Europe: 10 PhD positions in MSCA Doctoral Network “BiodeCCodiNNg” – Training Europe’s next visionaries for a sustainable future: 10 PhD positions are available within the Marie Skłodowska Curie DN “BiodeCCodiNNg” (Training Europe’s next visionaries for a sustainable future)

BiodeCCodiNNg is a Marie Skłodowska Curie Doctoral Network (DN) funded by the European Commission.Enzyme catalysis is an essential technology at the heart of industrial biotechnology, expected to foster the EU economic growth and industry leadership, while effectively addressing social, environmental, and economic needs. It improves the sustainability of chemical processes and gives rise to new reactivities for multi-functionalized product building. Expanding the toolbox of available biocatalysts enabling novel reactions not yet accessible with the existing enzymes is a formidable challenge, but will open exciting new avenues for applications in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

The BiodeCCodiNNg consortium will address this challenge by decoding novel reaction chemistries from the largely underexploited family of N-N bond forming enzymes, while addressing challenging reactions performed by C-C bond forming enzymes that are currently not accessible. The main goal of the BiodeCCodiNNg DN is to train and educate Europe’s next 10 visionaries for a sustainable future on cutting-edge enzyme technology centered around N-N and C-C bond formations, and to tackle technology gaps, and practical challenges, as well as to exploit synthetic opportunities with huge innovation potential. The network is established by world-leading experts from European academic institutions and industrial partners that will together implement the training agenda.

This setting provides strong interdisciplinary co-supervision and intersectoral exposure in secondments to the doctoral candidates and bridges intersectoral and multidisciplinary boundaries across training in drug discovery, enzyme catalysis, and process development. BiodeCCodiNNg will therewith prepare the next generation of researchers for the implementation of sustainable enzymatic processes comprising C-C- and N-N bond forming enzymes in the European Biotech sector.


The main part of the PhD research will be carried out at the home institution and a secondment (3 to 6 months depending on the project) will be spent at another academic institution or an industrial partner. The date of recruitment and start of the PhD project is planned for May 2023 and latest in December 2023. Your PhD degree will be awarded based on successful completion of the research work from the recruiting University. You will also be required to participate in the training events and workshops organized by the DN program. As a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) fellow, you are also expected to contribute your time in the dissemination of your PhD project’s result through public engagement and other scientific platforms.


We are looking for highly motivated and talented PhD students with the following qualifications:

  • Holding an outstanding M.Sc. degree in Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Chemistry or related field
  • Ability to work in an international team,
  • Inter- and multidisciplinary thinking,
  • High motivation,
  • An integrative and cooperative personality with excellent communication and social skills,
  • Fluency in English – written and oral.

The following eligibility rules apply for participation in a Marie Skłodowska Curie Doctoral Network:

Researchers must not have resided in the country of the recruiting beneficiary for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date (and not have carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in that country) — unless as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention 1. In addition, local regulations of the host countries may apply. The salary is based on standard living, mobility and family allowances which are adapted to the respective country of recruitment.

The following positions are available:

DC1: Uncovering novel promiscuous N-N bond forming enzymes (WP1)

Main Supervisor: Dr. Sandy Schmidt

Location: University of Groningen (RUG), The Netherlands

DC2: Discovery and exploration of enzymes for MBH reactions (WP1)

Main Supervisor: Prof. Gerrit J. Poelarends

Location: University of Groningen (RUG), The Netherlands

DC3: New generation of CCzymes based on natural and artificial DMSP-lyases (WP1)

Main Supervisor: Prof. Pere Clapés

Location: Institute for Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia (CSIC), Spain

DC4: Engineering N-N bond forming enzymes for novel reactions (WP2)

Main Supervisor: Dr. Sandy Schmidt

Location: University of Groningen (RUG), The Netherlands

DC5: Structure-function relationships to facilitate novel N-N bond forming reactions (WP2)

Main Supervisor: Prof. Karl Gruber

Location: University of Graz (UG), Austria

DC6: Structure-inspired engineering for non-natural C-C bond forming reactions (WP2)

Main Supervisor: Prof. Kai Tittmann

Location: University of Göttingen (UGOE), Germany

DC7: Efficient acylation of activated aromatics to give multi-functionalised products (WP2)

DC Supervisor: Prof. Wolfgang Kroutil

Location: University of Graz (UG), Austria

DC8: Towards N-N bond formation via N-hydroxylation in a biocatalytic cascade (WP3)

Main Supervisor: Prof. Dirk Tischler

Location: Ruhr-University Bochum (RUB), Germany

DC9: Development and optimization of a cascade involving NN- and CCzymes (WP3)

Main Supervisor: Prof. Zvjezdana Findrik Blažević

Location: University of Zagreb (UZAG), Croatia

DC10: Biocatalytic cascades combining C-C and N-N ligation (WP3)

Main Supervisor: Prof. Dörte Rother

Location: Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH (FZJ), Germany


Additional Information


We are offering a competitive, interdisciplinary environment with a track record of intense mutual collaboration. In addition to the individual training-through-research, our programme includes further elements such as workshops, summer schools, internships and secondments to the partners’ laboratories.

Eligibility criteria

All our network institutions are equal opportunity employers and seek a workforce diverse in age, culture, nationality and gender. None of them will apply restrictions on gender, age, ethnic groups, national or social origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, language, disability, political opinion, and social or economic conditions.

If you want to apply for one of our positions, you must:

  • at the time of recruitment by the host, are within the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of your research career and do not hold a doctoral degree.
  • have not resided or carried out the main activity (e.g. work, studies) in the country to which you would like to be recruited “for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date” (mandatory to provide supporting documentation proving the place(s) of residence or work during the previous 3 years).
  • be in position of enrolling in a doctoral programme at the country and to meet the specific eligibility requirements at the hosting institution, if applicable.
  • Note: the mobility rule is applied to the first recruitment within the project, not to secondment periods. Mobility rules are applied to the residence and not to the nationality.
  • you are able to speak and write the English language fluently.
  • submit a complete application within the submission deadline through our application form.

Additional comments

Our participating institutions strive to be places in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply.

Selection process

To apply for the position, kindly provide:

  1. A letter of motivation including a statement of your research interests, relevant skills and experience and an explanation for the choice of position(s);
  2. A CV including publication list (if applicable);
  3. Names and contact details of three referees willing to write confidential letters of recommendation;
  4. Copies of relevant diplomas including explanation of international grades.

Please upload applications only according to instructions at

Do you meet our Qualification criteria? If yes, please apply via the recruitment page of our website

You may apply until 10 January 2023 (11:59pm) / before 11 January 2023 Dutch local time (CET) for this position by means of the online application form (click on “Apply” below on the advertisement on the BiodeCCodiNNg website,

Leave a Reply