Job advertisement 15 PhD positions (f/m/d) in the EU Horizon 2020 Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Project: MSCA-ITN-ETN LimnoPlast

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European Geosciences Union

15 PhD positions (f/m/d) in the EU Horizon 2020 Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Project: MSCA-ITN-ETN LimnoPlast

15 PhD positions (f/m/d) in the EU Horizon 2020 Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Project: MSCA-ITN-ETN LimnoPlast


European Universities




Relevant divisions
Climate: Past, Present & Future (CL)
Energy, Resources and the Environment (ERE)
Hydrological Sciences (HS)


Student / Graduate / Internship

Salary according to MSCA work programme for ITN-ETN and national PhD rules

Required education

Application deadline
Open until the position is filled

8 November 2019

Job description

“LimnoPlast – Microplastics in Europe’s freshwater ecosystems: From sources to solutions” is funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Network) and offers 15 fully funded PhD positions (for early-stage researcher (ESR)) with attractive complementary training activities and generous travel, laboratory and research budgets. The successful candidates will be hosted by a member of a European Consortium of universities, research institutions and companies in Germany, Denmark, France, Slovenia, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom and The Netherlands. Successful candidates will have a research interest in natural, environmental, technical or social-science and will participate in a transdisciplinary network of research and training aimed at accelerating the applicants’ scientific careers.
LimnoPlast will for the first time bring together environmental, technical, and social sciences with the vision to transform a new understanding of freshwater microplastics to innovative solutions.
LimnoPlast will:

  • Train a new type of scientists (ESRs) able to tackle the complex plastics issue holistically and contribute to Europe’s innovation and Circular Economy capacity. Working at the interface of three usually very distant disciplines, they will promote a step change in how we deal with this and future environmental challenges.
  • Provide the first comprehensive assessment of the sources and impacts of freshwater MP based on the analysis of three major urban areas as hotspots of plastic pollution.
  • Innovate technological solutions to the plastics issue, including novel processes to remove MP from municipal and industrial wastewater as well as bio-degradable, environmentally sound polymers.
  • Promote societal change by understanding the economic, legislative and social context of freshwater MP.
  • Transform science into a set of specific solutions, including (I) the prioritization of actions based on the sources and impacts of MP, development of (II) better processes and polymers, (III) risk communication strategies and societal interventions, (IV) effective policy and legislative interventions.
  • Transfer the LimnoPlast outcomes to European decision makers, stakeholders and the public to enable and promote action on freshwater MP using an innovative communication and dissemination strategy.

Titles of the ESR-projects:
1. Biological effects of microplastics from biodegradable plastics in freshwater invertebrates.

  • Research Field: Ecology, Biology, Environmental Science, Ecotoxicology
  • Host: Universität Bayreuth (UBT), DE
  • Main Supervisor: Christian Laforsch:
  • Application Deadline: 15/01/2020
    2. Development and characterization of novel biodegradable polymers.
  • Research Field: Polymer Science, Synthetic Chemistry
  • Host: Universität Bayreuth (UBT), DE
  • Main Supervisor: Seema Agarwal,
  • Application Deadline: 15/01/2020
    3. Source tracking of microplastics at Aarhus.
  • Research Field: Environmental Engineering, Environmental Science, Engineering, Biology, Microbiology, Chemistry
  • Host: Aalborg Universitet (AAU), DE
  • Main Supervisor: Jes Vollertsen:
  • Application Deadline: 01/01/2020
    4. Monitoring and modelling microplastics in the greater Paris and the river Seine; pollutants associated with microplastics.
  • Research Field: Environmental Monitoring, Modelling, Environmental Science, Environmental Engineering, Chemistry
  • Host: Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussees (ENPC), FR
  • Main Supervisor: Bruno Tassin :
  • Application Deadline: 31/01/2020
    5. Electrostatic separation of nanoplastics from wastewater.
  • Research Field: Engineering, Polymer Science, Material Science, Chemistry, Electrochemistry
  • Host: Evonik Technology & Infrastructure GmbH (Evonik), DE
  • Main Supervisor: Patrik Stenner:
  • Application Deadline: 15/01/2020
    6. A socio-ecological assessment for microplastics to address the needs of future Circular Economy in Europe.
  • Research Field: Environmental Science, Social Science
  • Host: Fraunhofer-Institut UMSICHT (Fraunhofer), DE
  • Main Supervisor: Daniel Maga:
  • Application Deadline: 31/01/2020
    7. Legal situation of microplastics in Europe’s freshwater ecosystems.
  • Research Field: Law, Business
  • Host: HHL Gemeinnützige GmbH (HHL), DE
  • Main Supervisor: Liv Jaeckel: & Tobias Dauth:
  • Application Deadline: 15/01/2020
    8. Chemistry and bulk properties and degradation of microplastics.
  • Research Field: Polymer Science, Material Science, Chemistry
  • Host: Kemijski institut (National Institute of Chemistry) (KI), SI
  • Main Supervisor: Andrej Kržan:
  • Application Deadline: 15/01/2020
    9. Ecotoxicology of different shapes of microplastics in freshwater invertebrates.
  • Research Field: Environmental Toxicology, Biology, Biochemistry
  • Host: Norges Teknisk-Naturvitenskapelige Universitet (NTNU), NO
  • Main Supervisor: Martin Wagner:
  • Application Deadline: 31/01/2020
    10. Chemical toxicity of conventional and new plastics.
  • Research Field: Human Toxicology, Biology, Biochemistry
  • Host: Norges Teknisk-Naturvitenskapelige Universitet (NTNU), NO
  • Main Supervisor: Martin Wagner:
  • Application Deadline: 31/01/2020
    11. Microplastics assessment in wasterwater treatment plant – occurrence, removal and fate.
  • Research Field: Environmental Engineering, Sanitary Engineering, Environmental Science, Environmental Monitoring
  • Host: Syndicat interdepartmental pour l’assainissement de l’agglomération parisienne (SIAAP), FR
  • Main Supervisor: Vincent Rocher: & Bruno Tassin:
  • Application Deadline: 31/01/2020
    12. Chronic toxicity of microplastics in fish species.
  • Research Field: Environmental Toxicology, Biology, Biochemistry
  • Host: Goeteborgs Universitet (UGOT), SE
  • Main Supervisor: Bethanie Carney Almroth:
  • Please apply via
  • Application Deadline: : 15/01/2020
    13. Risk perceptions and mental models regarding microplastics in freshwater systems and solutions.
  • Research Field: Psychology and related disciplines
  • Host: Universitetet i Bergen (UiB), NO
  • Main Supervisor: Gisela Böhm:
  • Please apply via – Application Deadline: tba, approximately mid to late November 2019.
    14. Behavioural approaches to the microplastics problem and potential solutions.
  • Research Field: Behavioural Science, Psychology
  • Host: University of Plymouth (UoP), Plymouth, UK
  • Main Supervisor: Sabine Pahl:
  • Application Deadline: 15/12/2019
    15. From freshwater to drinking water and food-human exposure to microplastics.
  • Research Field: Environmental Monitoring, Environmental Science, Engineering, Biology
  • Host: Stichting VU (University Amsterdam) (VUA), NL
  • Main Supervisor: Heather A. Leslie:
  • Application Deadline: 01/02/2020

How to apply

The candidates with the following general profile are encouraged to apply:

  • A very good Master’s degree or equivalent Ecology, Biology, Environmental Science, Ecotoxicology, Polymer Science, Synthetic Chemistry, Environmental Engineering, Engineering, Microbiology, Chemistry, Environmental Monitoring, Modelling, Material Science, Electrochemistry, Law, Business, Environmental Toxicology, Biochemistry, Sanitary Engineering, Human Toxicology, Social Science, Psychology and related disciplines, Behavioural Science, Sociology or relevant disciplines. The Master’s degree should meet the requirement given in the description of the particular project.
  • You enjoy working independently and well-structured together with an interdisciplinary team contributing to a highly topical and socially relevant field.
  • You show outstanding commitment, high flexibility, can cope with a higher workload and you are team-oriented.
  • You have excellent communication as well as organizational skills and are willing to engage in international, interdisciplinary collaborative research, workshops and secondments.
  • You have very good command (written and spoken) of English language.

Applicants should send full application consisting of:

  • A motivation letter addressing his/her research interests in relationship to the individual research project.
  • Curriculum Vitae (Europass format recommended, please specify your residence/work places in the last 3 years).
  • University transcripts (grades) and other relevant certificates
    You can apply for more than one position, in that case each application will be evaluated independently by the respective host institutions.
    In case, it’s not stated otherwise, to be emailed to the corresponding project supervisor(s), indicating ref. “LimnoPlast call for ESRs” in the subject of the email. The deadline to submit the required documentation is 15/01/2020 (can vary, depending on institution, see ESR-projects)

Requirements, terms of employment and application procedures for all positions can be found on the Euraxess website: Special EU eligibility criteria apply to all positions.