A holistic approach to training a new generation of scientists in marine biodiscovery

HOTBIO is a MSCA Doctoral Network in marine biodiscovery where secondary metabolites from marine microorganisms will be developed into well-characterised compounds that can be applied as medicines, agrochemicals or aquaculture drugs. This goal will be achieved by combining the chemical diversity that can be accessed through a traditional bioprospecting pipeline with downstream efforts such as computer-aided drug design (CADD), medicinal chemistry, target deconvolution and ADMET profiling.

Horizon Europe MSCA DN HOTBIO

The HOTBIO project is a Horizon Europe MSCA Doctoral Network project that aims to train doctoral fellows in the field of marine biology and pharmacology.

HOTBIO is a marine biodiscovery project developing secondary metabolites from marine microorganisms into well-characterised compounds that can be applied in medicine, agriculture or aquaculture. This collaborative action comprises a network of leading institutions and offers a first-class research and training program in an international, multidisciplinary environment.

The consortium will welcome 13 early-stage researchers, who will develop their individual research projects for three years in one of our excellent beneficiary institutions. Within this network, the candidates will be introduced to every stage of the marine biodiscovery pipeline, while their individual research projects will be dedicated to certain steps of this pipeline. High quality training in transferable skills will also be provided by the network. The main research activities of the PhD students will be accompanied by secondments at different sites, as well as meetings, courses and practical workshops specifically crafted for the project. Furthermore, the fellows will be enrolled in local doctoral schools, where they will get additional training and collaboration opportunities.

The goal of this extensive training program is to complement the day-to-day scientific training with the experiences and tools needed to pursue a future career in any sector of science, both inside and outside academia. Students graduating from HOTBIO will be in a unique position to enter a challenging labour market, as they will have received multidisciplinary training at world-leading research groups in academia and industry partners.

Project background

The HOTBIO consortium will train a new generation of researchers to develop marine microbial natural products from the seabed to the bedside. This project expands a conventional marine biodiscovery pipeline by employing cutting edge technology, including computer aided drug design, chemical synthesis of optimised compounds (i.e. medicinal chemistry), target deconvolution and extensive ADMET profiling. This will advance the bioactive microbial secondary metabolites to the later stages of preclinical development.

Just like the field of marine biodiscovery, this consortium is highly multidisciplinary, with experts from the fields of microbiology, chemistry, high throughput screening, genome mining, innovation, commercialization, molecular biology, and computational chemistry. The partners will work synergistically to optimise the learning experience for the candidates.

The consortium is composed of seven European beneficiaries from six different countries (Germany, Spain, Italy, Poland, Belgium and Norway), three partners from Switzerland and the United Kingdom, as well as associated partners from Austria, Ghana and India. The project will be coordinated by UiT - The Arctic University of Norway.

 The project will start on January 1st, 2023, and the recruitment of PhD students will start in early 2023. Applications will have to be submitted to the host institution of the individual projects. Please follow this webpage for the specific announcement of the individual positions.

Who can apply?

Applicants must be doctoral candidates, i.e. not already in possession of a doctoral degree at the date of the recruitment, and they must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting beneficiary for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before their date of recruitment.