IMMUTRAIN – Training Network for the Immunotherapy of Cancer

Horizon2020 Immutrain Logo

Funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions General introduction

In the European Union, cancer is the leading cause of death and the overall cancer incidence is still increasing. As a result of expanding efforts to improve cancer outcome, a main paradigm change occured by targeting the immune system, not the tumor itself. „Science“ highlighted immunotherapy of cancer as „breakthrough of the year 2013“. Antibody-based therapies form an integral and constantly growing part of this approach leading towards individualised medicine. These therapies will strongly influence the coming decade of cancer care.

The training network for the immunotherapy of cancer (IMMUTRAIN), received 3,6 Mio. € for four years from the European Union, in order to perform cutting-edge research in this field and to respond to the increasingly demand for well-trained and skilled researchers. The network is coordinated by Prof. Stefan Endres and PD Dr. Sebastian Kobold from the division of clinical pharmacology at the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München. IMMUTRAIN will bring together international experts in the fields of monoclonal antibodies, dendritic cells, T-cells and immunomodulatory nucleic acids with a considerable industrial involvement in order to train the next generation of scientists.

Young researchers recruited by IMMUTRAIN will benefit from a network comprising nine academic research groups and five industrial partners in a total of nine European countries. The network will actively create synergies between those sectors by forming and promoting young researchers to match the challenges of immunotherapies.

Training programme and scientific projects

The overall scientific objective of IMMUTRAIN is to enhance the efficacy of antibody-based therapies through combination with synergistic immunotherapeutic aproaches. Each early stage researcher (ESR) will be appointed for a scientific project by a host institution, partner of the network. Each project is part of one of the four scientific work-packages of IMMUTRAIN.

Work Package Topics

IMMUTRAIN’s training objectives are: 1) To give an extensive overview of immunologic combination partners for antibodies. 2) To teach how to develop new therapies (target validation, drug discovery and development). 3) To provide a broad methodological know-how in the field of immunotherapy. 4) To provide transferable skills. 5) To give an insight into the respective chances and challenges of the academic and industrial sectors. 6) To provide academic and industry contacts for later cooperations and/or employment.



Call for applications

The IMMUTRAIN project started in December 2015 and is looking for one early stage researcher to join the program at Université de Genève. Further information:

We offer:

  • Cutting-edge-research project
  • State-of-the-art and innovative international training in one of the most exiting fields of biomedical research: cancer immunotherapy
  • Project with strong translational perspective
  • The possibility to obtain a doctoral degree
  • The researchers will benefit from an employment contract with the respective host institution, carrying pension and social security but also subject to normal taxes. The salary and the benefits corresponds to the rates stipulated by the European Commission for Marie Skłodowska-Curie researchers. This includes:
    • a living allowance
    • a mobility allowance
    • a family allowance (if applicable).

Description of the position at Université de Genève:

PhD position available in cancer immunotherapy

Research in the laboratory headed by Prof. Carole Bourquin (Geneva, Switzerland) focuses on the role of innate immunity for the generation of anti-cancer responses. A major focus is the development of immunotherapeutic strategies to target immune cell metabolism. In the proposed project the successful candidate will investigate novel applications for cancer immunotherapy combining metabolic inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies. In addition, the project will involve the use of nanoparticles as drug delivery system.

Qualifications: In addition to the general requirements for application to IMMUTRAIN, candidates should have hands-on experience in the field of tumor immunology, for example during their master thesis.

We offer: The work will be carried out at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. The laboratory is located in a newly built facility for biomedical research located next to the University Hospital, equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure and extensive core facilities, and in close proximity to clinical research groups. The position is available from September 2018.

We seek:

  • Excellent scientists with a master degree or equivalent in natural sciences or related disciplines (such as medicine or pharmacy)
  • Practical skills in modern laboratory work, preferentially combined with experience in tumor immunology

You must:

  • Be within your first four years of research experience after completion of your masters degree or equivalent
  • Not have spent more than 12 months within the past 36 months in Switzerland (mobility rule)
  • Not hold a doctoral degree at the time of recruitment
  • Be proficient in the English language both written and spoken (proof required)
  • Submit your full application before June, 15th 2018
  • Please note that we will require the strict application of any of the "must" criteria prior to recruitment. If you fail to provide firm evidence for any of these criteria, you will be excluded from further consideration for the programme.

Applications will only be accepted and considered via the web portal. Applications will open on on May 15th 2018 and close on June 15th 2018.

The selected candidates will be invited for an interview on site or remoted (step 2). The final decision will be taken by Prof. Carole Bourquin and her team after having considered the quality of the written application and the letters of reference for the first step of selection. The modalities of the interview will be communicated to the candidates selected for the second step by the team of Prof. Bourquin. The evaluation will be carried out in compliance with the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.

Our application form contains nine different tabs enabling you to enter all required information and to upload corresponding documents. To save entries please click the Save Button at the bottom of the page. Entries will not be saved automatically. You may revisit and modify your personal application form any time prior to final submission. When you are ready to submit your application, please click the Save and Submit Button. After submission you will no longer be able to edit your application. However, you will be able to view your submitted data throughout the application process. Submission of applications is only possible, if all required fields (marked with a yellow triangle) are filled out. Non required fields are optional but it is recommended to fill out all those fields that apply to your specific situation.

Letters of recommendation

It is strongly recommended to deal with the letters of recommendation as soon as possible. This will allow the reviewers sufficient time to submit the letters in a timely manner. Please visit tab References for more information.

Uploading documents

We only accept non-encrypted PDF files (recommended) or JPEG files. Uploads have a size restriction of 5 MB each. It is recommend to scan documents with 300dpi. If a document consists of more than one page please combine those pages into a single PDF document. IMPORTANT: Please make sure that your documents are NOT password protected or encrypted. Encrypted files can not be processed and hence will not be available to members of the admissions committee.

My Progress

If you click on My Progress in the left menu, you will be able to see the current status of your application.

Your application file To view the final pdf file of your application please click on the tab "PDF", choose a template from the list and click on Download PDF. A pdf file will then be generated that is identical to the one, seen by the admissions committee (except the confidential letters of reference that will not be displayed in your version). Some of the fields you have filled out will not be displayed in this document (but will be stored in our data bank).

Deadline for submission of your application including the reference letters was June 15th 2018.

For any questions or inquiries, please contact