IMPORTANT: To apply for the MSCA Early Carrer Researcher (ESR) Training positions, applicants must fulfil the following criteria:

  • Mobility: to be eligible for a position, you should not have resided in the country of the host institution for more than 12 months over the three years before the starting date of the position, excluding holidays and (refugee status) asylum application.
  • Early Stage Researcher (ESR): At the time of recruitment by the host organisation, an ESR shall be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of his/her research career and not have been awarded a doctoral degree.

Candidates must prove that they fulfil the aforementioned criteria through relevant documentation (certificates, official statements, residency card, …).




EARLY CAREER RESEARCHER POSITIONS: Disc4All will have three recruitment periods. Check the offers by periode and leave your contact if you are interested to apply to forthcoming positions:





  • OPEN: Application for ESR 1: Management of clinical, biological & simulated data for uniform simulation workflows​
    ESR 1 will exploit large research data infrastructure (Twins UK, Northern Finland Birth Cohort) and will be responsible for the systematic treatment and machine interpretability of heterogeneous datasets (organ phenotype, patient condition, molecular signatures, sex & gender, psychological status, known comorbidities, …), to enable integration of data into holistic disease models and decision support systems.
    HOST: InSilicoTrials, Italy - Secondments: OULU; AQUAS; BSC-CNS - PhD delivered by: UPF - Deadline for recruitment: January 2021
     - Application Deadline: 31/10/2020EXTENDED: 04/01/2021




  • OPEN: Application for ESR 8: Data-driven gene prioritization in LDD & phenome-genome relationships
    ESR8 will use network-based disease gene prioritization approaches to understand the pathophysiology of lumbar intervertebral disc degeneration (LDD). (S)he will also apply different computational strategies and tools to reveal comorbidities related to LDD and will integrate data from protein interaction databases to uncover latent connections between comorbid diseases. The candidate will work in the implementation of a model for biomarker recommendation based on genotype-phenotype relationships and related comorbidities.
    HOST: IMIM, Spain - Secondments: KCL; PAO - PhD delivered by: UPF - Deadline for recruitment: April 2021
     - Application Deadline: 12/02/2021


  • OPEN: Application for ESR 13: Multiscale modelling of IVD cell activity & potential tissue turnover
    ESR 13 will work on the multiscale modelling of the mechanisms of intervertebral disc regulation. Specifically, the PhD project will target the modelling and simulation of bottom-up processes of tissue regulation, through which the dynamics of cell activity contributes to disc tissue turnover in specific regions of interest, in response to multifactorial cell stimulations. Different types of intervertebral disc network models will be used and combined to successively incorporate cell culture experimental data, proteomics measurements and gene variant effects. Interplays of biochemical, mechanical and nutritional cell stimulation will be modelled in representative volume elements through agent-based modelling. Eventually, collective cell activity will be linked with heterogeneous cell environments predictable through disc tissue and organ
    finite element models.
    HOST: UPF, Spain - Secondments: PAO; SHU; UBern - PhD delivered by: UPF - Deadline for recruitment: April 2021
     - Application Deadline: 20/02/2021






  • CLOSED: Application for ESR 4: Classification of IVD radiological signs and relation with SNP & multi-omics profiles
    The ESR 4 will focus on developing machine learning based prediction and severity assessment models for intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration. The primary aim will be to combine radiomic features from magnetic resonance (MR) and X-ray images, omics data, and other background data of the patients – in order to discover multiple phenotypes of the IVD degenerative disease. In this project, we will leverage patient material from TwinsUK and Northern Finland Birth Cohort datasets.
    HOST: OULU, Finland - Secondments: Cluster UPF, BSC-CNS, GALGO; PLEXALIS - PhD delivered by: OULU - Deadline for recruitment: January 2021
     - Application Deadline: 31/10/2020


  • CLOSED: Pre-application for ESR 6: GWAS & Microbiome associated with main IVD phenotypes.
    The ESR will provide initial seeds for gene prioritization as well as evidences about the validity of microbiome biomarkers in LDD, by exploiting the data from the TwinsUK and NFBC population cohorts. Candidate gene and GWAS-based approaches will be used to identify novel associations between gene variants and a variety of spine phenotypes. Bioinformatic methods will be further used for general confirmation. In particular, DisGeNET and genetic correlation with known risk factors for LDD will be interrogated. Additionally, the ESR will seek to address the question of whether the gut microbiome differs in people with Modic change. To do this, we will leverage existing MR scans available and collect stools (by post) in a process that has become routine in TwinsUK. HOST: KCL, United Kingdom - Secondments: IMIM, UPF - PhD delivered by: KCL - Deadline for recruitment: January 2021
     - Application Deadline: 01/11/2020

  • CLOSED: Pre-application open for ESR 7: Experimental exploration of the microbiome in degenerated IVD
    This doctoral research program will investigate the potential role of infective agents and the microbiome in low back pain. Utilising human intervertebral disc samples from surgery the IVD microbiome will be characterised together with associated microbiome sites using high throughput microbiome sequencing. In vitro co-culture systems will then be deployed to investigate the potential roles of infective agents and the microbiome on disc cell behaviour and implications in the pathogenesis of disc degeneration. Culture systems will be utilised which mimic the cellular niche of human intervertebral disc during disc degeneration.
    HOST: SHU, United Kingdom - Secondments: UBern; ULG - PhD delivered by: SHU - Deadline for recruitment: January 2021
     - Application Deadline: 01/11/2020

  • CLOSED: Application open for ESR 12: In vitro & In silico modelling of CEP degeneration mechanisms
    ESR12 will be using the mesofluidics setup available at the host institute to test bovine IVD endplates under different fluid regimes defined through FE simulations with endplate micromodels by other partners in the consortium. Experiments consist of testing various biological conditions in the set-up and monitoring the tissue response through multiplex (elisa) and multi-omics (transcriptomics & metabolomics) assays. These experiments will serve to gain a system-level understanding of the interactions taking place in the IVD endplates and validate the computational models developed by other partners in the project.
    HOST: ULG, Belgium - Secondments: UBern; PAO; UPF - PhD delivered by: ULG - Deadline for recruitment: January 2021
     - Application Deadline: 31/10/2020

  • CLOSED: Application open for PROJECT MANAGER: 

Coordination tasks in Disc4All are utmost important. They include the monitoring and proper coordination of training and research at more than 11 international institutions, the monitoring of project finance, the communication of the project and of the results achieved, and the promotion of public engagement. Accordingly, a strong coordination team is needed and the Consortium is looking for a Project Manager that will provide support to the Project Coordinator and to the different Consortium Bodies of the project. Deadline for recruitment: November 15th, 2020
SEE JOB OFFER & APPLY - Application Deadline: 20/10/2020

  • CLOSED: Application for ESR 9 (1st recruitment period): Standardized in vitro static modelling & mechanism- based analyses of gene /protein /SNP at the cell /tissue & organ levels
    The contribution will consist of standardized in vitro static modelling & mechanism- based analyses of gene /protein / SNP at the cell /tissue & organ levels. The research will be to test physiological conditions using different pre-clinical 3D culture models. Laboratory methods involve qPCR, Western blotting, ELISA, immune-histology and microscopy but also biomechanical testing.
    HOST: UBern, Switzerland - Secondments: SHU; IMIM; RIT - PhD delivered by: UBern - Deadline for recruitment: January 2021
     - Application Deadline20/09/2020 EXTENDED: 15/10/2020

  • CLOSED: Application for ESR 5 (1st recruitment period): 3D modelling of the lumbar spine & automatic extraction of 3D morphological features in LDD
    ERS 5 will address 3D modelling of the lumbar spine from medical images. Methods using deep learning and statistical modelling will be developed to segment the lumbar vertebrae and intervertebral disks in 3D MRI sequences and CT image, and provide 3D subject-specific lumbar spine models from 2D medical images (X-rays or mid-sagital MR images) used in clinical practices. Those methods will be used in combination with finite-element-based simulation methods developed within other ESR14 and 15 to develop a diagnosis and predictive tool for intervertebral disk degeneration.
    HOST: GALGO, Spain - Secondments: OULU; InSilicoTrials - PhD delivered by: UPF - Deadline for recruitment: January 2021
     - Application Deadline15/09/2020 EXTENDED: 15/10/2020

  • CLOSED: Application for ESR 2 (1st recruitment period): Integrated solvers for bidirectional coupling of physical & biological events over multiple scales
    The ESR will work on creating models and algorithms for simulation of Intervertebral disc degeneration pathologies. The main task will be to develop a multiscale mechanistic modelling software by coupling an Agent Based (AB) simulation solver with a Finite Element(FE) solver for High Performance Computing. The Finite Element solver will be adapted to couple mechanical deformations and solute transport to perform osmoporoviscoelastic simulations, by using the processed MRI data of patient-specific disc geometries. The candidate will be expected to cover the following tasks: 1) Adapt the FE solver Alya to tackle solute transport simulations coupled with porous media finite deformations & with Donnan osmotic swelling; 2) Adapt AB solver Pandora to integrate regulation network and work with 3D meshes; 3) Couple Alya & Pandora over 3D meshes and generate a new multiscale AB-FE solver; 4) Verify and validate the multiscale solver & simulations; 5) Optimize for massive multiscale simulations on HPC; 6) Generate software package & provide initial support for integration into final platform - Host: BSC-CNS, Spain - Secondments: ULG; UBern - PhD delivered by: UPF - Deadline for recruitment: January 2021
     - Application Deadline: 30/09/2020