organisations in the development and testing of new technology solutions. UCC ranks in the top 2% of global universities and is consistently ranked top Irish university for electrical engineering across ranking agencies.

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