We are seeking for a highly motivated PhD student for a project entitled:
Experimental evolution of the thrifty and spendthrift genotypes, and its consequence for susceptibility to adverse effects of “Western diet”: insights from a selection experiment on bank voles
A 4-year scholarship of 5000 PLN / month (equivalent to mean gross income in Poland) is offered.
- MSc in life science (biology, biotechnology, animal sciences, or related; effective on 18.09.2020).
Admission in the International PhD Biology program in the PhD School at JU, effective on 1.10.2020 (https://science.phd.uj.edu.pl/).
- Good communication skills, good level of spoken and written English.
- Research experience with animals (preferably rodents) and physiological or biochemical laboratory.
Achievements such as publications or conference presentations are considered advantageous.
The research description
Obesity and co-occurring disorders have become major medical issues in a large and rapidly increasing part of the World. The immediate reasons seem obvious: a practically unlimited access to calorie-rich food, although often nutritionally deficient (so called “Western diet”), combined with reduced physical activity. However, despite great progress of knowledge, the question why humans are so vulnerable to these conditions, remains subject of debate and intensive research. The question is important not only from biomedical, but also from the evolutionary biology perspective, and, remarkably, the evolutionary perspective contributed to the progress in medicine. According to the “thrifty genotype” hypothesis, the ultimate cause is a history of past selection for the ability to cope with the food scarcity combined with energy-costly locomotory demands. This hypothesis, and related hypotheses concerning phenotypic mechanisms (epigenetic and developmental), have been supported by results of many studies. However, its logical counterpart, the “spendthrift genotype” hypothesis, which predicts ability to avoid the detrimental effects of calorie excess in animals adapted to perform best under no energy limitation, received much less attention and the results are inconsistent. The project is based on a unique experimental evolution model system - lines of the bank voles selected in three distinct directions: http://www.eko.uj.edu.pl/en_GB/zespol-fizjologii-ewolucyjnej/badania. We will answer the question how the selection for high performance under the conditions of unlimited vs restricted energy sources affects vulnerability of animals to the adverse effects of the Western diet.
A more comprehensive description of the project is in a pdf file below.
Preliminary enquiry: email to the principal investigator - Paweł Koteja (firstname.lastname@example.org)
1) A Curriculum Vitae (maximum 2 pages) including information on relevant academic achievements, publications, awards, and relevant experience and training. This document should also include identification information (PESEL number for candidates from Poland, or passport number for candidates from abroad).
2) A motivation letter (maximum 2 pages), explaining how the applicant’s background and research interests make them a suitable candidate for the position.
3) A scan of MSc diploma, or a certificate informing that the degree has been already obtained, or a letter from supervisor confirming that the MSc thesis is completed and the defense or final exams are scheduled on or before 16 September 2020.
4) Transcript of grades: diploma supplement, or the official transcript of grades, or another document listing completed courses and grades. Information about grading scale must be included.
5) Two reference letters from recognized scientists who have a first-hand knowledge of the applicant’s skills and past research experience.
6) Documents confirming the most important academic achievements declared in CV, particularly pdfs of publications.
7) A signed copy of a formal statement concerning the processing of personal data, available here: https://cawp.uj.edu.pl/en_GB/wynagrodzenia/stypendia (or on request from PI).
As a rule, the documents must be in English, with the exception of the copy of MSc diploma (#3), and the statement concerning personal data (#7), which can be in Polish. Diplomas and transcript of grades issued in other languages must be accompanied by certified translations to English or Polish.
The applications will be considered by the selection committee according to the regulations about scientific scholarships in research projects financed by the National Science Centre, Poland (https://www.ncn.gov.pl/sites/default/files/pliki/regulaminy/ncn_scholarships_in_projects_en.pdf)
and the general regulations of the PhD in Biology Programme https://science.phd.uj.edu.pl/en_GB/rekrutacja/rekrutacja-2020/2021/phd-programme-in-biology.
The pre-selected candidates will be invited for interviews (scheduled for 21-28 August 2020). The decision of acceptance will be made by 31 August 2020.