We’re hiring – position officially advertised!

We’re hiring – position officially advertised!

25 Jun 2024

A new one-year position to join the lab in sunny Sicily has just been advertised. The call (in Italian language, sorry) is available at https://www.urp.cnr.it/node/8967.

Please, notice that applications should not be made to me but using the procedure outlined in the call. Please, make sure that you follow carefully the directions in the call as it is not uncommon for formally incorrect applications to be discarded by the administration processing the documents.

The deadline for applications is July, 9th 2024.

Very important: the position is expected to start on September 1st 2024. As of now, and due to funding constraints, we have a very firm starting date and I don’t envision being able to accommodate any other starting date.

Candidates who will not receive a rejection email (see also below) are considered admitted to the Skype interview which will be held on July 29th 2024 at 10:00 Italian time.

Below, I will provide a few details on the position and the selection process…

Profile of candidates sought after

As you will see, the search is in the general area of ecology and evolution (and focused on data analysis) but is otherwise very broad. Indeed, candidates with (demonstrable) experience in one or more of the following are welcome to apply:

Analysis of (meta)genomic and/or transcriptomic data;

– Advanced geometric morphometric analyses;

– Multivariate statistics/machine learning and analysis of high-dimensional data;

Experience using/developing multi-omic/multi-view/multi-block methods

– Phylogenetic analysis with molecular dating using fossil calibrations, phylogenetic comparative methods and/or analysis of diversification;

– Advanced scripting/programming in R;

Development of ShinyApps

Using high performance computing (e.g., clusters) to perform bioinformatic/morphometric/biological data analysis;

In principle, anyone with a MSc can apply, but it is unlikely that someone without a PhD will be competitive (unless the lack of a PhD is compensated by something else, such as several papers in respectable ISI journals).

Type/length of appointment and expected remuneration

The appointment is called “Assegno di Ricerca” in the Italian system and it is some sort of hybrid between a fellowship and a work contract. The remuneration is 1,400 euros/month but these are net (the institution pays some social contributions). While one cannot expect to become rich with such a remuneration, it should be noticed that cost of living in Sicily is not particularly high.

Selection process

The selection process from the applicant’s perspective is overall similar to international postdoc selections, in that it consists of a first screening and a subsequent (Skype) interview.

The applicants who will have submitted the material correctly (please, follow carefully the instructions in the official call, including but not limited to submitting the required forms, your ID/passport and using the correct email address for submission) are first screened by a small committee.

The best applicants are then subjected to the Skype interview. Notice that in this case, candidates who will not be interviewed will receive a notification/rejection email, the others are considered admitted to the Skype interview. Also notice that candidates who will not show up to the interview (on July 29th 2024 at 10:00 Italian time) will be automatically excluded.

Note to Italian applicants

A working knowledge of English is expected (meaning you should be able to read and write papers in English, as well as interact with foreign colleagues should the need arise).

Note to foreign applicants and holders of foreign degrees

In principle, anyone from any nationality (and with degrees from any country) may apply. However, the Italian system is fairly bureaucratic. This means that the amount of paperwork you will have to do specifically for this position in case you are selected may be substantial for example if your degree(s) are not from an Italian institution and you have not previously obtained an Italian “equipollenza” for your degree(s). This may involve official translations, material to get from Italian consulates abroad and so on (it is hard to generalise, and I cannot provide general guidance/expectations on this).

Generally speaking, the “less Italian” you/your degrees are, the harder the process may be (that is, someone from the EU/with degrees from EU institutions will probably have it harder than someone with an Italian degree). If you are not a EU citizen, it is unlikely that you will satisfy the criteria for a visa, especially considering the very firm start date of this specific position. Also, please note that if you have a degree from abroad, you will have to provide upon application a series of documents which partly depend on whether your degree is from the EU or not (please, see this and this). Please, notice that in this case the most important degree in terms of Italian equivalency is your MSc.

This should not discourage foreign applicants or applicants with foreign degrees (which are, in fact, very welcome). However, I thought it would be good to let you know in advance about these potential extra complications, as well as the extra effort that is needed upfront (without any guarantee of being hired). Ultimately, you be the best judge whether the extra hassle is worth for you or not.

How to apply?

In the official call, there is a thorough description of the evaluation process as well as forms to be used for the application. Please, follow the instructions carefully (including to which email address and how to send your application material).

Want to know more?

If you have read this brief explanation and you still have questions, feel free to write me using the contact form on this website (or my institutional email, see the footer of the page on how to reconstruct the address). I will do my best to address your questions while still conforming to the role I have in the process.


This brief explanation serves the only purpose of describing the position to potential candidates who may not be familiar with the Italian system. Please, notice that this may result in an oversimplification of the procedures and that, in any case, the only legal/correct document will be the official call (as well as any laws it may refer to, of course).