Post Doc in Plant Biology for Biorobotics - [ Postdoc ]

Added on: 10/07/2020 - Expires on 30/08/2020

The Bioinspired Soft Robotics (BSR) Research Line at Center for Micro-BioRobotics (CMBR) of Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) is looking for an outstanding, highly motivated post-doctoral researcher who will be part of a highly innovative H2020 European project "GrowBot" (

The project

GrowBot is a European project funded under the European Union's Horizon 2020 framework program for research and innovation (grant agreement No. 824074).

GrowBot proposes a disruptively new paradigm of movement in robotics inspired by the moving-by-growing abilities of climbing plants.

The GrowBot objective is to develop low-mass and low-volume robots capable of anchoring themselves, negotiating voids, and more generally climbing, where current climbing robots based on wheels, legs, or rails would get stuck or fall.

The group

The BSR Research Line aims at designing and developing new robotic solutions and advanced components by taking inspiration from Nature. The group works in a dynamic, international and multidisciplinary environment, combining engineering and biology and using plants and soft-bodied animals as principal biological models. Science-based research activities are combined with the development of application-driven robotic solutions and technology transfer.

Who we are looking for

We are recruiting a post-doctoral researcher (PostDoc) who is interested in collaborating with an international consortium of researchers aiming to build robotic artifacts that are bioinspired from climbing plants.

The main role of the PostDoc is to gather morphological, biomechanical, and behavioral features of climbing plants to allow robotics specialists, materials scientists, mathematicians, and engineers to develop new bioinspired robotic artifacts.

The candidate has, therefore, to show high skill in communicating with researchers of other disciplines such as physics, chemistry, engineering, maths, and robotics and will collaborate with Post Docs, PhDs and MSc students in the preparation of scientific publications and contributions to new grant proposals.

Expected candidate profile

Applicants must have a Ph.D. degree in Biology, Biomechanics, Biomimetics, Plant Biology, Botany and Ecology, Agronomy, Plant Science, Life Science, or a related field.

Key competences for the analysis of plant role models and abstraction of the underlying form-structure-function relationships are physical understanding in quantitative analyses, experience in developing and adapting mechanical test setups, and the ability to work at the interface between basic biological research and engineering sciences. Knowledge and experience in histochemical procedures, imaging methods (e.g., LM, TEM, SEM) and subsequent software processing (e.g., Amira) as well as multi-scale mechanical testing, good knowledge about plant diversity, and experience in the field of statistical analyses will be necessary. Proficiency in written/spoken English is mandatory.

Applications, assembled as a single PDF file, shall include:

  • a complete CV with a full list of publications, plus a final section titled "Relevant skills" commenting on the strong points where your CV matches the required skills (list above);
  • copy of up to 5 relevant papers, plus a final section titled "Personal contributions" detailing your specific contributions to each presented papers;
  • name and contacts of 2 referees.

For application, please send your CV to:, and 

quoting "Post Doc in Plant Biology for Biorobotics 78647" in the subject line.

Please apply by 30/08/2020.

Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), with its headquarters in Genoa, Italy, is a non-profit institution with the primary goal of creating and disseminating scientific knowledge and strengthening Italy's technological competitiveness ( IIT promotes excellence in basic and applied research through a multidisciplinary scientific program that includes humanoid technologies and robotics, neuroscience and cognition, nanotechnology, and materials.

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia is an Equal Opportunity Employer that actively seeks diversity in the workforce.

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