International researchers can reach their APEX in Cork, pictured at the launch of APEX, l-r: Dr Sally Cudmore, Manager APC Microbiome Ireland; Ms Oonagh Cahalane, APC; Dr Jill Haynes, APC; Prof Helen Whelton, Head of School of Medicine & Health, UCC and Prof Fergus Shanahan, Director APC Microbiome Ireland, UCC. (Pic: Catherine Buckley)

The SFI Research Centre APC Microbiome Ireland, based in University College Cork, has secured €1,416,000 in competitive funding from the European Union’s Marie Sklodowska-Curie programme, to bring 20 senior international researchers to Ireland, through a new post-doctoral fellowship programme, APEX. The new programme will further help cement Ireland’s international position as a leader in microbiome science.

APEX (APC Postdoctoral EXcellence) is an innovative, intersectoral and trans-disciplinary training, career development and mobility programme, which focuses on the research area of the microbial community (microbiome) living in and on humans and its role in health and disease.

The aim of APEX is to develop the next generation of international scientific leaders who will gain hands-on experience and develop cross-disciplinary and entrepreneurial skills through individual research projects with a mandatory secondment to a non-academic research partner during their two years of fellowship.

Fellowships will be offered in the four thematic APC research areas of ‘Microbes to Molecules’, ‘Diet and Microbes at the Extremes of Life’, ‘Brain-Gut-Microbiota Axis’ and ‘Host-Microbe Dialogue’. The fellowships are targeted at experienced researchers who must be in possession of a doctoral degree or have at least four years of full-time equivalent research experience in academia or industry.

International mobility is a core element of the APEX programme so applicants must be incoming fellows to Ireland.  There will be two calls under the APEX programme, with 10 fellowships awarded in each call. The first call is now open with a submission deadline of 9th April 2018, and a second call will close on April 9th 2019.

The programme was launched by the Director of APC Microbiome Ireland, Prof Fergus Shanahan. For more information on the programme and to check eligibility and mobility requirements visit http://apc.ucc.ie/apex/