14 PhD Positions in the EU Horizon 2020 MSCA-ITN project V.A. Cure

Vascular anomalies (VAs) are a group of rare diseases defined by blood- or lymph vessel dysfunction causing chronic pain, disabilities, and even sudden death, for which effective treatments are lacking. The V.A. Cure network aims to uncover core mechanisms of initiation and maintenance of these diseases with the final goal to stablish novel therapeutic strategies for VAs. The network is funded in the frame of the EU MSCA-ITN programme and has 9 consortium partners:

de Duve Institute (Belgium)  –  Uppsala University (Sweden)  –  Karolinska Institute (Sweden)  –  Potsdam University (Germany)  –  Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research (Germany)  –  Oulu University (Finland)  –  INSERM U136 Grenoble (France)  –  FinnAdvance (Finland)  –  AstraZeneca (Sweden)



Working at one of the partners and being part of a team of 14 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs), you will be enrolled in a PhD programme and work on one of the research projects listed below. You will receive training in the fundamentals of vascular biology and state-of-the-art biomedical research techniques, as well as in generic skills like management and communication through the network’s international training programme. You will take part in networking and outreach events of the network. For short periods (several months), you will work at other universities or companies of the network.



To qualify as a candidate, you must:

  • Be in the first four years (full time equivalent) of your research career. This is measured from the date when you obtained a degree which formally entitles you to embark on a doctorate.
  • Not yet have a doctoral degree.
  • At the time of selection by the host organisation, have not resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment. Short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account.

Further requirements:

  • Fulfil the specific recruitment criteria of the position you are interested in.
  • Have the ability to understand and express yourself in both written and spoken English.


Benefits of joining the V.A. Cure Network:

  • Be part of an international team of leading scientists in vascular biology.
  • Prestigious EU fellowship.
  • Develop multidisciplinary research skills.
  • Excellent training programme.
  • Establish a professional network in academia and industry.
  • Secondments and visits to partners in different countries.
  • Contribute to a better health care for people with severe rare diseases.


Salary and appointment terms

The successful candidates will receive an attractive salary (gross salary 3.171 – 3.983 euro depending on the country), in accordance with the MSCA regulations for Early Stage Researchers. The period of employment is 3 or 4 years depending on the institution (ITN funding for first 3 years).


How to apply

You may apply for one to max 4 research project(s) (see below). If you apply for more than one project, please indicate your order of preference.

1. Make sure you meet the qualifying requirements!

2. Submit your application to by e-mail. Please send one pdf file containing:

  • A motivation letter describing your research career goals, skills and experience (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma (in English or with a translation into English)
  • Two letters of recommendation or the contact information for at least 2 referees.


For position ESR 6 the application should also be submitted via the  Varbi recruitment system of Karolinska Institutet.

For positions ESR 4 and ESR 7 your application must also be submitted to Uppsala University via a web form that is accessible through this link.


Only position ESR 11 is still open for applications until 30 June. The deadline for submitting applications for the other positions has passed.


Recruitment process

The network consortium will make a shortlist for each position. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed (face-to-face or via teleconferencing) by three consortium members. Final selection may involve an additional face-to-face interview. All interviews will be held in English. Calendar:

Application deadline: 30 June 2019 (position ESR 11)

Interviews: April – August 2019

Aimed start date: June – October 2019

For more information see Recruitment process and selection criteria.


More information

Please visit for more information on the project, the recruitment and selection criteria.


Research projects

ESR 1 & 2: Identification of novel genes that cause Vascular Anomalies (de Duve Institute)

ESR 3: Peptides for specific targeting of vascular lesions in Venous Malformation, Lymphatic Malformation and Arterio-Venous Malformation (AstraZeneca)

ESR 4: Generation and characterization of mouse models for Venous Malformation and Lymphatic Malformation (Uppsala University)

ESR 5: iPS cells for vascular anomaly research (AstraZeneca)

ESR 6: Cellular heterogeneity in vascular malformation ‐ identification of novel targets (Karolinska Institute)

ESR 7: Investigation of the mechanisms of lymphatic endothelial PIK3CA signaling during normal development and formation of lymphatic malformations (Uppsala University)

ESR 8: Identification of pathways regulating pathological perivascular ECM remodeling and its importance for pathogenesis of vascular anomalies (Oulu University)

ESR 9 & 10: Zebrafish models of vascular development and disease (Potsdam University)

ESR 11: Dissecting the role of FOXO transcription factors in venous and lymphatic malformations (Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research)

ESR 12: Respective roles of BMP9 and BMP10 in blood and lymphatic vascular homeostasis  (INSERM U136 Grenoble)

ESR 13: BMP9/10 non-Smad signalling pathways: new targets for HHT treatment?  (INSERM U136 Grenoble)

ESR 14: Vascular anomaly-On-A-Chip (FinnAdvance)