RATION – Risk Assessment Innovation of Low-Risk Pesticides
Postdoc position in environmental microbiology and risk assessment
University of Thessaly is offering a Postdoc position in environmental microbiology and risk assessment with expected commencement November 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter. The position is offered in the frame of the project RATION, a Horizon Europe project. RATION is a 4-year project started at 1.11.2022 and involves 22 partners.
Brief Project Description
Low risk pesticides (LRP) including (i) plant extracts (ii) semiochemicals like pheromones and allelochemicals, (iii) microbial pesticides, are gaining ground in the global market, as substitutes of synthetic pesticides. In addition, new microbial solutions (phages, protists, microbial consortia) and ds-RNA pesticides are emerging, low-risk solutions expect to reach the market in coming years. Despite ongoing regulatory efforts by the European Commission, we are still lacking a concrete risk assessment (RA) scheme relevant to LRPs, a point which blocks LRPs reaching the EU market. RATION timely comes to address these regulatory constraints and aims to develop a novel RA scheme, supported by the necessary guidance on methods and tools, tailored to the specific characteristics of established and emerging LRP solutions. This main goal will be achieved through a series of interrelated WPs aiming (i) to map the current status of LRPs in Europe and identify main regulatory constraints (WP1). In this quest it will be supported by a stakeholders forum composed of all relevant actors (industry, regulators, academics, famers, general public); (ii) to develop and validate, through a proof-of-concept exercise, innovative RA (and associated tools) for microbials (WP2), plant extracts, semiochemicals, pheromones (WP3) and, ds-RNA (WP4); and from there (iii) build a harmonized RA for all LRP and determine its socioeconomic impact (WP5), (iv) to effectively communicate and disseminate the new RA knowledge and its associated tools developed by RATION to relevant actors ensuring sustainability beyond project duration (WP6). RATION will benchmark EU regulatory science, uplift blockers holding back LRP uptake by the EU market and motivate research innovation in plant protection. To achieve these goals 22 partners from academia, industry and regulatory bodies, representing 10 member states and 2 non-EU member states, will join forces in a multi-sectoral and multidisciplinary effort.
Principal Investigator: Prof. Dimitrios Karpouzas, firstname.lastname@example.org, +30-2410565294
The position is available for 24 months with a possible extension of 12 months.
The main working tasks of the successful candidate will be:
• To be able to summarize literature, acquire data using digital tools and perform meta-analysis of the data
• To be able to use appropriate bioinformatic tools genomic analysis of bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms destined to be used as microbial pesticides
• To be able to undertake studies to determine the effects of biopesticides on the soil biota with particular reference on the soil microbiota
• To have good knowledge of soil science and soil ecotoxicology
• To be able to collaborate with other researchers, understand biological scientific questions and provide analytical solutions to complex datasets
• To work closely with the PI, other researchers working on RATION
• To be able to right reports and scientific documents
Key criteria for the assessment of candidates
● First Degree in Environmental Sciences
● MSc in Environmental Sciences or Environmental Microbiology
● PhD in Environmental Sciences or Environmental Microbiology
● Experience in molecular tools used in microbial ecology (e.g. q-PCR, amplicon sequencing)
● Experience in bioinformatics and ecological statistics
● Previous experiences with meta-analysis of literature data would be a merit
Terms of employment
Recruitment and Terms of appointment will be done according to the national rules and regulations. The position will be part-time and the stipend of the fellow will be 1500 € paid through a fixed term fellowship (1500 € net/monthly).
Place of Employment
University of Thessaly, Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Laboratory of Plant and Environmental Biotechnology, Larissa, GREECE, Website: https://plantenvlab.bio.uth.gr
The application, must be submitted by mail to email@example.com
● Full CV including studies, research experience, work experience and publications
● 2 professional referees (Name, address, telephone & email)
The University of Thessaly wish our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of age, gender, race, religion or ethnic background.
The deadline for applications is 3.11.2023. Applications received later than this date will not be considered.
Recruitment Process: After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the project manager will provide all applications to the members of the recruitment committee which will evaluate all applications and select the best three candidates based on the quality of the candidates’ previous training, qualifications and skills (as listed above), CV. The best three candidates will be interviewed by the recruitment committee which will select the best applicant for the position. The applicants will be notified of the final selection by the Project Manager and will be given 7 days to accept or decline.
For specific information about the position, please contact Prof. Dimitrios Karpouzas (firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. +3024105652904)