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Closed for Applications



Early Stage Researcher (ESR12)  

PhD fellowship in development of multi-scaling strategies

Project Title

“E-MUSE Complex microbial ecosystems multiscale modelling: mechanistic and data driven approaches integration” MSCA-ITN-2020 European Training Network

Hosting Organization

L-Università ta' Malta (UM), established in University Campus, Tal-Qroqq, MSIDA 2080, Malta 

Researcher Profiles


Research Field

Food microbiology, mycology, molecular microbiology, cheese process,  (bio)process modelling, molecular modelling

Application Deadline

31.05.2021, 23:59 Brussels/Paris

Envisaged Job Starting Date



3 years

Contract Type

full-time employment (based on COVID-19 evolution and restrictions, possibility to start remotely, once situation allows the presence is required)


2,416 salary/month

+ €600 mobility allowance/month and €500 family allowance/month (if applicable)

Taxation and Social (including Pension) Contribution deductions based on National and company regulations apply.


The main objective will be to analyse a cheese fungal/bacterial ecosystem and understand their functioning and impact on the ripening of fermented food products. The experimental data will be analysed with models describing either the kinetics, probability of growth/no growth in function of time or preselected conditions. This information will be integrated, through correlation of omics indexes with the population dynamics. 

Expected Results

It is expected that the microbial interactions between the different studied species will be quantified and any competition between them will be quantitatively reported. Additionally, the integration of microbial data driven dynamics with mechanistic modelling approaches will allow to identify the impact of transcriptome, metabolome responses in microbial (sub) populations with different ecophysiological characteristics.

Planned Secondments

In total, 3 months will be spent at NIZO Food Research BV in Netherlands (microbial interactions in cheese (model) systems) and 6 months at the KULeuven in Belgium (for optimising the data driven approaches and developing multiscale models).

Enrolment in Doctoral degree

L-Università ta' Malta (UM) (


Required Education Level

Second Class Honours (Upper Division) (or a comparable degree qualification), ideally in one or more of the following areas: Food microbiology, mycology, molecular microbiology, cheese process,  (bio)process modelling, molecular modelling, and should also be in possession of at least ‘Pass with Merit’ (>70%) post-graduate degree (MSc or equivalent) qualification in the same or relevant area.

Skills / Qualifications

  • Microbial or/and chemistry analytical techniques 

  • Programming in different langauges, .e.g, Matlab,Python, R

  • Networking and good communications skills (writing and presentation skills)

  • Willingness to travel abroad for the purpose of research, training and dissemination.

Specific Requirements

For the eligibility please check: Eligibility Criteria

Required Languages

English: B2, good oral and written communication skills in English are compulsory

Supervisors Team

The lead supervisor is Associate Professor V. Valdramidis. He is leading a strong group in the area of food safety and processing at the Faculty of Health Sciences of Universtiy of Malta. He is also a supervisor of 6 PhD (2 in progress), 2 of which in food industry sector, 14 Masters (2 in progress), 3 Post-Doc. Co-supervisors are Associate Professor R. Gatt (UM) – Associate Professor at Faculty of Science of the University of Malta whose research interest are on nanosystems, materials science and molecular modelling and Prof. J.Van Impe - the founding partner of the KU Leuven Center-of-Excellence OPTEC (Optimization in Engineering), BioTeC (Chemical and Biochemical Process Technology and Control) research group. Currently he is coordinating the European Master of Science in Food Science, Technology and Business (BIFTEC). 

Host Institution description

Lying at the cross-roads of the Mediterranean, UM has been, over its 400-year history, the hub for international academic exchange on the island. UM is the leading higher education institution in Malta and its structures are in line with the Bologna Process and the European Higher Education area.

At UM we carry out academic research and provide a vibrant higher education setting in the arts, sciences and the humanities as required for Malta’s economic, social and cultural development. Our courses  are designed to produce highly-qualified professionals in multiple disciplines. Our alumni community is growing exponentially: well over 3,500 students graduate in various disciplines annually.

We are committed to high standards of research and teaching and every member of staff at UM plays an important role and contributes to an outstanding student experience.

Today UM is composed of fourteen faculties, a number of interdisciplinary institutes and centres, three schools and a junior college. Besides the main campus, situated at Msida, there are three other campuses: Valletta, Marsaxlokk, Gozo.

The language of instruction is English.

 For more info please visit:

Selection process

a.    scrutiny of qualifications and experience claimed and supported by testimonials and/or certificates (copies to be included with the application); 
b.    shortlisting; and
c.    an interview and / or extended interview.

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