Identification of piRNAs and microRNAs involved in sea urchin germ line specification

A 12 month short term fellowship is available under the supervision of Maria Ina Arnone at the Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn (SZN) in Napoli, Italy, within the Marie Curie ITN “EvoCELL” ( The preferred starting date is 1st October 2019.

General information on the EvoCELL Network

EvoCELL is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network addressing the evolution of cell types using a diverse array of vertebrates and invertebrates. The network unites 8 academic and 2 non-academic organisations from 6 European countries. It provides a multi-disciplinary and
international environment with training opportunities and exchange between the Network
members. The labs in the network are using single-cell and tissue genomic techniques, merging themwith more traditional approaches. All fellows will also contribute to scientific outreach andcommunication to a wider public as a fundamental part of the project. Applications are invited fromexcellent candidates seeking training in the field of animal evolution from a cell-type perspective. For general information on the EvoCELL short term fellowships see

Project description

Main objective of this project will be the production of small RNA libraries from small micromere descendant dissociated cells in Strongylocentrotus purpuratus to search for and characterize piRNAs and microRNAs involved in germ line specification. The work will involve sea urchin germ cell isolation, library construction, sequencing and CRISPR-Cas9 mediated knock-out of key small micromere specific regulatory genes. Applicants should have some experience in molecular biology, developmental biology and/or genetics. Previous experience in sea urchin embryos and CRISPR-Cas9 mediated gene editing approaches would be preferred but are not required.

More information about the Arnone lab can be found at:

Eligibility criteria

Applicants should have a Masters degree or equivalent (e.g. a 5-year university degree) in a relevant field, but cannot already possess a doctoral degree. Experience in experimental molecular biology and bioinformatics is preferable. To be eligible for the fellowship, candidates should have no more than 4 years of research experience since graduation from a bachelor’s level degree. Candidates of all nationalities may apply, but they must not have lived in Italy for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their appointment. The fellow will receive a competitive salary, including a mobility allowance and social security.

Selection process

Applicants should apply as described at SZN website (
Informal enquiries (including a short letter of interest and CV) can be sent to

More information about the application process can be found at:

Additional comments

– The starting date is flexible but would preferably be between 1st October and 1st November 2019.