GLYCOprotein N-glycosylation from non-life to eukaryotes a Doctoral Network to expand the knowledge on a ubiquitous posttranslational modification of proteins.

Glyco-N Consortium: Call for 9 PhD fellowships within the MSCA DN

Deadline 31st May 2024

Offer Description

The GLYCO-N training network aims at training Doctoral Candidates (DCs) to acquire the skills to develop different innovative strategies to
1) understand the diversity and structural complexity of archaeal, microalgal and viral N-glycosylation and
2) harness this knowledge for new solutions in biomedicine and biotechnology.

Protein N-glycosylation, or the attachment of oligo- and polysaccharides at specific asparagine residues, is conserved throughout life, and is now observed even in the viral world. In contrast to most of eukaryotes, whose well-studied N-glycosylation machineries are relatively simple, archaea, microalgae, viruses and bacteria utilize a wide variety of monosaccharides to create a wealth of structurally diverse N-glycans. Because protein N-glycosylation occurs far downstream of protein synthesis the complexity and diversity in N-glycan structures are poorly understood. GLYCO-N program has the bold task to dissect the N-glycosylation pattern harbored by archaea, microalgae and viruses, because aware that any discovery hold promise to shed light in different areas, ranging from drug discovery (antimicrobials) to biotechnology (biologics, glycoprotein and glycoprocessing enzyme engineering for materials and life sciences).

The GLYCO-N network brings together a diverse group of glycobiology researchers with world-leading expertise in carbohydrate chemistry, microbiology, (bio)organic chemistry, computational and structural (glyco-)biology, bioinformatics and chemical biology. The GLYCO-N DCs will have their own individual project with one GLYCO-N expert and will, through research internships, be exposed to complementary Glycoscience.

The selected PhD candidates will experience an international and interdisciplinary training and participate in a series of scientific, technical and complementary skills training events, and secondments to other participating institutions. The position will allow the students to participate  in an exciting multidisciplinary research and training programme, enhancing their career perspectives. 


Scientific Requirements for applicants

Research Field: Chemistry, Organic chemistry, Carbohydrate chemistry, Biochemistry, Structural Biology, Molecular Biology, Pharmacy, Biotechnology

Education Level: Master Degree or equivalent



Candidates must have the following skills/qualifications

  • Applicants must have good knowledge and interest in Carbohydrate chemistry, microbiology, (bio)organic chemistry, computational and structural biology, bioinformatics and chemical biology
  • Research experience on these topics is considered an advantage but not mandatory
  • Applicants must speak and write fluently in English 


Additional Information



  • GLYCO-N DCs will be employed according to the rules for doctoral candidates in MSCA-DCs ( and the general regulations of each host institution.
  • The financial package will include the monthly researcher allowances subdivided into 1) a living allowance of €3,400 (country correction coefficient applies), 2) a mobility allowance of €600 and, 3) family allowance (€660), if applicable*. Employer costs and other deductions depend on recruiting host.
    *If the recruited doctoral candidate has or acquires family obligations during the action duration, i.e. persons linked to him/her by (i) marriage, or (ii) a relationship with equivalent status to a marriage recognised by the legislation of the country or region where this relationship was formalised; or (iii) dependent children who are actually being maintained by the researcher, the family allowance must be paid to him/her as well.
  • Doctoral candidate will be given an employment contract for 36 months by their host institution and will be entitled to full employee benefits and inclusion in social security schemes of the host country.


Eligibility criteria

  • Supported researchers: applicants must be doctoral candidates, i.e., not already in possession of a doctoral degree at the date of recruitment. Researchers who have successfully defended their doctoral thesis but who have not yet formally been awarded the doctoral degree will not be considered eligible.
  • Mobility rule: researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (e.g., work, studies) in the country of the recruiting beneficiary for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before their recruitment date.
  • Other eligibility criteria may apply depending on the recruiting beneficiary.
Selection process

The fellow must not have resided in the country where the research training activities will take place for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment date (and not have carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in that country).


Application Procedure

Applications (in English) must include the following documents in a single PDF file:

  1. Letter of motivation addressed to the contact specified under each project in the Offer Description, including a statement why you are suited for this position;
  2. Curriculum vitae in EU format, including a photo of the candidate; the CV must be without gaps, in order to easily check the mobility and experience requirements. CVs that either do not clearly show the applicant’s past experience, or have gaps, will be considered ineligible
  3. Transcripts of B.Sc and M.Sc. courses, including grades. 
  4. Copy of master’s thesis (if available). In case the Master’s Degree has not been obtained yet at the closing date for application, the candidate has to submit a declaration signed by their supervisor or University official stating that the degree will be obtained by the time of PhD enrolment. 
  5. Two references letters from former supervisors, including names, affiliations and email addresses.

Application documents in a single pdf file should be sent by email to the contact specified under the list of each research project in the Offer Description. The subject line of the email must be in the following format: “GLYCO-N: application for Project #_Title of PhD project”.

The candidates will be evaluated on the basis of the received documents (Step 1) against the following criteria:

  • Educational record
  • Scientific quality of the applicant’s CV
  • Expected individual impact and benefit to the fellow and to the project
  • Previous experience in the subject of GLYCO-N research programme

After the Step 1 evaluation, the best 3-4 candidates will be invited for an online interview (Step 2) that will take place in June/July 2024

A rejection letter will be sent to candidates not selected for the interviews.

The closing date for applications is May 31st.

Planned start date for the doctoral candidates: October, 2024

Position  Project title  Host Institution Reference tutor(s) for PhD application and email
DC1 N-glycosylation in the extremophile archaeae  UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI NAPOLI FEDERICO II, Italy

Prof. Antonio Molinaro

Prof. Cristina De Castro

DC2 Study of the glycosylation machinery of archaea: a new perspective to unravel the evolutionary history of the tree of life DANMARKS TEKNISKE UNIVERSITET, Denmark

Prof. Bernard Henrissat

DC3 Study of the function of glycosyltransferases in the crenarchaeal model organism Sulfolobus acidocaldarius to unravel their potential for biotechnological application UNIVERSITAET DUISBURG-ESSEN, Germany

Prof Bettina Siebers

DC4 Structure and molecular recognition of viral N-glycoproteins ASOCIACION CENTRO DE INVESTIGACION COOPERATIVA EN BIOCIENCIAS, Spain

Prof. Jesús Jiménez-Barbero

DC5 Designer molecules to interfere with host and viral N-glycosylation processing UNIVERSITEIT LEIDEN, Netherland Selection closed
DC6 Unraveling the xylosylation pathway of N-glycoproteins in microalgae UNIVERSITE DE ROUEN NORMANDIE, France

Prof. Muriel Bardor

Dr Elodie Rivet

DC7 Modeling of mechanisms in wild type and engineered archaeal and microalgal glycoprocessing enzymes for the efficient synthesis of (neo)-glycans UNIVERSITAT DE BARCELONA, Spain

Prof. Carme Rovira;

DC8 Inhibitors and activity-based probes targeting host and viral glycosyltransferases UNIVERSITEIT LEIDEN, Netherland Selection closed
DC9 Mining chlorovirus PBCV-1 genome to decipher the N-glycosylation biosynthetic pathway UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI NAPOLI FEDERICO II, Italy

Prof. Cristina De Castro

Prof. Antonio Molinaro

DC10 Development of chemical probes for studying N-glycosylation from bioactive metabolites UNIVERSITAET DUISBURG-ESSEN, Germany

Prof. Markus Kaiser;

DC11 Unraveling how viral glycosylation machineries affect host glycoproteins IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON, United Kingdom

Dr. Benjamin Schumann;

To apply, please also check the job position here

Additional details on the individual research projects can be found at or directly asked by email to the reference tutors for the PhD application.

Funded by the European Union under Grant Agreement 101119499.
Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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