Postdoctoral Researcher in Precision Electrochemical Nanosensor Development for bacterial biofilm detection

Tyndall National Institute
April 18, 2024
Offerd Salary:€42,781-€49,177
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Fixed Term
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A

AOR-40 – Postdoctoral Researcher in Precision Electrochemical Nanosensor Development for bacterial biofilm detection

Contract: Full Time/Fixed Term

As one of Europe's leading ICT institutes, with over 600 people and a capital infrastructure in excess of €250m, Tyndall is now focusing its research on front end precision electrochemical nanosensor development. We recently won and a new funded project “CellSense: Bacterial-based Biosensor Digital Twin for Microbial Community Sensing”. T In the 21st century, a major challenge is our understanding of microbial ecology and the impact it has on our health as well as the environment. By having a deeper understanding of microbial behaviour and activity as they evolve will enable us to develop new strategies to take appropriate pre-emptive actions before they can result in harmful impact. One fundamental mechanism that can allow us to gain new insights into their evolving behaviour in their community is by sensing their communication patterns.

As part of this SFI -funded project, applications are invited for a Post- Doctoral research position within the Nanotechnology Group at the Tyndall National Institute – University College Cork. The position is initially for two years with potential for extension pending further funding. Heretofore we have developed new integrated electrochemical nanosensors employing nanowires as on-chip sensing elements and have demonstrated significantly enhanced sensitivity, when compared to the state-of-the-art sensors, for a range of important molecules including: chemical analytes (e.g., pesticides, ions, etc) and biochemicals analytes (e.g., DNA, viruses, glucose). The application of Bi-potentiometric on-chip sensing employing generator collector and localised pH control techniques has resulted in high impact publications with 26 of our las 50 publications being in the top 10% of journals in their field.

Purpose of the role

The candidate will co-develop new electrochemical sensing approaches for detection bacteria biofilm formation. The candidate will also contribute to the development and fabrication of novel on-chip nanoscale Boron Doped Diamond (BDD) electrodes. The work will involve the development of state-of-the-art research methods that involve nanosensor development and fabrication (in collaboration with the nano-fabrication facility at Tyndall) chemical modification of BDD, gold or platinum nanoelectrodes using additive chemical approaches, test, characterisation, evaluation, integration with electronic circuitry (in collaboration with the microelectronic circuit centre of Ireland at Tyndall) field deployment and validation. Specific focus will be on collaborating with partners to develop a digital twin based on data generated by the sensor. Flexibility in the electrochemical approaches will be required.

In general, researchers at Tyndall are also expected to participate in the full range of activities of the group, contributing to collaborative projects, particularly where their special expertise can make a direct contribution. MNS plays a leading role in the Science Foundation Ireland / Department of Agriculture Food and the VistaMilk Centre which involves close collaboration with industry as well as national and international academic research groups. The candidate is expected to contribute to these collaborations, in particular helping to generate and deliver EU projects which are mainly in the area of sensor development and system validation and test.

The researcher will have additional responsibilities of acting as an investigator on collaborative or external (e.g. EU) funded projects, where appropriate, and will also be required to initiate and contribute to writing of new proposals and the seeking of new funding opportunities. Researchers are expected, at times, to lead both the technical and project management functions for projects and as such provide process expertise as and when needed to improve the operational functions of the group. The researcher is also expected to contribute to student (e.g. PhD) supervision, and, when required, to take the main supervision role.

The researcher is expected to have a strong track record of achievement and experience in the field of electrochemical sensor development, preferably including experience of working on SFI funded projects, although not necessarily in a leading role.

This post is an initial two-year post-doctoral position linked to the funding opportunities of the MNS centre.

Key Duties and Responsibilities

  • To assist in managing certain nanosensor laboratory activities when appropriate.
  • Assist with co-supervision and training of junior group members including students.
  • To take responsibility for the specification and development of research projects.
  • Independently manage potential work with EU partners on specific chemical sensor projects and to coordinate technical and programmatic research activities for collaborative EU projects.
  • Work with financial managers to assess the level of required funding and project support.
  • To be a thought leader and proactively generate research initiatives and ideas.
  • To independently manage, when necessary, the quality assurance and methods definition for project development and delivery.
  • Anticipate and highlight potential innovation opportunities that meet and grow the strategic needs of the centre.
  • Conduct specified programmes of research as required by the MNS centre.
  • Initiate and take responsibility in grant proposal writing for EU, SFI and other funding streams.
  • To interact closely with postgraduate research students who are studying for a Master's or a PhD and possibly have an agreed role in supporting these students in their day to day research in conjunction including, when appropriate, acting as primary academic supervisor.
  • To carry out administrative work to support the programme of research as necessary.
  • Participate in Education and Public Engagement activities, as required.
  • Ensure all activities are compliant with the Tyndall Quality Management system and with the required Health and Safety standards.
  • Carry out any additional duties as may reasonably be required within the general scope and level of the post.
  • Essential criteria

  • A PhD qualification in science, engineering or a related discipline.
  • Relevant research experience in experimental electrochemical sensors research, with a proven track record of publications in leading journals and at major conferences.
  • In-depth knowledge and track-record of achievement in sensor modification and development
  • Working knowledge of field deployment and validation techniques
  • Previous experience of working in a research project team
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Desirable criteria

  • Experience of writing grant proposals
  • Some experience of working collaboratively with industry
  • Highly self-motivated and able to demonstrate initiative
  • A commitment to personal growth and development
  • A background or experience in the agricultural sector
  • Appointment may be made on the IUA Postdoctoral Researcher Scale €42,781-€49,177 per annum. Salary placement on appointment will be in accordance with public sector pay policy.

    Informal enquiries can be made in confidence to Dr. Alan O'Riordan at [email protected]

    Closing date of applications is 1pm on 18th April, 2024

    Application Instructions

    Please make sure to attach an up to date CV/Resume AND a brief motivation letter outlining how you meet the ‘Essential Criteria' for this role.

    Clickhere to Apply

    Please note that Garda vetting and/or an international police clearance check may form part of the selection process.

    The University, at its discretion, may undertake to make an additional appointment(s) from this competition following the conclusion of the process.

    Please note that an appointment to posts advertised will be dependent on University approval, together with the terms of the employment control framework for the higher education sector.

    At this time, Tyndall National Institute does not require the assistance of recruitment agencies.

    Tyndall National Institute at University College, Cork is an Equal Opportunities Employer.

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