We’re hiring!

We’re hiring!

4 Oct 2021

A new one-year position to join me in sunny Sicily has just been advertised by my institution (the Italian National Research Council, CNR). Please, see the official advertisement  (in Italian only).

The deadline for applications is October 28th 2021. The position is based at the IRBIM institute in Messina.

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 genomic and/or transcriptomic data;

– Advanced geometric morphometric analyses;

– Multivariate statistics and analysis of high-dimensional data;

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

– Advanced scripting/programming in R;

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. The length of this appointment is one year.

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 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 a Skype interview. Notice that in this case, candidates who will not be interviewed will receive a notification/rejection email. The interview will be held via Skype on November 18th 2021.

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).

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. 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 both this brief explanation and the official call in Italian 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 advertised 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 is the official call (as well as any laws it may refer to, of course).