Research Assistant - Removal of emerging contaminants from water and air - development of biodegradable materials (Closed)

Pre-doctoral position
Position category: Research Assistant
Reference: 2023/70
Duration: 1 year
Application deadline: 2023/06/26
For more info contact the supervisors:
Silvina Cerveny
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 gain research experience in one of DIPC’s high-profile research teams.

The role

Climate change and water are inseparably connected. Extreme weather events make the water on our planet scarcer, more polluted, and more erratic than ever. In addition, human activity has also resulted in increased water contamination. Over the last two decades, scientists, regulatory agencies, and the European Commission have recognized that pharmaceuticals create environmental problems when these products are discharged into water. Residues of various drugs have been detected in surface water, groundwater, soil, air, and biota. Since drugs are designed to produce pharmacological effects at low concentrations, this finding has an ecotoxicological impact on microorganisms, flora, fauna, and human health. These residues have been declared "emerging contaminants". In addition to medicines, heavy metals, pesticides, and other small molecules have also been detected in the water, creating a significant problem for human health and becoming a challenge for the water sector.

The main objective of this project is to develop ingenious, efficient, and promising methods to mitigate the problem of emerging pollutants in water. The main task is to establish a fast adsorbent with the following characteristics: low cost, high efficiency in adsorbing a collection of contaminants simultaneously, and scalable to the industry. In addition, this project aims to unveil the adsorption mechanisms from a fundamental point of view. The research pursued in this proposal involves working in a multidisciplinary group where the researcher will have access to different fields of work related to medicine, nanotechnology, and water.

Desired background & competences

We seek a highly motivated person with a degree in physics and experience in the field of material science as well as in the synthesis of nanoparticles.

Working conditions

  • Estimated annual gross salary: Salary is commensurate with qualifications and consistent with our pay scales
  • Target start date: 2023/09/01

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

Collaboration with the University of Buenos Aires

How to apply

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

Reference letters are welcome but not indispensable.

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:

  • CV of the candidate (60%)
  • Adequacy of the candidate’s scientific background to the project (20%)
  • Reference letters (10%)
  • Other: Diversity in gender, race, nationality, etc. (10%)

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.




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