Skip to content


EU  Ocuther

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 722717.

ESR10: Supramolecular bioconjugates for ocular delivery; University of Padova (Italy)

At the University of Padova (Italy), we perform research and educate students covering a broad spectrum of the academic fields. The University of Padova is one of the oldest Universities worldwide and sits on the top ranking of national academic institutions  with particular strength in Biomedical Sciences. The Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences (DSF) boasts advanced facilities for the research in different pharmaceutical areas including drug design and synthesis, biotechnology, nanopharmacy and advanced drug delivery. DSF participates to the Doctoral Course of Molecular Sciences of the University of Padova.

The Doctoral Course of Molecular Sciences of  the University of Padova invites applications for the OCUTHER – European Training Network within Marie Sklodowska Curie Programme:

DOCTORAL STUDENT POSITION (Early Stage Researcher 1: Supramolecular bioconjugates for ocular delivery)

To date there is an unmet need of effective drug delivery systems for the retina targeting that can replace repeated and invasive intravitreal injections currently used for the treatment of several invalidating ocular diseases.  In this regard, UNIPD intends to design and develop novel suparamolecular systems, namely drug-polymer bioconjugates, with specific biopharmaceutical features. A few drug-polymer conjugates will be developed by using different polymers, different architectures and different conjugation chemistries in order to identify the key factors that control the biopharmaceutical behavior of the system and affect the therapeutic performance in the treatment of the eye diseases. Bioconjugates will be characterized by an array of analytical tools (NMR, IR, mass spectrometry, DLS, viscosimetry). The biopharmaceutical profile of the bioconjugates will be investigated to assess drug release and intracellular drug delivery in vitro. The PhD thesis project will allow for understanding the molecular requirements for nanocarriers  diffusivity and cell interfacing features in the retinal environment.

Required background: MSc degree in an appropriate field of science (e.g. medicinal chemistry, chemistry, material sciences, polymer chemistry, advanced drug delivery).

The Advanced Drug Delivery research unit led by Paolo Caliceti and Stefano Salmaso at the Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences of the University of Padova, Italy, offers a multi-disciplinary training program in the field of pharmaceutical sciences. The group is recognized in the field of advanced and responsive drug delivery systems both for small drugs and therapeutic macromolecules (oligonucleotides and proteins). The research is aimed at developing new novel supramolecular  nanomedicines designed for spatially and timely controlled drug delivery, namely  functional colloidal carriers for ocular drug delivery. Research activity in the group involves the design and synthesis of functional components, set-up of novel bioconjugation procedures, physical and chemical combination of the functional materials into colloidal carriers (typically liposomes and micelles) to tailor their behavior within the microenvironment. The  physico-chemical profiling, biopharmaceutical features and biological performance of the novel formulations are characterized by means of a variety of analytical technologies. The OCUTHER network will provide training across a wide range of disciplines including biology, pharmacology, chemistry, drug delivery, nanopharmacy and ophthalmology, ensuring interdisciplinary and inter-sectorial learning experience. The candidate selected for the Initial Training Network (ITN) project OCUTHER will be enrolled in the Molecular Sciences doctoral program of the University of Padova. The PhD program includes secondments in the laboratories of OCUTHER partners.

What we have to offer

  • Employment: 1 fte;
  • Duration of the contract: 36 months;
  • Salary: euro 38.598,27 (annual gross perceiver amount) with social security coverage and family allowance (if applicable), in accordance with the EC Marie Sklodowska-Curie financial guidelines for this scheme.

What we expect from the applicant

At the time of recruitment the selected candidate must have recently received his/her Master of Science degree and has not yet been awarded a doctoral degree. He must have excellent scientific background in the pharmaceutical, biophysical, chemical fields, communication skills, team player abilities, strong motivation, result oriented attitude, self-organization. Recruitment is open to all nationalities, but because of mobility rules defined by the EU, at the time of recruitment, candidates must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Italy for more than 12 months in the three years immediately prior to the reference date (compulsory national service and/or short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account).

Would you like to know more?

Are you interested?

Your application should include (and be limited to) the following attachments:

  • Letter of motivation.
  • Curriculum Vitae (including publications and communications if any).
  • Brief statement on how you will contribute to this project
  • Your Master of Science degree and/or official transcripts (in English).

To apply for this position, send an email to

The call is available in the following websites:

The deadline for applications has been extended to June 16, 2017.