3 Group Leader positions available within research area of materials for bone tissue regeneration

Location of the positions: Rudolfs Cimdins Riga Biomaterials Innovations and Development Centre of Riga Technical University, Riga, Latvia.

International networking opportunities: The positions include participations in short-term (up to 14 days) and/or long-term (up to 6 months) training visits in world leading research centers within the network - AO Research Institute Davos, Switzerland and Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany. Yearly meetings (summer schools and symposia) of the complete network are also foreseen.

Positions start: starting date is negotiable but tentatively between September and December 2020.

RECRUITING ORGANIZATION

BBCE coordinating institution - Riga Technical University (RTU) is one of the oldest institutions of higher technical education in Eastern Europe. RTU gathers more than 16000 students, staff of 611 people for research and 572 for teaching, currently is the top 1 University in Latvia in terms of scientific potential and it is ranked among the top 651–700 Universities worldwide. Rudolfs Cimdins Riga Biomaterials Innovation and Development Centre of RTU (RTU RBIDC) is the biggest and the most modern biomaterial research centre in the Baltic States. RTU RBIDC research team consists of 30 scientists with background in chemistry, chemical engineering and materials science. The main areas of RTU RBIDC research activities include training and research on synthesis of calcium phosphates, preparation of inorganic/organic composite materials, bone cements, and upscaling of chemical engineering processes for bone regeneration purposes. Additional research fields include drug/ion delivery systems and nanostructured implant composites with drug eluting properties. The biomaterials developed at RTU RBIDC have been tested in clinical practice for more than 15 years in more than 400 patient cases.

THE SCIENTIFIC AND FORMATIVE CHALLENGE OF THE BBCE PROJECT

The overall objective of the BBCE is to develop a joint centre for advanced biomaterials development based on the long-term strategic cooperation between Riga Technical University, Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis, Rīga Stradiņš University and LLC Rīga Stradiņš University Institute of Stomatology, on the one part, and AO Research Institute Davos, Switzerland and Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany, on the other part. Strategic research direction of Baltic Biomaterials Centre of Excellence (BBCE) is development of patient specific personalized solutions for bone regeneration in 3 levels: biomaterial composition, geometry and bioactive compound delivery. Full cycle of

biomaterials for bone regeneration development consists of continuous steps: 1. Development of biodegradable, osteoconductive and osteoinductive materials, composites and drug delivery systems. 2. Preclinical in vitro/in vivo investigations. 3. Clinical trials.

BBCE project structure

AVAILABLE RESEARCH DIRECTIONS

Within the scope of BBCE project currently there are 3 Group Leader research positions available in development of biomaterials for bone regeneration, more specifically development of biodegradable, osteoconductive and osteoinductive materials as well as composites and drug delivery systems for bone regeneration, with the following envisaged research groups and topics:

  • Group 1 – Calcium phosphates and composites (calcium phosphate (CaP) nanoparticles, nanosuspensions, granules, bone cements, CaP/biodegradable polymer (e.g. PLA, PCL, hyaluronic acid) composites, gradient materials and hydrogels (CaP/polymer) for bone tissue regeneration. 1 Group Leader position available.
  • Group 2 – Drug/ion/cell delivery (controlled drug delivery systems for bone regeneration - local drug, biopharmaceutics and functional ions, cell delivery systems (antimicrobials, bisphosphonates, growth factors, anti-inflammatory agents, functional ions and combinations of drugs/ions etc.). 1 Group Leader position available.
  • Group 3 – Materials in vitro (cellular responses, fundamental mechanisms that govern cell-biomaterial and cell-cell interactions, novel materials for bone regeneration and their in vitro behaviour). 1 Group Leader position available.

POSITION: GROUP LEADER

OUTLINE OF THE POSITION: The BBCE project, funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme (WIDESPREAD-01-2018-2019: Teaming Phase 2) calls for applications of 3 fully funded Group leader positions, with attractive complementary training activities in multidisciplinary and international scientific environment. Successful candidates will have an opportunity to lead the research group (each group consisting of at least one PhD student, one Postdoc and one Bachelor/Master student) established within the BBCE and be a part of multidisciplinary and international scientific network.

EMPLOYMENT TERMS AND BENEFITS: For Group Leader positions initially 2 year full time contract (40 working hours per week) will be offered, with following renewal of a contract for another 4 years, foreseeing part time contract (gradually decreasing from 34 to 13 working hours per week in years 3rd to 6th, respectively) from BBCE funds. Another part of the salary (in years 3rd to 6th) should be secured by the Group Leader from another funds attracted. Group Leaders will undergo yearly performance assessment related to their research activities and duties (criteria will include: e.g. papers and patents published, competitive funding applications submitted and competitive funding attracted, progress of group members, technology transfer activities performed, supervision/co-supervision of Bachelor/Master/PhD thesis, technology transfer activities performed, involvement in teaching activities, new international connections established). Initial 2-year contract involves full time job with 40 working hours per week with annual gross salary in range of €39.000 – €41.000. The Group Leader annual gross salary will be subject to all local taxes, social benefits and other deductions following the national regulations. If successful candidates will be eligible for election as scientific personnel of RTU, they will benefit 40 working day vacations annually. Health insurance must be covered by applicants themselves.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA (requirements and necessary competences): The 3 Group Leader positions are open to applicants of all nationalities fulfilling the following eligibility requirements:

1. PhD with minimum 6 years of experience in the field (minimum 4 years of experience as Research Scientist).

2. At least 15 publications in the field (first and last authorship as well as the impact of the publications will be taken into account during the evaluation stage).

3. Experience on supervision (bachelor, master, PhD and Postdoc).

4. Demonstration of extra-mural funding acquisition (participation in projects, role in the projects, competitive/contract funding attracted.

5. Managerial skills.

6. Demonstration of 6 year strategic development plan of the group (up to 4 pages, including measurable outcomes).

7. Excellent oral and written English language skills (at minimum B2 level).

8. Excellent/good oral and written Latvian language skills will be considered as an advantage.

9. Experience in team work.

DUTIES AND RESPONSABILITIES:

1. Runs highly autonomously own projects with high complexity.

2. Fully responsible for these projects incl. Budget.

3. Fully responsible for special field or area.

4. Responsible for Postdocs/PhD-students/Fellows and his group performance.

5. Reports to Direction Leader.

6. Creates new international connections outside the BBCE network.

7. Attracts competitive/contract funding starting from the 3rd year of contract (at least 50 000 EUR/yearly).

8. Participates in BBCE communication, dissemination and outreach activities with the researchers as well as with general public.

9. Supervision or co-supervision of students, PhD, Postdocs.

10. Participation in BBCE organized trainings and networking events.

11. Participates in the teaching activities of students

NECESSARY COMPETENCES:

1. Makes a positive contribution to the development of knowledge, research and development through cooperation and collaborations.

2. Demonstrates effective team work and the leadership/mentoring capability to effectively lead and motivate a research group.

3. Identifies research problems and opportunities within their area of expertise.

4. Identifies appropriate research methodologies and approaches.

5. Conducts research independently which advances a research agenda.

6. Can take the lead in executing collaborative research projects in cooperation with colleagues and project partners.

7. Publishes papers as lead author, organises workshop or conference sessions.

8. Has an international reputation based on research excellence in their field.

9. Demonstrates critical judgment in the identification and execution of research activities.

10. Makes a substantial contribution (breakthroughs) to their research field or spanning multiple areas.

11. Develops a strategic vision on the future of the research field.

12. Recognises the broader implications and applications of their research.

13. Publishes and presents influential papers and books, serves on workshop and conference organising committees and delivers invited talks.

DESIRABLE COMPETENCES:

1. Established collaborative relationships with relevant industry research or development groups.

2. Is innovative in their approach to research.

3. Can form research consortia and secure research funding / budgets / resources from research councils or industry.

4. Is committed to professional development of their own career and acts as mentor for others.

5. Is skilled at managing and developing others.

6. Has a proven record in securing and managing significant research, funding / budgets / resources.

7. Beyond team building and collaboration, focusing on long-term team planning (e.g. career paths for the researchers and securing funding for the team positions).

8. Are an excellent communicator and networker within and outside the research community (creating networks).

9. Is able to create an innovative and creative environment for research.

10. Acts as a professional development role model for others.

11. Have excellent/good oral and written Latvian language skills.

 

SELECTION PROCESS FOR GROUP LEADERS: Candidates are asked to apply on-line for one of the above-mentioned Group Leader positions. The application must include the following:

1. CV in English (Europass format, max 10 pages, including list of publications).

2. A copy of a valid ID document (passport or equivalent).

3. A motivation letter in English (max 2 pages), including statement that the applicant fulfils all eligible criteria listed in the paragraphs above. Also the statement that applicant are eligible to apply for a work permission in Latvia should be included in the motivation letter.

4. 6 year strategic development plan of the group (up to 4 pages, including measurable outcomes).

5. Degree transcripts (PhD).

6. Letters of recommendation (at least two, where one is issued by last/current employer).

7. Copies of 3 selected best scientific publications.

All documents must be submitted to bbcentre@rtu.lv before June 14th, 2020 5.00 PM (CET). For additional information please contact Prof., Dr.sc.ing. Janis Locs (janis.locs@rtu.lv) and Assoc. Prof., Dr.sc.ing. Dagnija Loca (dagnija.loca@rtu.lv) and visit https://bbcentre.eu and http://vkti.rtu.lv/en.

The selection procedure will be based on two steps: the first step will consist on the screening of all applications received and on the selection of a shortlist of candidates based on CV, academic transcripts, motivation, strategic development plan and relevance with the specific research project; the second step will consist of an interview (held in person or Skype), at the end of which successful candidates will be recruited.

Prior to recruitment, successful applicants will be requested to produce the original copies of all certificates and documents declared. Incorrect or lacking of documentation may invalidate the recruitment procedure.

PROJECT: EU Horizon 2020 Teaming Phase 2 project: "Baltic Biomaterials Centre of excellence - BBCE" grant agreement No. 857287.

When applying for a competition, the candidate agrees to the processing of his personal data pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data and repealing Directive 95/95 / EC / 46 / EC (General Data Protection Regulation) and for storage at the Riga Technical University Personnel Department. Without the consent of the candidate, personal data will not be transferred to third parties, except in the cases specified in the laws and regulations in force in the Republic of Latvia.

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Posted on Apr 29, 2020

English