PhD Projects

I-Direct is a Marie Curie European Industrial Doctorate (EID) training network funded by the European Commission within the Horizon 2020 research and innovation action. The I-Direct programme aims to develop innovative academic and industrial antibody-based concepts and exploit state-of-the-art industrial design of nanotech-based drug formulation to develop the next-generation of cancer immunotherapeutics. The I-Direct network comprises 2 academic research institutions/universities and 3 companies and provides inter-sectoral training for a set of 10 early stage researchers, which will qualify them for a career in academia and/or industry. I-Direct activities will start on January 1, 2019. I-Direct partners located in the Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic and Israel are recruiting 10 highly motivated PhD candidates interested in carrying out breakthrough research on the rapidly expanding and high impact field of cancer immunotherapy. Each ESR will crucially gain intersectoral experience in an individual ESR research project, with the main working period (36 months) of the ESR equally split into an academic and an industrial part of 18 months in different countries.

The 10 ESR research projects within the I-DireCT training network work in integrated and interconnected research program focused on therapeutically modifying the tumour micro-environment and (re)activation of anti-cancer immunity and corresponding Drug Delivery Systems (DDS). Specifically, we aim on the one hand to develop new tumour-targeted drugs to selectively block key innate and adaptive immune checkpoints, such as PD-1, TIM-3 and CD47, in the tumour micro-environment. Further, we aim to develop new tumour-targeted drugs to selectively activate key co-stimulatory receptors of the TNFRSF in the tumour micro-environment.

On the other hand suitable DDS systems will be developed for these drugs using modern drug formulations based on nanotechnology and surface chemistry to achieve tumor-localized release and optimal localized co-stimulation of anti-cancer immunity. The development will be attended by label free detection of protein interactions by means of advanced bioanalysis methods. Herewith, we aim to ensure induction and execution of anticancer immune responses in the absence of systemic immune-related side-effects.

JOB DESCRIPTION: The I-Direct research program focuses on offering a cutting-edge multidisciplinary training programme that will enable outstanding young scientists to generate breakthrough ideas and assume leading positions in academia and industry. This training programme includes an array of disciplines, ranging from biomedical sciences (e.g. immunology, antibody engineering) and physical sciences (e.g. chemistry, material science) to drug design & development. The 10 students will start between Jan 2019 and Jan 2020. Each position will be appointed for 36 months and dedicated to the following projects/partner labs:

  1. University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), established in HANZEPLEIN 1, GRONINGEN 9713 GZ, Netherlands
  3. InoCure SRO (INCU), established in KLIMENTSKA 1652/36, PRAHA 11000, Czech Republic
  4. Surflay Nanotec GmbH (SURF), established in MAX PLANCK STRASSE 3, BERLIN 12489, Germany
  5. Kahr Medical LTD (KM), established in 1 KIRYAT HADASSAH, JBP BLDG, JERUSALEM 9109701, Israel I-Direct students will gain substantial interdisciplinary and intersectoral experience with secondments in other labs of the network, including an equal time spent into an academic and an industrial research institute of 18 months in different countries, and will benefit from innovative summer/winter schools covering all PhD training aspects: Scientific education, Project Management, Communication skills, Career Development, etc.

For job description of the individual ESR projects please go to (

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: As a mobile and early-stage researcher you have to fulfill the following conditions: Definition of an early-stage researcher: An early stage researcher (ESR) is defined as a student being in the first four years of his/her research career at the time of the recruitment and a student who does not have a doctoral degree. The research career starts after the degree that enables a student to proceed with a PhD (usually, the Master degree).

MOBILITY RULE: At the time of the recruitment by the host laboratory, young researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host laboratory for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. Background: Antibody technology, Label free bioanalysis SPR, QCM or similar; Nanoparticle synthesis; Biofunctionalization; Surface Chemistry;


How to apply:

Send your complete application before June 30, 2019 as a single PDF file (5 MB max.) to

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Please see individual job offers


RESEARCH FIELD: Biological sciences/ Chemistry


REQUIRED EDUCATION LEVEL: Biological sciences/ Chemistry: Master Degree or equivalent

REQUIRED LANGUAGES: English - Excellent

CONTACT: Please send your application to the e-mail address in the individual job offers