Post Doctoral Position in Mineral origin of Basic Metabolisms at the Institute of Structural Biology
University of Grenoble Institute of Structural Biology

JOB PROFILE (Description):

The main objective of this offer is to recruit a outstanding candidate, highly motivated by the Université Grenoble Alpes « Origin of Life » project described below.


The 18-months postdoctoral position will be hosted at the the Metalloproteins unit. Institut de Biologie Structurale in Grenoble (IBS) with a preferred starting date of November 4, 2019. The postdoctoral fellow will be expected to carry out original research related to the study of fundamental biochemical reactions, such as nucleobases synthesis, on mineral surfaces. The candidate will use in vitro assays and spectroscopic and spectrometric techniques to identify intermediates in the synthesis of adenine and uracil on TiO2, SiO2 and other mineral supports (see Fontecilla-Camps, Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2019 58:42-48, for details). This work should lead to a comprehensive description of plausible metabolic pathways that could have taken place at the onset of life. If fruitful, this research could be published in very high impact journals.


The cross-disciplinary project « Origin of Life » (funded by Univ. Grenoble Alpes IDEX, brings together the expertise of astrophysicists, astrochemists, planetary scientists, prebiotic chemists, biologists, geologists and paleontologists. It aims to understand the chemical processes that have led to life on Earth, to define habitability conditions for both Solar System planets and exoplanets, and to detect the most favorable exoplanets where to search for a putative existence of life in a near future. The partner laboratories and the main science topic of « Origin of Life » are IBS (extremophile science and metallo-prebiotic chemistry); DCM (prebiotic chemistry); GRESEC (media science); PCV (photosynthetic organisms); IPAG (Interstellar medium, star and planet formation, Exoplanets, Solar System); ISTerre (Earth Science, Solar System) and LECA (Evolutionnary sciences, Paleogenetics).


Applicants must hold a Ph.D. degree with a solid background in laboratory chemistry and biochemistry, and be especially interested in catalytic mechanisms. Experience in anaerobic work will be appreciated.  The successful candidate will join the metalloproteins unit at IBS (∼13 faculties, technicians, postdocs and students) and will closely work with Dr. Juan C. Fontecilla-Camps and collaborate with other colleagues at the Université Grenoble Alpes (Prof. Yannick Vallée, Dr. Isabelle Gautier Lunaeu). Before applying, we encourage candidates to contact

Annual gross salary is 28500 euros for a candidate without research experience after obtaining a Ph.D. degree or equivalent. The position is accompanied with a financial support to carry out the research project consisting of up to 10000 euros for basic equipment and travel resources. The postdoctoral fellow will be employed by the Université Grenoble Alpes that is a major player in higher education and research in France ( The position is located in Grenoble, which is a university town located in a beautiful alpine environment.


Eligibility criteria




The applicant must hold a Ph.D. degree or equivalent at the time he/she will be hired.


Applicants should send their application letter in English and attach:

- Their latest diploma

- Their detailed CV

- Their list of publications

- Their research projects

- Two letters of recommendation.

Address to send the application to:


Selection process


Application deadline: September the 15th2019 at 17h00 (CET)

Applications will be evaluated through a three-step process:

  1. Eligibility check of applications on September the 16th2019
  2. 1st round of selection: the applications will be evaluated by a Review Board. Results will be given on September the 18th 2019.
  3. 2nd round of selection: shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview session in Grenoble (or by video-conference) before September the 25th 2019.


Additional comments

Required languages: English

TYPE of CONTRACT: temporary, 18 months

JOB STATUS (Full time or part time): Full time



APPLICATION DEADLINE:  15 September 2019

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