Research Associateship – Photonic structures and photosynthesis International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory INL Portugal

Ref.04.18.13 Bolseiro de Investigação / Research Associateship -Photonic structures and photosynthesis


Research Centre: International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory - INL

Location: Braga, Portugal

Research Field: Nanophotonics

Career Stage: MSc degree

Open date for applications: May 11th 2018

Closing Date for applications: May 25th 23:00 WET – Western European Time


The International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory – INL (, was founded under an international legal framework to perform interdisciplinary research and to deploy and articulate nanotechnology for the benefit of society. INL aims to become the world-wide hub for nanotechnology addressing society’s grand challenges in Aging & Wellbeing and Mobility & Urban Living and developing a Safe & Secure Society.

SR&TD project specifications:


(a) Name of the project: Towards biomimetic photosynthetic photonics (BIOMPHO2).

(b) Reference number: Project reference no. 031739.

(c) Description:


The ambition with this project is to unveil the role that photonic structures play in photosynthesis and set the basis to use this natural designs for energy harvesting technologies. We will study natural photonic structures in plants. Such natural nanostructures are thought to produce light absorption enhancement through morphology rather than material properties. For this studies we will build a unique piece of equipment suitable to study simultaneously the optical response of a photonic devices and the photosynthetic activity in single cells. Along the project we will make use of the knowledge retrieved from the natural system to inform the design of artificial mimics. The final devices are expected to present some of the outstanding properties of the natural system for light harvesting. This could represent the first proof of concept of a new paradigm in the field of artificial photosynthesis for green energy applications.


(d) Scientific Area: Natural Photonics and Biomimetics


Description of the functions and key primary responsibilities: The successful candidate will work on the optical characterization and modelling as well as the fabrication of biomimetic photonic structures. She/he will be assigned the following working plan:

  • Advanced optical modelling of natural photosynthetic photonic structures
  • Fabrication of biomimetic structures to mimic the optical properties predicted by the models.
  • Participate in the construction and upgrade of a dedicated optical microscattering setup to characterize natural photonics systems.


Supervision: The work plan will be developed at the INL under the scientific guidance of Dr. Martin Lopez-Garcia. The successful candidate will be integrated in the Natural and Artificial Structures and Devices Group.


Eligibility conditions, required qualifications and expertise: Candidates must comply with the following requirements:

(a) Hold a MSc Degree in the field of Physics, Biophysics, Material Science, Optics, Photonics, Optical Engineering. 

(b) Be a Portuguese citizen, a European Union citizen or a non-European Union Citizen residing permanently in Portugal;

(c) Expertise/scientific knowledge in photosynthesis, light harvesting, programming (Matlab, Python, Labview, Finite Difference Time Domain simulations) and literature survey will be an advantage;

(d) Fluency in English is required.


Supporting Documents

Candidates must enclose the following supporting documents in pdf format, failing which the application will not be considered for evaluation:

(a) Cover letter;

(b) Curriculum Vitae;

(c) Official transcripts of all relevant academic degrees;

(d) Copy of identification document;

(e) For non-EU Citizens residing permanently in Portugal, documental evidence attesting the legal right to reside in Portugal.


Selection Criteria

Candidates will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Curriculum vitae: 50%
  • Interview(s): 50%


 Selection Committee

The selection of candidates will be carried out by a Selection Committee consisting of the following persons:

1)    Dr. Martin Lopez Garcia – Scientific Supervisor

2)    Dr. Jana Nieder – Head of Department

3)    Dr. Pedro Alpuim – Research Group Leader

4)    Patrícia Oliveira- Human Resources


Evaluation process

The evaluation process will follow a three-stage process:

  1. Candidate eligibility check:

Only full applications will be considered for evaluation. The applicant will be responsible for the data submission and validation. The application language is English.

Candidates who do not meet the eligibility requirements will not be included in the CV evaluation.

  1. Curriculum Vitae evaluation:


The top four ranked candidates will be shortlisted for interview, provided however that they pass the thresholds for this stage. The threshold for the curriculum vitae evaluation, is (80%) of the possible score (i.e., 40). Candidates who do not pass the thresholds will be excluded from the evaluation process.



  1. Interview(s) and final assessment:

Interviews will be conducted through telephone, web conference or face-to-face meetings, as may be deemed appropriate.


A formal report will be issued by the selection committee recommending the selected candidate ranking candidates in order of preference.


Approval and formal offer.

If your application results successful, you will be offered a contract of association.


How to apply

The application is made online. Please click on the 'Apply for this job' button.

For the application to be valid, the candidate must complete all required sections of the online application form as well as submit all required documents.


What we offer

The successful Candidate will have the status of associated member of the personnel and will be awarded a contract of association with the INL.

Taking into account that the SR&TD project is co-funded by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (‘FCT’), the successful candidate shall also have the status of ´Bolseiro de Investigação`(‘B.I.’) under the applicable regulations of the FCT.


Duration of the contract

The total duration of the contract of association shall be 12 months and may be renewed based on the performance of the individual. In any case the contract cannot exceed the duration of the project.The expected starting date is June 1st 2018.


Financial Benefits

An associated member of the personnel selected and hosted in the framework SR&TD projects funded by the FCT shall be entitled to a monthly subsistence allowance in the amount of €980,00.

The INL will provide insurance cover on behalf of the associated member of the personnel against professional accidents to the extent and for the period of association with the Organisation.

Social Insurance cover of associated members of the personnel will be the responsibility of the associated member of the personnel. However the foregoing, in the event the associated member of the personnel joins the Portuguese Voluntary Social Insurance system under the terms laid down in the Portuguese Statute for Research Grant Holders, the Organisation will take on the costs provided for in said Statute.


Applicable legal and regulatory framework, taking into consideration the international status of the Organisation

The contract of association with the associated member of the personnel will be subject to the INL Staff Rules and regulations, as well as other relevant procedures.

The contract of Association shall also be supplemented by the terms and conditions of the Grant Agreement between the Organisation and the FCT governing the implementation of the SR&TD project as well as other applicable laws regulations, namely Law No. 40/2004, of 18th August (Scientific Research Fellow Statute) [according to the changes introduced by the Decree-law No. 202/2012, of August 27th, Law No. 12/2013, of January 29th, and the Decree-law No. 89/2013, of July 9th], and the Regulation for Research Fellowships of the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology.


Notification of results

A ranking list, after final evaluation, will be published at the INL website being the chosen candidate notified via email. If the first candidate refuses the offer, the Human Resources will send an offer to the second candidate on the ranking, and so on until the vacancy is filled.

We highly value the interest shown from applicants wishing to become a part of the INL experience. It is important for us to maintain good communications with candidates. No matter the outcome of the application, we always send the applicant an answer. 


Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Principle

INL is an equal opportunity organisation, committed to providing equal career opportunities and firmly adheres to a principle of non-discrimination in respect of gender, age, nationality, racial group, or any other possible discriminatory issues.



Applicants can receive support regarding applications to this positions via e-mail:


The advertisement deadline may be extended at any time without previous notice taking into account the suitability and effectiveness of the recruitment process.


This position is funded under the project POCI-01-0145-FEDER-031739, which is financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Operational Programmefor Competitiveness and Internationalization (COMPETE 2020) and National Funds through Foundation for Science and Technology(FCT).




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