Pos-Doc Researcher (POCI-01-0145-FEDER-029087)


Project: STEPACHE - The pediatric roots of amplified pain: from contextual influences to risk stratification (AAC Nº 02/SAICT/2017 - Projeto Nº 029087)


Additional Information: Final Results Available



Project: STEPACHE - The pediatric roots of amplified pain: from contextual influences to risk stratification (AAC Nº 02/SAICT/2017 - Projeto Nº 029087)


Period for applications: 6 September to 19 September 2018



The Institute of Public Health of the University of Porto (ISPUP) opens a call to hire a PhD Researcher under Sistema de Apoio à Investigação Científica e Tecnológica (SAICT) – Call nr 02/SAICT/2017 - Projeto de Investigação Científica e Desenvolvimento Tecnológico (IC&DT), funded by Programa Operacional Competitividade e Internacionalização through Fundos Europeus de Desenvolvimento Regional (FEDER/FNR) and through national funds (FCT/OE) (POCI-01-0145-FEDER-029087), under the scope of project STEPACHE - The pediatric roots of amplified pain: from contextual influences to risk stratification (AAC Nº 02/SAICT/2017 - Projeto Nº 029087), coordinated by Raquel Lucas.

Chronic pain poses a major burden for individuals and societies. Important challenges persist regarding the understanding and prediction of amplified pain syndromes that track from childhood. We will use data collected as part of the large Generation XXI cohort, comprising children recruited at birth and evaluated again at ages 4, 7 and 10. Specifically, we will: 1) characterize an amplified pain response phenotype in early adolescence, by using quantitative sensory testing; 2) test the hypothesis of early psychosocial adversity as determinant of the pain experience, via systemic inflammation; and 3) develop a risk stratification tool for amplified pain to be used in clinical settings based on history of reported pain features. The present project is crucial to typify pain response in children and to stratify the risk of amplified pain. It will also allow to test a novel hypotheses involving the role of psychosocial adversity and inflammation in producing amplified pain. 



  1. Scientific Area: Health Sciences


  1. Admission requirements


The candidate must have:

a) PhD in Statistics;

b) experience in applying advanced statistical techniques to population health research;

c) excellent track record of publications in international peer-reviewed journals.


Preference will be given to candidates with expertise in conducting research work autonomously, as well as in managing multidisciplinary research teams. Demonstration of independent and critical thinking will be highly valued.


  1. Activity Outline


We are looking for an autonomous researcher who will design and supervise the statistical analysis of Generation XXI longitudinal data, from birth up to 13 years of age. The researcher will develop an analytical approach to quantify of the role of early life adversity and related disparities in producing an altered response to experimental pain. He/she will also work on the development of a tool to stratify the risk of maladaptive pain response for application in clinical and/or research settings. The researcher is expected to lead the production of original work publishable in the form of full text papers in international journals.


  1. Work place and supervision: Institute of Public Health of the University of Porto, under supervision of the project principal investigator Raquel Lucas. Address: Rua das Taipas 135-139 4050-600, Porto, Portugal


  1. Applicable legislation: The hiring will be governed by the Decree-Law no. 57/2016, of 29 August, as emended by Law no. 57/2017, of July 19, which approves the doctorate hiring regime destined to stimulate scientific and technological employment for all knowledge areas (“RJEC”) and the Labour Code, approved by Law no. 7/2009, of 12th february, in its current wording.


  1. Duration: Work contract with non-fixed term according to the Labour Code, with the expected starting date on November 2018. This contract cannot exceed the project’s duration.



  1. Salary: The monthly salary is set in accordance with the provisions in RJEC, article 15, no. 1, corresponding to level 33 of the single salary scale approved by Portaria nº 1553-C/2008, de 31 de dezembro at 2,128.34 Euros gross. The salary is paid 14 months per year.


  1. Selection criteria: The selection methods are the Curriculum Vitae evaluation (90%) and an interview (10%), according to the Decree-Law no. 57/2016, of 29 August, as emended by Law no. 57/2017, of July 19. There will be a pre-selection based on the CV evaluation, and up to five candidates will be selected for an interview. The successful candidate must score at least 10 points (half of the total score) in both CV and


8.1. Criteria for Curriculum Vitae evaluation (0 to 20 points):

a) Experience in the design and planning of statistical data analysis (0 to 6 points);

b) Experience in applying advanced statistical methods and techniques to public health research (0 to 4 points);

c) Track record of international publications in peer-review journals in terms of number and quality (0 to 4 points);

d) Background in integrating multi and interdisciplinary teams of researchers (0 to 2 points);

e) Supervision of junior researchers and other research staff in the broad field of public health (0 to 2 points);

f) Proficiency in English, written and spoken (0 to 2 points)


8.2. Criteria for interview evaluation (0 to 20 points):

a) Professional knowledge and skills to accomplish the work plan (0 to 9 points);

b) Motivation towards the research project (0 to 4 points);

c) Communication skills (0 to 3 points);

d) Professional attitude (0 to 4 points).


  1. Members of the Jury:


Raquel Lucas (PI, President)

Henrique Barros (Member)

Carla Moreira (Member)


  1. Non-discrimination and equal access policy: ISPUP actively promotes a non-discrimination and equal access policy, wherefore no candidate can be privileged, benefited, impaired or deprived of any rights whatsoever, or be exempt of any duties based on their ancestry, age, sex, sexual preference, marital status, family and economic conditions, instruction, origin or social conditions, genetic heritage, reduced work capacity, disability, chronic illness, nationality, ethnic origin or race, origin territory, language, religion, political or ideological convictions and union membership.


  1. Documents Required: The application period will be open from 6 to 19 September 2018. Applications must be formalized by an application letter along with the following documents: Curriculum Vitae, PhD certificate, motivation letter, (optional) reference letter(s), and other relevant documents (if applicable).


Applications should be sent by email to “secretaria@ispup.up.pt” or handed in person to Joana Ferreira, at Instituto de Saúde Pública da Universidade do Porto, Rua das Taipas 135, 4050-600 Porto, within the timeframe of the call. Please highlight the following reference in the subject field of the application email: “Postdoc Researcher – STEPACHE”.


  1. Notification of results: 


Candidates will be notified by email and all relevant information will be published at the ISPUP website (http://www.ispup.up.pt).


Results List:


The minutes with the final classification were made available to the candidates. The minutes are posted on the Institute for the period determined in a public notice.


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