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PhD student for a research project in the area of the CHRIS Salivary Microbiome

The University of Trento with the Institute for Biomedicine of Eurac Research in Bolzano/Bozen as sponsor and partner, invites applications for a 3-year-scholarship to develop and complete a PhD research project on "The CHRIS Salivary Microbiome", giving an original and innovative contribution to the existing research in the field.

The full Call for Application of the "International PhD Programme in Biomolecular Sciences - 35rd cycle Academic Year 2019/2020" of the University of Trento is available at http://www.unitn.it/en/ateneo/1961/announcement-of-selection

The main objective of this cooperation is to foster the link between the two Institutions by offering excellent conditions for a strong and highly motivated PhD student and supporting innovative research. The perception of the microbes that live on and in our bodies has recently undergone a radical re-evaluation: from a nuisance to essential for maintaining. The CHRIS study provides a unique opportunity to explore the association of the microbiome with the metabolic syndrome. In addition, their human genomes have been genotyped, and - for a subset of samples – there is a metabolic profile. The overall goal of this work is to explore the differences between the salivary microbiome found in healthy individuals, and among those whose health behaviors and medical history suggest they are at higher risk of heart disease, stroke or diabetes (the metabolic syndrome). These studies are essential first steps for determining if the messages in the salivary microbiome can be translated to diagnostic tests and/or treatments for the metabolic syndrome. Aims of this study are to explore how microbial communities interact with each other, the host, and environment to impact human health. Specifically, we will explore associations of the microbiome with the metabolic syndrome and factors associated with metabolic syndrome (nutrition, smoking habits, anthropometry, mental health), the metabolic profile, and human genes already associated with risk of the metabolic syndrome. In addition, we will explore variability in the salivary microbiota over space and time by comparing with other ongoing studies.

The PhD student will be affiliated with both Institutions and is expected to alternate her/his presence between Trento and Bolzano.



  • Fulfilling all academic duties of the PhD programme in Biomolecular Sciences of the University of Trento.
  • Developing and completing his/her research thesis on the topic of this call, in accordance with the tutor at the University of Trento and the tutor at the Institute for Biomedicine of Eurac Research.
  • Presenting research results in national- and international-level academic conferences.
  • Publishing in international peer-reviewed journals.



  • Bioinformatics and/or informatics skills
  • Mastering of at least one programming language, such as Python, Perl, Java, or C++
  • Very good knowledge in English (comprehension, speech and writing); Italian or German skills or willingness to learn at least one of the two languages.


We offer:

  • International working environment.
  • Dedicated work space, young environment and engaged colleagues.
  • A supportive PhD student community.
  • Possibility to attend in-house training activities (such as seminars held by colleagues or guest researchers).


How to apply:

Further information, including how to apply for this PhD position linked to the "PhD Programme in Biomolecular Sciences 35rd cycle" of the University of Trento, is available at:



Only applications submitted to the University of Trento will be considered. The post holder will be selected through the regular university procedure for selecting PhD students.

Deadline for applications to the university: July 24, 2019, hrs. 4.00 p.m. (Italian time)


For further information please contact Christian Fuchsberger: Christian.Fuchsberger@eurac.edu




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