• Job location:  ICRA – Catalan Institute for Water Research, Girona, Spain
  • Number of positions available: 1
  • Expected start: September 2021
  • Temporal Position. The position is for 12 Months (approximately)
  • Gross Annual Salary package: 24.000 – 27.999 € (to be arranged according to the candidate’s skills)

The present call and the contracting is subject to obtaining the Project Final Resolution and the availability of economic funds and the effective start of the Project.



EPISARS is a project funded by the program “La Marató de TV3”. The main goal of EPISARS is to provide new tools to model the spread of SARS-CoV-2 that help on the management of the current COVID-19 pandemic and upcoming threats caused by similar pandemic viruses. Specific objectives of EPISARS are: i) to investigate the potential of SARS-CoV-2 Wastewater-based Epidemeiology (WBE) applied to precincts as an alternative to individual clinical testing; ii) to develop molecular methodologies to estimate the infectivity capacity of SARS-CoV-2 through wastewater; iii) to improve public health management tools by assessing the occupational risks linked to SARS-CoV-2 environmental exposure; iv) to develop new Generation Sequencing technologies and user-friendly bioinformatic pipelines for the identification of Coronaviruses (CoV) and sequence variants; v) to investigate the role of livestock in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and as reservoirs for other CoV; vi) to gather information on circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants in different areas of Catalonia and population strata (cities, hospitals, elderly and university residences, schools, slaughterhouses/farms) evaluating potential pathogenesis and evolutionary aspects. This project will contribute at short term to the control and prevention of the transmission of Coronaviruses, identification of emerging strains, surveillance of the virus circulation and the impact of the vaccine and will develop management tools to be prepared to upcoming epidemics.

We are looking for a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher (environmental engineer, microbiologist) (or a PhD with the thesis submitted), preferably with experience in the field of WBE or with any related research activities (e.g. microbiology, molecular biology, virology, analytical chemistry, or experience in sampling in sewer systems). The contribution of the ICRA team in the project is to proof the effectiveness of WBE at the building scale (elderly residences, primary/secondary schools and university dormitories) The hired person will complement a multidisciplinary team involving a PhD student, a modeller, and microbiologists and will supervise a PhD student.

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

1)       Deployment of wastewater sampling capabilities at the building scale, by setting up sampling devices, and evaluating the uncertainty behind different sampling strategies. This task will be conducted in tandem with a PhD student.

The candidate will be in permanent contact with the other partners of the project (UB and EURECAT) to coordinate the collection and delivery of samples.

2)       Setting up and coordinate sampling campaigns, collect the samples, and pre-treat them before downstream molecular and chemical analysis.

3)       Integrating results from the DNA and chemical analysis with health and socioeconomic information from the sampled communities.



The main responsibility of the successful candidate is to contribute to achieving the objectives outlined above

Edition of (at least) 2 scientific manuscripts to be published in high impact peer-reviewed scientific journal

Knowledge dissemination through scientific conferences

Edition of technical reports and project deliverables

Participation in the EPISARS Project meetings



Must Have – Required


The candidate should have at least 12 months experience as postdoctoral researcher. Experience in research-like activities. Experience in applied research which involves sampling and or modelling in sewers or wastewater treatment plants; Research experience in urban epidemiology.


PhD in Environmental Engineering, Biology, Chemical Engineering, Environmental Science.


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 Spanish and English language.

Experience in statistics; e.g. using R.


Former experience in sewage epidemiology; experience in modelling sewer systems; 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, knowledge of the Catalan language is also positively evaluated; driving license positively evaluated; 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:


Motivation letter

DNI or NIE (valid and with work permit in Spain). If you do not have a NIE, please attach a statement that you commit to take the necessary steps to obtain a work and residence permit in Spain.

Aplications and DeadlineDeadline for applications:

Send the required documents to call@icra.cat indicating ref. “EPISARS” in the subject of the email.

The deadline to submit the required documentation is August, 15th 2021.

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.

Basic information on Data Protection

Responsible: Fundació Institut Català de Recerca de l’Aigua (ICRA); Purpose: The selection of candidates for current and future jobs offered by our organization; Rights: You have the right to access, rectify and delete the data, as well as other rights indicated in the additional information; Additional information: You can consult the additional and detailed information on Data Protection on our website: http://www.icra.cat/politica-de-privacidad

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