The Institute of Marine Research (IIM-CSIC) offers 4 Research Topics to apply with us for research technician contracts within the Financial Aid programme Personal Técnico de Apoyo (PTA) 2020 from the Spanish Research Agency (AEI).

These are three-year contracts for graduates, engineers, technical engineers or technicians from the professional training of the educational system,  to support the management of equipment, facilities and other R&D&i infrastructures for increasing and improving the performance of scientific-technological centres.  

The IIM-CSIC is a very competitive host institution, one of the top marine research institutions in Spain, part of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), the main research organisation in Spain, third in Europe & seventh worldwide.

The Institute offers a lively research environment to foster and consolidate researchers careers, widening their collaborative networks & increasing their impact on society. Counting more than 200 employees (56% women), 139 published research articles and 85 projects in 2019, and with its own transversal support services of Internacionalization and Public Engagement.

Four research topics to boost your career

The IIM-CSIC, as a marine research institution devoted to developing knowledge for sustainable development, performs a multidisciplinary research responding to global challenges and to local concerns and enabling an integral and global understanding of marine ecosystems.

Regarding the PTA 2020 Call , the following potential supervisors have shown their interest in the programme and are currently looking for an interested candidate to apply with them within one of the following topics.

We advise you to contact the potential supervisor as soon as possible, allowing plenty of time to properly prepare the application to the Spanish Research Agency by the final deadline.

Supervisors: Francisco Figueiras 📩 paco@iim.csic.es  

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Microbial plankton is a group of morphologically and functionally diverse organisms found at the base of pelagic food chains. The structure of microbial plankton communities, which varies in response to oceanographic conditions, directly affects the processes of biological production and carbon sequestration by the oceans. Thus, the study of the composition of these communities by identifying, counting and estimating the biomass of the different organisms is essential for biological oceanography.

Although the application of molecular techniques brought a great advance to the identification of microbial plankton, identification and counting of microbial plankton by light microscopy are still necessary. These counts are essential not only to calibrate the results offered by the different molecular approaches; they are also required to detect the failures that frequently occur in the identifications provided by molecular techniques.

The candidate will be in charge of the microbial plankton analysis service of the IIM, which includes the identification and counting by inverted microscopy of phytoplankton and other micro-planktonic organisms. She/He will also perform the analysis of pico- and nanoplankton by epifluorescence microscopy. In addition to these activities, the candidate must also implement the use of molecular techniques applied to microbial plankton, these being especially important for the study of smaller organisms, where the referred microscopic analysis methods do not provide the information necessary for the identification of species. Within these molecular techniques, the candidate will develop nucleic acid extraction, amplification techniques (PCR) and sample preparation for massive sequencing in the laboratory. She/He will also be responsible for the subsequent bioinformatic analysis of the results.

The specificity of the microbial plankton identification task and the long training required to carry out adequate work with reliable results requires a highly specialized person in this subject who, additionally, should have the ability to implement new techniques in the service.

Requirements: Marine Sciences, Biology or Environmental Sciences degree. Experience in counting and identifying species of microbial plankton by microscopy and fluent English are particularly appreciated.

Supervisor:  Fran Saborido Rey 📩 fran@iim.csic.es | Laura Casas 📩 lauracasas@iim.csic.es

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The Life History Service (LHS) from the IIM-CSIC gathers the equipment and expertise to analyse life history parameters in marine organisms. It has been key for the development of over 40 research projects (regional, national and European), providing scientific and technical service to researchers from the IIM but also to other public and private administrations and institutions. The service is organized along 7 areas: (1) Histology (2) Reproductive parameters (3) Sclerochronology (4) Image analysis (5) Multi-focused image generation (6) Acoustic telemetry and (7) Molecular ecology. 

The LHS service seeks to strengthen now its resources with a new line of research that requires incorporating a highly qualified research technician to perform genomic, bioinformatics and statistical analysis in the area of population genomics and conservation. The work will involve as well the use of different laboratory HTS techniques, including RADseq (Restriction Associated DNA sequencing) and genome-wide transcriptomics (RNAseq).

The emergence of Ecological Genomics is relatively new and has become a rapidly growing field that addresses scientific questions that were previously extremely difficult to study. It seeks to understand genomic responses to environmental variation and in turn how genomic variation shapes the responses of organisms to their environment. Ecological Genomics draws on concepts and techniques spanning environmental sciences, evolutionary biology, ecology, population genetics and molecular biology, among others.

The interdisciplinary nature of Ecological Genomics, requires a diverse expertise that is not available in many research groups from Research Institutes and Universities. Thus, the job offered holds a promising future for the person selected, with good expectations of renewal after the initial three-year period, either at the LHS service or as a member of other general services within the IIM-CSIC or other CSIC Institutes. The job will allow the selected person to apply his/her knowledge and skills to a wide variety of marine organisms and address a broad range of scientific questions within the Ecological Genomics field, receiving training to expand his/her expertise.

The person selected will work directly in the multidisciplinary lines of research developed in the IIM-CSIC, in coordination with the Head of the service, an expert in molecular and bioinformatics analysis. He/she will also participate in different projects and will be part of the corresponding scientific publications obtaining recognition for the activities carried out within the service and boosting his/her CV. Besides, since the LHS service provides scientific and technical service to other institutions, the person selected will have the opportunity to expand his/her network of collaborators, facilitating future scientific contributions and even the access to potential job offers within the Ecological Genomics area, an emerging field full of potential.

Requirements: We are seeking an enthusiastic, self-motivated candidate holding a degree in biology, biochemistry, marine sciences or molecular biology, preferably with ability in bioinformatics programming and/or analysis. Preference will be given to candidates holding a PhD in ecology or genomics although it is not mandatory. Experience in analysing high-throughput sequencing data is desirable. Experience in statistical data analysis and R will be considered an advantage.

Supervisors: Isabel Medina 📩 medina@iim.csic.es | Lucia Méndez 📩 luciamendez@iim.csic.es

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The scientific instrumentation and quality service of IIM-CSIC performs analytical determinations using chromatographic techniques with different detection systems.

A new specific service on the detection of biomarkers and metabolites for identification of food origin and quality wants to be implemented.

The selected candidate will be trained in chromatography and mass spectrometry techniques for the analysis of food quality and safety. The training programme will include functioning and maintenance of the analytical equipment, as well as theoretical aspects related to metabolites used as biomarkers for safety and food quality monitoring. In addition, the candidate will participate in the optimization of new molecular analysis procedures with focus on marine origin food products.

The specific training plan will include 3 phases:

  1. Initial training:
    1. Theoretical fundaments of the analytical equipment.
    2. Theoretical basis of the use of different metabolites as biomarkers for safety and quality control of marine origin food products.
    3. Hands-on training of the analytical instruments.
    4. Maintenance of the analytical instruments.
    5. Attendance to 2 specific training courses on chromatography and mass spectroscopy.
  2. Progressive integration in the service:
    1. Handling of the mass spectroscopy equipment of IIM
    2. Optimization of new molecular analysis procedures.
    3. Attendance to at least 3 conferences or seminars related to the research fields associated to the samples analyzed for the service.
  3. Senior collaborations:
    1. Preparation of protocols for new analyses in fish products
    2. Regular equipment maintenance
    3. Continuous improvement of the analytical service
    4. Teaching activities for new users

Requirements:  We are looking for a candidate with a Chemistry degree, preferentially with instrumental analytics specialty.


How to apply?

Check the research topic summaries above and contact the potential supervisor(s) with your CV to start the application process by Friday, 22nd January 2021.

Beware that, once the candidate has contacted their potential supervisor and if selected, they will have to discuss, write & submit a final application together to the Spanish Research Agency. Therefore, we advise you to contact your potential supervisor as soon as possible.