Scientific Project Officer for Project MIMO (Microplastics in Micro-Organisms): Italy

The JRC is located in 5 Member States (Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain). The JRC offers a vacancy for a Contract Agent within the Exploratory Research Project MIMO (Microplastics in Micro-Organisms). The vacancy is within the Directorate Health, Consumers and Reference Materials. The directorate provides independent scientific evidence for the development, implementation and evaluation of EU policies, mainly in the areas of standardisation, public health, food and feed safety and authenticity, cosmetics and other consumer products, medical devices, nanomaterials, taxation with a focus on frauds and a well-functioning internal market.

The operational scientific research will take place in the unit F.2 Consumer Products Safety. The unit A.5 Scientific Development is in charge of the overall JRC Exploratory Research Programme.

Short description of activity:

The main activity of the ER Project MIMO relates to the development of procedures to use Single-Cell Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (sc-ICPMS) to measure the uptake of inorganic labelled microplastics by microorganisms (diatoms and cyanobacteria) and in-vitro cultivated Caco-2 intestinal cells.

The successful candidate will be in charge of:

  • developing procedures to use Single-Cell Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (sc-ICPMS) to measure the uptake of inorganic labelled microplastics by microorganisms (diatoms and cyanobacteria) and in-vitro cultivated cells
  • preparing and characterising model materials for use in studies of microplastic uptake in microrganisms
  • conducting microplastic exposure testing of in-vitro cultured cells for subsequent evaluation by sc-ICPMS


  • completed university studies of at least three years attested by a diploma and at least five years of professional experience in a field relevant to the position, alternatively a doctoral diploma in Chemistry, Materials Science, Biochemistry, Microbiology or related field
  • knowledge and practical experience in the operation of ICP-MS analytical instrumentation is essential
  • experience in the following would be advantageous
  1. the specific use of ICP-MS for single cell or single particles analysis;
  2. synthesising and characterising polymeric micro and nanoparticles;
  3. in-vitro-cell testing methods.
  • good oral and written communication skills in English (B2) are essential, knowledge of other languages is an advantage
  • solid record of research activities relevant for the post including publications in international peer-reviewed journals is an advantage
  • in addition, the following elements will be considered as an advantage
  • ability to work in a team and multi-cultural environment
  • the candidate is expected to be creative and work independently

Further information is available at: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/research-facility/nanobiotechnology-laboratory

Rules and eligibility

The candidate must be on a valid EPSO reserve list for Function Group IV contract staff or have applied to the permanent Call for Expression of Interest for researchers FG IV.

Applicants to the following Calls for Expression of Interest can be considered:

1. Call COM/1/2015/FGIV – Research:

In January 2015, the JRC has launched a permanent call for researchers FG IV. Details available at the link

2. Permanent CAST:

In January 2017, EPSO has launched an open-ended selection procedure to create a pool of candidates from which the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the European Union (EU) can recruit contract agents.

Details available at the link below: https://epso.europa.eu/documents/2240_en

Auxiliary contract staff: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/working-with-us/jobs/temporary-positions/contract-staff-members

Article 3b of the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Union applies. The actual period of employment within the Commission under this type of contract, including any period under renewal, shall not exceed 6 years.

Please note that due to the high number of applications received only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Further details
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