Research field: Chemistry
The applicant should have Master’s degree in biochemistry, chemistry or a related biophysics field with hands-on experience in NMR spectroscopy preferably applied to peptides or soft materials. Knowledge of other analytical techniques (e.g., IR, Raman) as well as understanding of surface and materials chemistry, including intermolecular interactions is highly desirable. Demonstrated experience by publications in peer-reviewed journals is an advantage.
Activity Outline: The candidate will mostly perform 2H solid-state NMR based-techniques to study the rotational motion of water in nanocavities of dipeptides in a wide range of temperatures to get insight into the water-sensitive structural transformations in these materials.
The project focus on NMR studies of the temperature-dependent dynamics of confined water in self-assembled nanotubes based on diphenylalanine. The assembled structure of diphenylalanine nanotubes consist of alternating dipeptide monomers and water cores inside of extended hexagonal cavity. Water molecules play an important role in the formation of the self-assembled structure of the dipeptide, therefore, they have a direct effect on the crystal structure. However, the role of water molecules is not only in the formation of self-assembled structure of dipeptides. They directly determine their polar properties and nanoconfinement effect is known to significantly modify the water dynamics. Study of the water confined in dipeptide nanocavities is of great interest because it directly determines the functionality of proteins and amino acids in the human organisms. The present investigation of the water behavior in self-assembled dipeptides in which the hydrophobic interactions can significantly modify the water dynamics is of immense importance for the understanding of mechanisms governing the water interaction with amino acids, peptides and proteins.
Legislation and regulations: The fellowship is in accordance with Law Nº. 40/2004, 18th August (Research Fellow Statute) and regulations for Advanced Training of Human Resources of Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) I.P. — no. 234/2012, no. 326/2013 and no. 339/2015 (http://www.fct.pt/apoios/bolsas/regulamento.phtml.pt) and the Regulation of Scientific Research Grants from the University of Aveiro – Regulation n.º 341/2011, published in Diário da República, 2nd series, n.º 98, 20th Maio.
Workplace: The work will be carried out at CICECO – Aveiro Institute of Materials, University of Aveiro, under the scientific supervision of Dr. Luís Mafra and Dr. Svitlana Kopyl.
Duration and scope of activity: The fellowship will have a duration of 12 months on an exclusivity basis, with the possibility to extend for an additional period of 6 months. The project is expected to begin in January, 2018.
Value of monthly maintenance allowance: 980,00 Euros/month (tax free) according to the official table for Research Grants from FCT - http://www.fct.pt/apoios/bolsas/valores, to be paid monthly via bank transfer.
Evaluation Criteria and Process: The evaluation criteria are:
i) Experience in carrying out independent scientific work including knowledge in NMR spectroscopy and other characterization techniques (60-80%);
ii) The two candidates with better classification will be invited for an interview (20%).
iii) Analysis of publications if applicable (0-20%).
All eligible candidates will be ordered consecutively in terms of relative merit. The candidate rated highest in the relative merit list will be invited to fill the position. The candidates will be informed about the results by email.
Juri: The Jury responsible for the evaluation process is composed by: Dr. Luís Mafra, Dr. Andrei Kholkine, Dr. Svitlana Kopyl.
Documents Required: i) Motivation letter; ii) Curriculum Vitae, dated and signed, including a description of previous activities in scientific projects; iii) Photocopy (or scanned copy) of identity card or passport; iv) Master degree certificate.
Applications should be sent by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening date and deadline for applications: 17 of November to 17 of December 2017