PhD Student - Catalytic transformations of metal-based substrates in biological systems (Closed)

Pre-doctoral position
Position category: PhD Student
Reference: 2023/85
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: 2023/09/04
For more info contact the supervisors:
Luca Salassa
Elizabete Rezabal
How to apply

We are currently accepting applications for the above mentioned position. This is a unique opportunity for highly motivated students recently graduated from the University in Physics or related fields to join one of DIPC’s high-profile research teams.

The role

In recent years, our group has demonstrated that flavins can catalyze the activation of Pt(IV) prodrugs into clinically approved anticancer agents such as cisplatin and carboplatin, with high efficiency and bioorthogonal-like selectivity (e.g. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2018, 57, 3143; ACS Catal. 2020, 10, 187; Chem. Sci., 2022, 13, 59). This chemistry uses metal-containing species as substrates, rather than catalysts as commonly found in all applications of catalysis.

We currently seek a Ph.D. student with an interest in bioinorganic chemistry, catalysis and computational chemistry to devise new reaction schemes for the catalytic transformation of metal-based substrates in unconventional environments. The ideal candidate should be willing to carry out both the experimental and theoretical tasks of the project.

To discuss the project informally, please contact Luca Salassa ( and Elixabete Rezabal (

Desired background & competences

To be admitted as a Ph.D. student, the candidate must have a completed a Master's Degree in Chemistry or equivalent.

Meriting skills include knowledge in:

  • Inorganic/organometallic chemistry
  • Computational chemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Organic synthesis
  • Spectroscopy and analytical techniques
  • Photochemistry

Working conditions

  • Contract duration: 1 year (possibility to extend up to 4 years)
  • Estimated annual gross salary: Salary is commensurate with qualifications and consistent with our pay scales
  • Target start date: 2023/10/01

We provide a highly stimulating research environment, and unique professional career development opportunities.

We offer and promote a diverse and inclusive environment and welcomes applicants regardless of age, disability, gender, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.

The center

DIPC is a research center whose mission is to perform and catalyze cutting-edge research in physics and related disciplines, as well as to convey scientific culture to society. Located in Donostia / San Sebastian (Basque Country, Spain), DIPC was born from a strategic alliance of both public institutions and private companies. Since 2008 DIPC is a 'Basque Excellence Research Center' (BERC) recognized by the Basque Government's Department of Education. In 2019, DIPC was also recognized as a "Severo Ochoa" Excellence Center by the Spanish Research Agency.

About the team

The Ph.D. candidate will be a member of the Inorganic Photochemistry Lab ( and the Kimika Teorikoa group (

How to apply

Interested candidates should submit an updated CV and a brief statement of interest to the following application email below. 

The reference of the specific opening to which the candidate is applying should be stated in the subject line, and the application must be received before the application deadline.

Although candidates are welcome to contact the project supervisors to know further details about the proposed research activity, please be aware that the application will be evaluated only if it is submitted directly to the email address listed below as application email.

Selection process

Applications received by the deadline will be evaluated by a Committee designed by the DIPC board on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Academic and/or scientific-technical career of the candidate (50%):
    • Scientific-technical contributions (45%): The candidate's academic record and other curricular merits will be evaluated, as well as their suitability to the tasks to be performed based on the candidate's training and professional experience.
    • Mobility and internationalization (5%): The relevance and impact of the candidate's stays in national and international centers and/or in the industrial sector on his/her research career will be assessed, taking into account the prestige of the entity receiving the stay and the activity carried out therein.
  • Suitability of the candidate to the research activities to be developed (50%): The suitability of the candidate to the program, project or research activities to be carried out will be evaluated based on his/her previous training and experience. For this purpose, the added value that the completion of the project will represent for his/her research career will be taken into account, as well as the value contributed to the center and to the receiving team.

Evaluation results will be communicated to the candidates soon after. Positions will only be filled if qualified candidates are found.

The DIPC may revoke its decision if the candidate fails to join by the appointed time, in which case the position will be awarded to the candidate with the next highest score, provided it is above 50 (out of 100).

However, the selected candidate may keep the position if, in the opinion of the Selection Committee, the candidate duly justifies the reasons why he or she cannot join before the specified deadline, and as long as the project allows it.


This project has received funding from the Spanish Government’s grant program “Proyectos de Generación de Conocimiento 2022” under grant number PID2022-139267OB-I00, MCIN /AEI /10.13039/501100011033 / FEDER, UE


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The resolution of this opening has been already published. You can download it here.