Funded PhD Position in Circular RNA Therapeutics at the University College Cork in Ireland

Funded PhD Studentship in the Role of Perinatal Gut Microbiota in Neurovascular interactions in the Developing Brain at the University College Cork in Ireland

Funded PhD Position in Circular RNA Therapeutics at the University College Cork in Ireland.


Closing Date for Applications: 30 Jun 2022. 


A funded PhD position in Circular RNA Therapeutics at the Laboratory for smart drug delivery technologies, School of Pharmacy, University College Cork in Ireland is currently open for application.


Position summary:

We are looking for exceptionally enthusiastic, creative, and driven Ph.D. candidates with a passion for interdisciplinary science and a desire to apply their unique talents to high-impact work aimed at improving human health, to join the laboratory of Dr. Piotr S. Kowalski at the School of Pharmacy at UCC. Dr. Kowalski’s research spans multiple disciplines and will allow candidates to develop their skills in a variety of areas, including RNA delivery, polymer synthesis, nanomaterials design, and gene therapy.

The current project is supported by a 5-year European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant and focuses on elucidating the therapeutic potential of the new class of RNAs with a unique closed-loop structure, called circular RNAs, to tackle unmet medical challenges such as sepsis. This project aims to expand the toolbox of therapeutic RNAs and develop cutting-edge circular RNA tolls to treat multiple organ failure during sepsis, which is responsible for 1 in 5 deaths worldwide. It will also develop novel polymers and nano-sized particles to deliver circular RNA-based drugs to relevant cells in the lungs and kidneys. Successful candidates will work in a cross-disciplinary research team and will interact closely with a group of collaborators supporting our work, comprised of RNA biologists, vascular biologists, immunologists, and clinical scientists.

Application Requirements

  • Candidates with a Master’s degree in degree in biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, biotechnology, biomedical engineering, pharmaceutical sciences, or a related field are highly encouraged to apply.
  • Prospective Ph.D. students should have prior practical laboratory experience and the ability to contribute in a multidisciplinary team setting.
  • Candidates should have strong interpersonal skills and excellent oral/written communication skills.
  • Experience in one or more of the following areas will be beneficial but is not required: RNA biology, analysis of nucleic acid and protein interactions, analysis of RNA structure, nucleic acid purification using chromatography, molecular cloning, synthetic biology, immunology, bioinformatics, and animal work.
  • Availability to start in summer 2022 will be an advantage.
  • Successful candidates will receive a stipend of €18,500 per annum (tax-exempt) for four years plus registration fees (at the EU level). Non-EU candidates are encouraged to apply, but they may need to cover extra fees themselves.


About Dr. Piotr S. Kowalski (PI):

I am a biochemist by training with a passion for interdisciplinary biomedical research and entrepreneurship. I have completed my scientific training in five different countries, including Poland (Jagiellonian University), the Netherlands (Groningen University), and USA (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). I have 12 years of mentoring, teaching, and leadership experience both in academic and industrial settings. My current work resulted in over twenty published research articles, the invention of four patents on drug delivery technologies, and the creation of a Cambridge-based biotech startup.

For more information please refer to: and[email protected]


About the University College Cork:

UCC is a leading Irish university with an international reputation in innovation, and entrepreneurship. It is ranked in the top 2% of universities worldwide based on the quality of its research outputs and peer esteem indicators and was the first University to be named The Sunday Times University of the Year for two consecutive years (2016 and 2017). UCC has a vibrant research community of almost 3,500 postgraduate students and over 250 postdoctoral researchers, across all the major academic disciplines. UCC is the host and partner of leading Irish research centers, including APC Microbiome Ireland SFI Research Centre and Tyndall National Institute providing the access to state-of-the-art research expertise and core facilities.

School of Pharmacy was ranked in the top 100 in the QS World Rankings by Subject in 2021 and is a part of the College of Medicine and Health, a very interactive environment with multidisciplinary academic teams providing plenty of opportunities to network with world-class scientists and clinicians. School of Pharmacy hosts an international postgraduate students community and has a Ph.D. program that supports all career aspects, including professional development, research training, and everyday work.


How to Apply:

Interested candidates should send their CV, including contact details to at least two referees, and a cover letter via email to [email protected] on or before the closing date of June 30th, 2022.

Please include “PhD in circRNA therapeutics” in the subject line of your email.


Official website for advert 


University College Cork is an Equal Opportunities Employer


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