IRTAis a research institute owned by the Government of Catalonia ascribed to the Ministry of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda. IRTA is one of the CERCA centers of excellence of the Catalan Research System.

Our purpose is to contribute to the modernization, competitiveness and sustainable development of agriculture, food and aquaculture sectors, the supply of healthy and quality foods for consumers and, generally, improving the welfare and prosperity of the society.

We are granted by the EU with the HRS4R PhD candidate for the Food Safety and Functionality & the Food Quality and Technology Programs distinction for “HR Excellence in Research” and thus we offer a rich environment for knowledge development and exchange where to develop a scientific career, and possibilities for professional promotion according to the attained achievements.

Check our initiatives here [ref. CPI2023] IRTA is currently seeking an enthusiastic and motivated PhD candidate to join the Food Safety and Functionality and the Food Quality and Technology Programs.

We invite applications from ambitious candidates with relevant research experience and passion for conducting research and innovation activities in the food safety and technology of Meat Analogues made with Alternative Proteins (MAAP). Head of IRTA Food Industries Area: Dra. Sara Bover-Cid Programs’ key researchers for this position:

Dr Sara Bover-Cid (Food Safety & Functionality) and Dr Xavier Serra (Food Quality & Technology). Job location: IRTA Monells (30 min by car from Girona) Full-time position (37.5 h/week) Terms of appointment: The duration of the PhD Candidate contract will be for four years.

Salary: The financial remuneration will be of €1,291.18 gross per month (€ 18,076.52/gross per annum) for the first year. For the second year will be of €1,311.41 gross per month (€ 18,359.74/gross per annum). For the third year, il will be €1,619.64/gross per month (€ 22,674.96/gross per annum) and for the fourth year it will be € 1,729.26/gross per month (€ 24,209.64/gross per annum), which will be subject to the corresponding withholdings, pursuant to prevailing regulations, and to the collective employment agreement of IRTA (1)  

IRTA will also pay the annual fees of the doctoral school when receiving the enrolment. Employee Benefits: 22 vacation days, 3 days of family & work conciliation, 45h of personal days, Friday afternoon off, Compressed Summer schedule from 15/06 to 15/09, Conciliation schedule.

Tasks and Responsibilities: – The PhD candidate will perform laboratory and pilot plant work to develop a Doctoral Thesis in the framework of the Research project ‘Safe Meat Analogues made with Alternative Proteins (SafeMAAP)’. –

The main objectives of the SafeMAAP project and the Doctoral Thesis will be: • To identify the potential sources of microbial contamination and the relevant food-borne pathogens associated with MAAP. • To design effective risk management strategies for the production and preservation of high moisture MAAP, through the smart combination (hurdle technology) of biopreservation, high pressure processing and sustainable packaging strategies.

To develop innovative sustainable processes for producing safe and shelf-stable MAAP of intermediate moisture, obtained from a plant-based ingredient and a mycoprotein-based source. – The PhD candidate will be trained in different techniques and instrumental measurements such as classical and molecular microbiology, physicochemical and sensory determinations, solid state/liquid fermentation, extrusion cooking and preservation technologies (biopreservation, high pressure processing, etc.).

In addition to learn about writing scientific and technical papers and manage all the scientific work under UNE 166.002 quality regulation. – The PhD candidate will contribute to all the research (i.e., planning, execution and data collection and analysis of the experiments) and dissemination activities of the project and will also:

  1. attend national and/or international conferences to present the Thesis outcomes.
  2. be able to perform short-term scientific stages to collaborator institutions and other identified key research groups of international recognition.

Required qualifications and experience – Candidates must: a) hold a master’s degree in microbiology, biotechnology, biochemistry, biology, food technology, agricultural engineering or similar. b) or to be able to access a doctoral programme according to the requirements of the Catalan universities, i.e., by accrediting between 60 and 120 ECTS credits at the official university master’s degree level or equivalent. – Candidates must not have a previous PhD degree.

– Excellent academic grades (i.e., bachelor’s degree and master’s degree) will be highly valued. – Practical experience in the laboratory and/or pilot plant will be positively valued.

Desirable requirements – Candidates highly motivated to conduct research in food safety and food technology in a 4-year project – Good teamwork ability – Good communication skills, verbal and written, will be valued


  • Proficiency in English
  • Catalan and Spanish are valued

Application process: If you wish to be considered for this position, please, apply via our Recruitment Platform to the job post with reference cpi2023 and upload your CV and motivation letter. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence. Deadline for application: 08/09

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: