We’re currently hiring for a position as an Early Stage Researcher at University of Iceland.

Project Title: Cyclodextrin nanotechnology: drug delivery to the posterior segments of the eye

Project-11-Information-sheet Extended Deadline
Project Application Form


The application deadline is 5 p.m. (CET) Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Anticipated Start Date: As soon as possible


We are looking for highly qualified, motivated, and hard-working graduate student for three-year project at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Iceland.

The project is part of the ORBITAL network which is an EU-funded Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovation Training Network (MSCA-ITN). This ITN will train 15 early stage researchers (PhD students) across Europe to develop drug delivery technologies that can help treat posterior segment diseases of the eye, e.g. age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. In so doing, ORBITAL aims to improve the quality of life and clinical outcomes for patients with these conditions.

The project title is Cyclodextrin nanotechnology: drug delivery to the posterior segments of the eye. Diseases of the posterior segment of the eye are increasing considerably, in part due to an ageing population. Typical  treatment involves regular injections into the eye, which is associated with significant patient discomfort and potentially serious side effects, including bleeding, infection and retinal detachment. As such, there is an unmet clinical need for the development of new and improved drug delivery techniques to treat this and similar diseases of the posterior segment of the eye.

The main objective of the project is to develop a novel g-cyclodextrin based solubilizing nanoparticles (SNPs) containing a kinase inhibitor in aqueous eye drops. Furthermore, the drug pharmacokinetics of a kinase inhibitor will be determined, both in vitro and in vivo, as well as the biodegradation of the SNPs.

Such aqueous eye drops could greatly improve patient comfort and reduce the need for invasive methods to treat ocular diseases in the posterior part of the eye. The project is transdisciplinary in nature, incorporating chemical, biomedical, polymeric, industrial and clinical expertise.

Expected results are:

Development of biodegradable -cyclodextrin-based SNPs for topical delivery of kinase inhibitors to the eye.

  • Dissociation profile of the SNPs and degradation profile of y-cyclodextrin in simulated tear fluid and in an animal
  • Pharmacokinetic profile of a model kinase inhibitor in several eye tissues after administration of the drug in


Standard duties and responsibilities of the ESR

For the first 18 months, the Researcher may only work on MSCA work,and additional duties may commence after this period.

In all cases, all duties and responsibilities will be clearly outlined in the researchers Personal Career Development Plan, as determined in the early stages of the project between the ESR and their supervisory committee.



Qualifications Essential

Applicants should hold or expect to attain, as a minimum a 2:1 Honours degree, or equivalent, in Chemistry, Pharmacy, Materials Science, Analytical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biomedical Science, Polymer Chemistry or related area.

Knowledge & Experience


  • Research project carried out in one of the above disciplines
  • A demonstrated knowledge of at least two of the following: pharmaceutical formulation development, drug delivery, analytical chemistry, nanotechnology


  • Work placement undertaken in an industry related to the above disciplines

Skills & Competencies


  • Applicants whose first language is not English must submit evidence of competency in

Evidence of interest, aptidude and research experience in the above disciplines


Please include the following with the application:

  • The application form linked here: Project Application Form
  • An official copy of your degree (s) (if applicable, an official English translation).
  • Course transcripts ((if applicable, an official English translation).
  • Any English proficiency test results required (see application form).


Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

For any informal queries, please contact Prof. Hakon Hrafn Sigurdsson on +354 8992252 or by email on hhs@hi.is
For queries relating to the university admission process please contact Prof. Hakon Hrafn Sigurdsson on +354 8992252 or by email on hhs@hi.is

Apply directly through the University of Iceland website, here:  http://english.hi.is/vacancies_list



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