• Job location:  ICRA – Catalan Institute for Water Research, Girona, Spain
  • Number of positions available: 1
  • Expected start: March 2020
  • Temporal position. The position is for 6 months (with the possibility of an extension for 6 extra months)
  • Gross Annual Salary package: 19.000 €



SCOREwater (https://www.scorewater.eu/) is a Horizon 2020 project funded by the European Union, which aims at transitioning towards smart cities with a special focus on the water sector. ICRA’s contribution to SCOREwater will bring together technology and imagination to create new cities. ICRA believe’s that collecting data from nature, from infrastructure, from people and putting this data together then we can see new things about the city that we are not able to see. Collecting sewage samples and bringing them to the lab for chemical and microbiological analysis can help to understand people’s health patterns and health behaviours more at the source. From these samples, it is possible to separate the microbes from the bacteria and the viruses and the DNA, so we can process it for DNA data. We can also extract the chemicals from the samples so we can have data on chemicals excreted from humans. This information can reveal new ways to plan public awareness campaigns. Through the SCOREwater project ICRA will learn how to collect data from sewage from the engineering (on the selection of sampling points, selection of sampling strategies) from the chemistry (evaluation of target and non-target analytical methods) and the microbiology (how to get information out from the extracted DNA). The case study is in Barcelona; 3 neighbourhoods will be monitored for 1 year with the help of the public company BCASA in charge of the maintenance of the sewer system. All the analytical data will be analysed in tandem with information collected in health databases (on the pharmaceuticals prescribed, lifestyle habits and health status), with information on the socio-economic status of the inhabitants and with information obtained from a through telephone survey (executed by IERMB) for validation of the method.

We are looking for a highly motivated researcher with experience in the field of sewage epidemiology or with any related research activities (e.g. experience in analytical chemistry, or experience in sampling in sewer systems). The hired person will complement a multidisciplinary team involving engineers, chemists, microbiologists and a bioinformatic.

The hired person will combine both desktop and experimental work. The candidate would we involved in the execution of the following subtasks:

  1. Testing sewage sampling capabilities at intra-urban scale
  2. Support in the execution of sampling campaigns; take the samples, and pretreat for further chemical and DNA analysis; it involves as well simple analytical work in the lab.
  3. Integrating results from the chemical and DNA analysis.



  • The main responsibility of the successful candidate is to contribute to achieving the objectives outlined above
  • Setting up a monitoring station and participating in the design and execution of sampling campaigns in sewers and wastewater treatment plants.
  • Coordinate work from different research groups inside ICRA involved in SCOREwater
  • Edition of technical reports and project deliverables
  • Participation in the SCOREwater Project meetings



Must Have – Required

  • Experience in research-like activities; research experience in urban epidemiology; experience in general laboratory practice and basics in cell biology, micro and molecular biology.
  • BsC in Environmental Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Environmental Science. We will positively value holding a MsC in Forensic sciences, analytical chemistry or similar.
  • Independent, self-responsible and well-structured working style; Teamwork-oriented and enjoyment of inter- and transdisciplinary cooperation; Very good communication skills as well as proficiency in written and spoken English language


Former experience in sewage epidemiology; ability to work independently and as a member of a team; she/he must be creative, flexible, and eager to learn and to expand his /her scientific network; experience in the analysis of micropollutants in the lab;



Working conditions: Employed in compliance with Spanish legislation and regulations. Employees receive the benefits of the Spanish Social Security system covering sickness, maternity/paternity leaves and injuries at work.

International Environment: The opportunity to join a prestigious international research institution and become a member of a young and growing research group.

Continuous training in a high-quality environment.



Documentation Submitted: CV, motivation letter and recommendation letters

Aplications and DeadlineDeadline for applications:

Send the required documents to call@icra.cat indicating ref. ‘Tech_SCOREwater’ in the subject of the email.

The deadline to submit the required documentation is February, 27th 2020.

Selection process:

  • Pre-selection: will be based on CV, experience, skills and motivation letter.
  • Interviews: Short-listed candidates will be interviewed.
  • Offered Position: Job Offer will be sent to the successful candidate after the interview.


In ICRA 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 age, sex, marital status, race, ethnicity, disabilities, political leanings or sexual orientation. 

Recruitment will be carried out as provided for in Article 15 of Royal Legislative Decree 1/1995 of 24 March passing the text of the Workers' Statute Act, in accordance with the provisions of Article  2 of Royal Decree 2720/98 of 18 December (B.O.E. 8 January 1999), Act nº 12/2001 of July 9 (B.O.E. 10 July) and concordant regulations.

The principle of equality between men and women is taken into account, in accordance with Article 14 of the Spanish Constitution, the EU Directive of 9 February 1976 and the provisions of the Agreement of the Council of Ministers of March 4, 2005, passing the Plan for gender equality in the General State Administration.

Universal accessibility for persons with disabilities is taken into account, in accordance with paragraph 2 of Article 1 of Act nº 51/2003 of 2 December on equal opportunities, and 5% of vacancies are reserved provided the candidates pass the selection processes and are able to accredit disability and compatibility in performing the tasks so that we will progressively reach 2% of the total workforce.