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Marie Skłodowska-Curie Early Stage Researcher

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    University of Dundee
    Biological sciencesBiology
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    03/01/2020 23:00 - Europe/London
    United Kingdom › Dundee
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

PhD position in the Innovative Training Network UBIMOTIF (ESR8):

Discovery and characterization of substrate recognition motifs of Deubiquitinases

Within the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 860517, the Kulathu lab at the MRC Protein Phosphorylation & Ubiquitylation Unit, University of Dundee is offering a 4 year PhD position for an Early Stage Researcher (ESR).

The UBIMOTIF consortium includes 13 research groups and 6 partners from 10 European countries and is a joint training and research program with focus on identification, characterization and exploitation of short linear motifs in the ubiquitin system. Visit www.ubimotif.ku.dk for more information.

About the host institution and group:

Research in the Kulathu lab is focussed on discovering the fundamental principles of how cellular homeostasis is maintained by the ubiquitin system. In our research we use a multidisciplinary approach to gain mechanistic and functional insights into ubiquitin signalling mechanisms in health and disease.

About the project / job description:

ESR8. Deubiquitinases control the ubiquitylation status of proteins in a cell and have important functions in modulating the outcome of ubiquitylation. For the majority of the DUBs, we have a poor understanding of how they are targeted to their substrates. The objective of this work will be to discover and characterize short linear interaction motifs (SLiMs) that function as substrate recognition motifs in DUBs. To identify substrate motifs, you will employ proteomic peptide phage display (ProP-PD) technology, following which you will apply a combination of biochemical, cell and structural biology approaches to further characterize the specificity determinants of DUB-substrate interactions.

Description of the network:

The ubiquitin system is a major promising source for novel therapeutic approaches, but its potential has not been fully exploited due to our limited understanding of ways to target the ubiquitin system. Ubiquitin ligases and deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) are enzymes that actively add or remove ubiquitin from proteins to regulate cell physiology. How these enzymes selectively recognize their substrates is largely unknown, but an emerging theme is that a globular domain in the enzyme binds a SLiM in the substrate. UBIMOTIF is a training programme for Early-Stage Researchers that will exploit novel technological advances to identify, characterize and exploit SLiMs on substrates that mediate interactions with ubiquitin ligases and DUBs. The UBIMOTIF network will integrate expertise between academic researchers and industrial partners with a common vision to provide outstanding training of early career scientists in SLiMs and the ubiquitin system. With 15 individual projects, the consortium will (i) identify SLiMs and interactors for ubiquitin ligases and DUBs; (ii) determine specificity determinants of SLiMs and exploit this knowledge for therapueutic intervention; (iii) understand how fundamental biological processes are regulated by ubiquitin ligases and DUBs through SLiM-mediated interactions. This research requires a multidisciplinary approach and recruited students will receive training in multiple cutting-edge technologies. Within this unique international network, you will have opportunities for secondments, collaborations and receive world class training in biomedical research.


We offer:

• The opportunity to conduct cutting-edge research and access to a network of leading researchers in the field

• Secondment periods at other network partners’ labs

• Participation in research-specific, complementary and soft skills training that involve both the academic and industry sectors, network-wide training activities, schools and conferences

• Appointment for a total period of 48 months (36 months ESR + 12 months)

• Competitive salary, which is adjusted for their host country.

• Mobility allowance and a family allowance (where applicable) as part of the employment package.

Salary information:

Living Allowance: EUR 54,857.52 per year

Mobility Allowance: EUR 7,200 per year

Family Allowance (if eligible): EUR 6,000 per year

The exact salary will be calculated in GBPs and will contemplate living, mobility and family (if eligible) allowances.

The project will last 36 months. For the 4th year of PhD research, stipend and resources (in line with host institute guidelines) will be covered by the host group.

Deadline for applications is 3 January 2020.

Eligibility criteria

All applications must include:

• CV

• Cover letter that describes the applicants’ motivation to apply (max. 1 page) and the indication of the countries of residence during the last 3 years

• Details of 3 referees

• A digital copy of the degree certificate and official academic transcripts of Bsc and Msc studies (Master diploma/certificate or equivalent qualification giving access to the Doctoral Programme + Transcript of Records including examinations and scores obtained. If the documents are issued in a language other than English, a translation must be included, along with the original document)

• A documentation of English language qualifications

• Eligibility Declaration Form

Please attach this information as a single pdf file to your online application. Equal consideration will be given to female and male applicants.

Additional comments

We are one of the UK’s leading universities – internationally recognised for our expertise across a range of disciplines and research breakthroughs in multiple areas, including science, medicine and engineering, amongst many others. Conveniently located on the banks of River Tay, our main city-centre campus is at the heart of Dundee - an up-and-coming, friendly, compact and affordable city with a rich heritage in design and technology. Just a short walk from the V&A Museum of Design Dundee, we’re close to both the train and bus stations. We also have campuses at Ninewells Hospital and in Kirkcaldy which are easily accessible via local transport links.

The diversity of our staff and students helps to make the University of Dundee a UK university of choice for undergraduate, postgraduate and distance learning. Family friendly policies, staff networks for BME, Disabled and LGBT staff, membership of Athena SWAN, the ECU Race Equality Charter and Stonewall as well a full range of disability services, create an enjoyable and inclusive place to work.


Offer Requirements



An undergraduate or master’s degree in a relevant area with strong background in Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Medicine or related fields.

Special requirements:

• Applicants can be of any nationality.

• Applicants must have an ability to understand and express themselves in both written and spoken English to a level that is sufficiently high for them to derive the full benefit from the network training.

• Applicants must be eligible to enroll in a PhD programme at the host institution.

• Being a PhD student in an ITN includes a considerable amount of travelling including participation in meetings and workshops and stays of periods of a few months outside the host laboratory. Therefore, a requirement is the willingness to travel and stay abroad.

Specific Requirements

Candidates will be required to meet the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Early Stage Researcher eligibility criteria:

Mobility Rule: researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the United Kingdom for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status are not taken into account. The earliest possible start date is 1 March 2020 (latest before 31st May 2020).


Early Stage Researcher (ESR) criteria: ESRs must, at the date 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. Full-Time Equivalent Research Experience is measured from the date when the researcher obtained the degree entitling him/her 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, even if a doctorate was never started or envisaged).

You will only be considered for the position if you fulfil (and can prove so) the eligibility criteria. As part of your online application, you are required to complete and upload an Eligibility Declaration Form.

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
University of Dundee
United Kingdom

EURAXESS offer ID: 457338


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