the community site for and by developmental biologists

Group leader position in Marseille, France

Posted by , on 8 January 2014

Closing Date: 15 March 2021


The Developmental Biology Institute of Marseille (IBDM) is a leading research institute in Europe, with a unique focus on the study of developmental systems with interdisciplinary approaches using a wide range of animal models (Drosophila, Xenopus, C. elegans, chick, rat and mouse).

The IBDM is composed of 18 research groups and 5 scientific core facilities and benefits from the rich scientific environment of the Luminy campus of Aix-Marseille University. The overall research activity developed at the IBDM is at the crossroads of different fields: cell biology, development, evolution, neurobiology, physiology and biophysics. The connections and complementarity between these themes result in a strong scientific coherence of the overall research developed in the IBDM.

The teams employ transversal approaches and complementary strategies to understand how the instructions encoded in the genome are interpreted and translated to build structures (cells, tissues, organs) that perform specific functions, how these processes are regulated and integrated at the level of the whole organism and how their deregulation can lead to pathologies. A priority is to favor interdisciplinarity through the integration of new and original approaches that create conceptual and technical interfaces.

Please visit our website for more information.

We are looking for outstanding candidates who will complement the existing strengths of the Institute and develop an innovative and internationally competitive research program. Scientific excellence will be given the highest priority in the selection of the successful candidate.

This is a non-teaching position and knowledge of French is not required. The candidate will support his or her research by extramural funding * such as ERC, ATIP-Avenir or ANR.

Applicants should send in a single pdf file, a curriculum vitae, a list of publications, a 2 page summary of research achievements and projects in English, and the names and contacts of three references to the IBDM Director André Le Bivic ( before the 30th of January 2014.



* Note from the contributor: All of these funding mechanisms are extremely competitive and difficult to obtain. ATIP-Avenir is the combined name of nationally awarded startup packages for promising young independent researchers from the CNRS or INSERM, now joint for this purpose. It is considered prestigious within France, though the prestige wears off after a few years. But the application deadline for an award in the second half of 2014 was the end of November, 2013.

ERC funding can be sought with the assistance of offices both at Université Aix-Marseille and at the CNRS (starting grants – success rate around 9% – or for established scientists, once cited on average at 14%, but that seems high nowadays from my anecdotal experience).

The ANR is the French national funding agency and it does help to understand written French to apply, though it’s not strictly required. 2013’s calls are here: not many are applicable to developmental biology. Success rates are hard to come by but from the POV of a mid-career developmental biologist, it’s not impossible and not easy. I guesstimate around 10%, too.

There aren’t other large extramural grant programs for research in France, of which I’m aware, relevant to developmental biology. There is international funding such as the Human Frontier Science Program but only you can see if it’s relevant to your case, when applying to such an offer.

On the plus side, such a position at the IBDM has a high chance of translating ultimately into tenure as a French civil servant. On the down side, if you don’t arrive with your own operating budget, it will be difficult to get going again at the standard at which you were recruited initially from elsewhere.

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