Marie Curie ANSWER ITN announces 15 PhD student positions in the framework of urban wastewater treatment and reuse

Marie Curie ANSWER ITN announces 15 PhD student positions in the framework of urban wastewater treatment and reuse

Applications are invited for 15 PhD student positions ("Early Stage Researchers" (ESRs)) to be funded by the Marie Sklodowska Curie Innovative Training Network ANSWER - "Antibiotics and mobile resistance elements in wastewater reuse applications: risks and innovative solutions" within the Horizon 2020 Programme of the European Commission. ANSWER is a consortium of high profile universities, research institutions and companies located in Austria, Cyprus, Germany, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain.

Number of PhD positions available: 15

The main objective of ANSWER is to develop well-trained and creative ESRs through innovative PhD projects to unravel the highly complex factors driving antibiotics and antibiotic-resistant bacteria and resistance genes (A&ARB&ARG) propagation in the framework of urban wastewater reuse, in order to assess the relevant environmental and public health risks, able to face current and future challenges and to convert knowledge and ideas into products and services for economic and social benefit. ANSWER aims to substantially contribute to the relevant EU wastewater policies, by providing valuable contributions for guidelines and recommendations for sustainable wastewater reuse. This will be achieved by a combination of innovative hypothesis-based empirical studies encompassing small- to field-scale experiments, novel combination of bioassays for effect monitoring, which will collectively result in the determination of A&ARB&ARG with highest impact in effluent reuse. Novel protocols/systems for their identification will be developed, particularly for wastewater, for soil where irrigation is taking place, groundwater beneath such soils, in crops and in surface water that serve as storage before reuse. Soil amendment strategies will be explored in order to reduce their bioavailability during irrigation. The fate of A&ARB&ARG during activated sludge treatment will be investigated and modelled, while innovative wastewater treatment technologies will be evaluated for their potential to minimise in downstream environments. A scientific base for prioritization and policy development will be developed. This will improve the understanding of how various conditions and processes impact the diversity and spreading of A&ARB&ARG, supporting the implementation of measures to prevent the contamination of the environment and food chain.

For more information about the project objectives and activities please contact Dr. D. Fatta-Kassinos ( For further details regarding specific positions (i.e. deadline for applications submission, specific required expertise, etc.), please contact the responsible scientists indicated in the specific advertisement below. Applications should be submitted directly to the respective hosts.

Eligibility criteria

We are looking for talented, highly motivated and enthusiastic junior scientists, able to plan and prioritise their work in order to meet deadlines, with a preferential background in environmental sciences, chemical engineering, environmental engineering, analytical chemistry, molecular biology, microbial ecology, microbiology and bioinformatics. Previous experience in fields directly related to the specific positions is a plus. Excellent research skills and analytical abilities are required, fluency in English (both spoken and written), proactive communication skills and problem solving as part of a team, strong record keeping, great work ethic and initiatives are essential characteristics.
Applicants need to fully respect three eligibility criteria:

1. Early stage researchers (ESRs): are those who are, at the time of recruitment by the host organisation, in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. This is measured from the date when they obtained the degree which formally entitles them to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited or seconded, irrespective of whether or not a doctorate is or was ever envisaged.
2. Conditions of international mobility of researchers: Researchers are required to undertake transnational mobility (i.e. move from one country to another) when taking up the appointment. At the time of selection by the host organisation, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (e.g. work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment. Compulsory national service and/or short stays, such as holidays are not taken into account.
3. English language: Network fellows (ESRs) must demonstrate that their ability to understand and express themselves in both written and spoken English is sufficiently high for them to derive the full benefit from the network training.

ESRs participating in "ANSWER" ITN will receive a salary, determined by the Marie Curie Actions/FP7 guidelines. The grant is meant to cover monthly living and mobility costs. Women are explicitly encouraged to apply to increase their share in science and research. Physically handicapped persons will be favoured if they are equally qualified.
For more information, please see:

To apply, please provide:
1. a cover letter detailing your suitability for the position in question;
2. a detailed CV;
3. original or certified copies of all tertiary-level academic transcripts and grading schemes;
4. two recommendation letters from Academics;
5. evidence of proficiency in English language;
6. a recent photograph.

*All the above certifications should be applied/translated in English language.
All applications will be evaluated by a committee, consisting of representatives from the host institutions, with equality and based strictly on the candidates’ skills, whereas issues as gender, ethnicity, disability, etc. will be irrelevant to the selection.
All applications should be submitted directly to the responsible scientists of the respective hosts as indicated in the specific advertisement.

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