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Oferta de trabajo: Postdoctoral Researcher in Environmental Microbiology at AIRLAB


The Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) is a cutting-edge institute addressing global public health challenges through research, translation into policy and education. ISGlobal has a broad portfolio in communicable and non-communicable diseases including environmental and climate determinants, and applies a multidisciplinary scientific approach ranging from the molecular to the population level. Research is organized in the following main areas, Malaria and other Infectious Diseases, Maternal, Child and Reproductive Health, Urban Health, Child and Environmental health, and Climate & Non-Communicable Diseases. ISGlobal is accredited with the Severo Ochoa distinction, a seal of excellence of the Spanish Science Ministry.




Barcelona, Campus Mar


The AIRLAB, from the Climate and Health group at ISGlobal, led by ICREA Professor Xavier Rodó invites applications for a postdoctoral position in environmental microbiology, specifically in airborne microbiology, to work on the EU-funded project PREPARE-TID (Pipeline for Rapid Diagnostics of Emergency Transboundary Infectious Diseases). 

Recent environmental changes and globalization have led to the increased frequency of global infectious threats, especially zoonotic infections such as SARS-CoV-1, MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2, avian and swine influenza, Ebola, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever, Zika, Dengue, viral encephalitis, and Mpox.

The PREPARE-TID project aims to improve molecular diagnostics and mNGS technologies by developing faster, more accessible tools for use even in resource-limited settings. By creating a unified digital "one health" platform, the project seeks to develop effective disease surveillance systems for rapid detection and identification of emergency transboundary infectious diseases. The AIRLAB work within the project involves implementing these technologies in the field, particularly focusing on bioaerosols in potential hotspots to prevent the spread of infectious agents and future pandemics.


We are seeking a highly motivated scientist with a PhD in microbiology or environmental ecology. A broad interest in natural sciences, particularly ecology, is essential. Candidates should be motivated by scientific research and proficient in both wet lab advanced microbiological practices, molecular techniques including DNA extraction, library preparations, and PCR) and dry lab work. We will also value knowledge of statistic and bioinformatics tools for sequencing data analysis.


  • A Ph.D. in microbiology, environmental ecology, or a closely related field from a reputable, ranked institution.
  • Extensive experience in advanced microbiological practices, including culturing and identification of microorganisms.
  • Proficiency in molecular techniques, particularly DNA extraction, library preparation, and PCR.
  • Competence in bioinformatics tools for sequencing data analysis, with a focus on metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) technologies will also be valued.
  • Experience with statistical data analysis in Python and R will be highly valued.


  • Focus on studying airborne microbiology to identify, analyze and characterize potential infectious agents.
  • Implement advanced molecular diagnostic tools for rapid and accurate detection of pathogens.
  • Develop strategies to enable early detection and identification of infectious diseases, focusing on transboundary threats.
  • Apply the developed diagnostic and sequencing technologies in real-world settings to test samples from high-risk environments, such as bioaerosols in hotspots, to prevent the spread of zoonotic infections. 
  • Collaborate within the international environment and contribute to the development of a comprehensive strategy for managing and mitigating infectious disease outbreaks.
  • Engage in proactive research and technology implementation to prevent future pandemics.
  • Publish research findings in scientific journals and present them at major scientific meetings.


  • Developing and applying advanced methods for DNA and RNA extraction from low biomass air samples, aiming for rapid and robust results suitable for environmental microbiology research.
  • Organizing and conducting fieldwork to collect bioaerosol samples from environments prone to high risks of infectious diseases, ensuring samples are representative and well-documented.
  • Conducting laboratory work to extract genetic material from collected samples, employing established protocols and newly developed techniques.
  • Running downstream analysis by PCR and NGS to analyze genetic material, generating comprehensive datasets that contribute to understanding the air microbiome.
  • Applying bioinformatics tools to analyze NGS data, focusing on taxonomy, functional profiling, and phylogenesis to characterize microbial communities present in air samples.
  • Writing manuscripts based on research findings and submitting them to peer-reviewed scientific journals, contributing valuable insights to the field of environmental microbiology and infectious diseases.
  • Disseminating research findings by presenting at major scientific conferences and meetings, fostering discussions and collaborations within the scientific community.

The ideal candidate should have experience in proposal writing and adept at developing grant proposals, synthesizing complex information, and proposing innovative research directions. He/She must demonstrate both independence and teamwork, capable of working autonomously and collaboratively in multidisciplinary teams to achieve shared research objectives.


This job description reflects the present requirements of the post but may evolve at any time in the future as duties and responsibilities change and/or develop providing there is appropriate consultation with the post-holder. 

This job description is not a definitive or exhaustive list of responsibilities but identifies the key responsibilities and tasks of the post holder. The specific objectives of the post holder will be subject to review as part of the individual professional assessment  process .


  • Outstanding organizational and team-working skills (yet capable of working independently).
  • Responsible, flexible and with problem solving skills.
  • Eager to learn, proactive and with great initiative.
  • Capability of setting and meeting deadlines.
  • Demonstrable adaptability and flexibility to adapt positively to changes.
  • Availability to travel as required by project activities. 

The post holder will adhere to ISGlobal principles contained in People management policy, including Equity, diversity and health safety. The post holder will respect, and accountable to ensure ISGlobal policies and procedures .


  • Excellent command of written and spoken English.
  • Knowledge of Spanish and/or Catalan would be an asset.


  • Duration: 24 months (with the possibility of extension pending successful evaluations).     
  • Starting date:    September 2024
  • Contract: (part or full time) Full-time.
  • Salary Range: According to internal scales (Postdoctoral fellow, category C, equivalent to 31-32K€/yr).


Applicants must fill in the request form and include the following code reference position: Postdoc_PREPARE-TID_July24, attach the CV and a Cover Letter. Each attached document must be named with the candidate name and surname. 

The receipt of applications will be open until the position is filled.

Only the applications submitted through the request form will be considered.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

The interviews could be placed during the reception candidatures period.

Diverse candidatures are encouraged, that includes: gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, physical abilities, and political views.


The selection process is designed in two phases:
1- Interview phase of a technical nature, with the team that requires the incorporation. To assess the person's skills and CV.
2 - Meeting with HR with the finalist(s) to finish assessing the profile and discuss contractual and institutional issues.

If needed any technical test could be pass. A Psychological Competency Evaluation Test will be required for the structural or transversal positions.

In accordance with the OTM-R principles, a gender-balanced recruitment panel is formed for every vacancy at the beginning of the process. After reviewing the content of the applications, the panel will start the interviews, with at least one technical and one administrative interview. A profile questionnaire as well as a technical exercise may be required during the process.

In ISGlobal we are committed to maintaining and developing a work environment in which the values and principles of our organization are respected and equal opportunities between women and men be promoted in each of the areas in which we operate, not tolerating discrimination based on criteria such as age, gender, marital status, race, ethnicity, functional diversity, political leanings, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

ISGlobal supports the initiative #ScienceforUkraine. Therefore, to sustain Ukraine’s presence in the European Research Area and international scholarly community, candidates from Ukraine on all levels of scholarly career are welcome: students, PhD candidates, early career researchers and senior scholars.
We confirm our commitment towards the value of the diversity of our staff and student population and seek to promote peace, equity, diversity and inclusion as essential elements in contribution to improving health worldwide.