DC6 (CNRS – University Paul Sabatier-Toulouse 3) will investigate the role of bone-marrow adipocytes in the rewiring of lipid metabolism in PCa bone metastasis.

  • Training/Education
  • Belgium
  • Posted 3 months ago

KU Leuven

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PROSTAMET is an immersive Doctoral Network (DN), that through the set-up of a unique comprehensive and modular translational pipeline aims to expose high achieving doctoral candidates to the complete research chain from cutting-edge molecular discovery all the way to innovative drug development, while focusing on the underexplored clinical potential of altered lipid metabolism in prostate cancer (PCa). Through its modular and bidirectional nature with multiple entry points, this pipeline is expected to generate outputs at multiple levels of the drug development chain for sustainable downstream valorisation. By combining high-level technological “hands-on” research training, non-academic placements and courses/workshops on scientific and complementary “soft” skills facilitated by the academic/non-academic composition of the consortium, PROSTAMET’s ambition is to provide young researchers with a creative and holistic view on translational research along with strong transferable skills. This will prepare these next generation researchers to take up thriving careers in a transformative health care system focusing on personalized precision medicine to combat complex human disease.

PROSTAMET involves 8 university-associated research centers that function as main host institutions for 9 Doctoral Candidates (DC) and 8 private or academic entities (‘associated partners’) that offer unique research and training opportunities in the field of lipid metabolism in prostate cancer.

Applicants can choose from nine interconnected PhD projects, along the research pipeline.

DC1-3 will generate a comprehensive and spatial map of changes in lipid metabolism in PCa.

DC4-6 will explore key players in lipid metabolism as potential biomarkers and targets in PCa.

DC7-9 will focus on the development of probes and compounds targeting lipid metabolism in PCa.

Each Doctoral Candidate (DC) will closely interact with other DCs in order to grasp ‘the big picture’ of the entire research programme and will perform a well-selected complementary cross-disciplinary or cross-sectoral secondment of at least 3 months in total with co-supervision by the recruiting institution, and at the secondment institution.

PROSTAMET aims to provide high quality doctoral training for DCs, in line with the European Commission’s principles for innovative doctoral training. Each DC will participate in the following training activities:

  • Training through research at the home institution
  • Interdisciplinary/intersectoral secondments involving stays (at least 3 months total) at other beneficiaries or associated partners to acquire complementary expertise
  • Advanced courses/seminars and acquisition of soft and transferable skills provided by the doctoral school at the home institution
  • Network-wide training activities at annual meetings / summer schools and virtual meetings. Activities include sessions on ethics, open science, DMP, IP protection and valorisation, transferable and transversal training, keynote lectures, hands-on training, progress reports, meetings with patients and clinical staff, company visits, journal clubs, communication training, training in resilience, stress-management and mindful leadership, participation in conferences, organization of meetings and maintenance of websites and social media.

The DC will receive a 36-month scholarship to cover her/his living costs. The gross amount of the doctoral scholarship is based on a living allowance that is dependent on a country correction coefficient which takes into account the cost of living in the country of the recruiting institution. Please contact  for more details on the monthly scholarship amount for the institution you are applying for.

The cost of all training activities, including all expenses related to travel and accommodation to attend annual meetings and other network-organized events will be paid by the network through the Horizon Europe MSCA-DN grant. DCs will have access to a dedicated workspace and to research facilities. Bench/consumables costs to execute the research project will be covered by the institutions.

Benefits

  • Cutting-edge research with high societal impact
  • Exposure to a unique translational pipeline from basic discovery to drug development
  • Interdisciplinary and multi-sectoral research environment
  • Collaborative networking
  • International mobility
  • Advanced and comprehensive skills training

Eligibility criteria

  • Applicants should hold a Master’s Degree or an equivalent higher education degree that is relevant for the doctoral research. They should not have a PhD title yet. They should also fulfil any other requirement for admission to the doctoral school at the home institution (for instance a degree ‘cum laude’ or a minimal score). Please contact  for more details on local doctoral school requirements.
  • As per Horizon Europe MSCA-DN regulations, at the time of recruitment, applicants must (i) not have been awarded a doctorate and (ii) not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host institution for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before their recruitment date. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account.

Selection process

PROSTAMET will adopt the Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct promoting an inclusive, merit-based, transparent and unbiased recruitment and attractive working and employment conditions.

two-step procedure for applicants’ selection will be followed:

After an eligibility check, an initial selection will be made based on the submitted documents and the following selection criteria:

  • Motivation to join the network
  • Acquired research skills and research experience
  • Fit between the education / research experience and the research project
  • Communication skills and English proficiency
  • Team work attitude
  • Career ambitions and potential for excellence
  • Potential impact of the offered training on the DC’s career

Within three weeks from the deadline for applications, short-listed applicants will be invited for an interview by the project (co)supervisors and other members of the Supervisory Board. Non-selected candidates will be placed on a reserve list. After all interviews have been completed, the Supervisory Board will make/approve the final ranking and assignment to specific projects and will communicate the decision to the candidate by email before end June 2024. In case no suitable candidate is found for a specific project, candidates from the reserve list will be invited for an interview. It is the intention that all DCs start before September 15th 2024.

For further information and applications please contact:   

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