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GRAL Research proposal for PhD projects

Context of this Call

In the framework of the recently funded EUR “Grenoble Graduate School in Chemistry, Biology and Health” (CBH-EUR-GS), the LABEX-GRAL funds PhD scholarships (salary for a PhD student and 10 k€ bench fees per year) in the area of integrated structural and cellular biology.

  1. Scientific scope of GRAL-2

Integrating structural and dynamical information at various scales is essential for understanding complex biological processes. GRAL-2 emphasizes the dynamics of living systems, including the assembly of protein complexes, their integration into functional operating systems, the kinetics of interactions between host and pathogens and the self-organization of cells into multicellular architectures such as tissues or organoids. Overall, GRAL 2 is divided into two main programs: 1) “Molecular Machines and Dynamics” and 2) “Self organization of Living Systems”.

  1. Molecular Machines and Dynamics:

The objective of this program is the comprehensive analysis of molecular machines focused but not limited to the following processes: (i) microbial host-pathogen interactions, (ii) immunity and infection, (iii) membrane transport and signalling, or (iv) epigenetics, chromatin and cancer. The development of methods used to study these complex machineries is also in the scope of this call. These include among others: NMR, X-ray crystallography, atomic force microscopy, single molecule fluorescence technologies, neutron and X-ray scattering, optical and electron microscopy, native mass spectrometry techniques and/or molecular dynamics simulations.

  1. Self-organization of Living systems:

A central property of living systems is their capacity to self-organize. The objective of this program is the study of the dynamic properties of self-organization during morphogenesis and in response to environmental cues in different organisms such as bacteria, yeast, microalgae, flies, human cells or plants. The following areas of research are covered by this program: (i) multicellular assemblies (organoids, tissues etc.), (ii) dynamics of macromolecular complexes (protein, DNA, RNA etc.), (iii) chloroplast biogenesis and function, and (iv) dynamics of subcellular architectures (membranes, organelles etc.).

To reach these objectives and bridge the scales from molecules to tissues to organisms, GRAL-2 launches its first call for proposal to fund PhD scholarships.

  1. Terms of the call:

This call is open to theGRAL community and must fit the scientific scopes of GRAL-2 described above. Projects are encouraged to have a strong collaborative character and foster strong interactions between GRAL partner labs (CBM, PCV, BCI, BGE, IBS, EMBL) and/or with EUR partner labs, but only GRAL partners can receive funding. Applications from young scientists are also encouraged. Proposals for joint funding of PhD salaries by other organisations (half grant) will also be considered. The prime criteria for selection will be the scientific excellence and coherence of the proposal and the experience and track record of the project coordinator.

  1. Evaluation process:

Project proposals prepared using the attached template should be submitted by March. 6th 2019. Projects should be sent in pdf format to Manel.boumegoura@cea.fr.

The Science Advisory Board of GRAL will pre-select up to 20 proposals, which will be evaluated by external reviewers.

After external reviewing and evaluation by the SAB, the project coordinators will be notified of the results of the call in Spring 2019 and will then be given two months to select a potential candidate.

These selected PhD students will then be auditioned in Jun 2019 by an independent panel. If the PhD candidate fails to convince the panel, the project coordinator will be offered a new opportunity to present a candidate in a second audition, which will most likely take place in July 2019 or in the fall (Sept. or Oct 2019). Only projects with approved PhD candidates will be financed.

Projects selected by GRAL cannot receive substantial financing from other funding agencies.

  1. Budget information

 The global funding for this CALL is about 248 k€ per year, corresponding to 6 PhD scholarships.

  1. Contact

For any further information, please contact:


Tel: 0438780578

Processes and procedures for project submission

The submission form is available here


 Manel Boumegoura : manel.boumegoura@cea.fr