Junior Research Scientist in agromaterials


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INRAE presentation

The French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (INRAE) is a public research establishment under the dual authority of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Research.

INRAE is recruiting researchers by open competition and offering permanent position.

It is a major player in research and innovation created on 1st of January 2020. INRAE is a research institute resulting from the merger of INRA and IRSTEA. It is a community of 12,000 people with more than 200 research units and 42 experimental units located throughout France.

The institute is among the world leaders in agricultural and food sciences, in plant and animal sciences, and is 11th in the world in ecology and environment. INRAE’s main goal is to be a key player in the transitions necessary to address major global challenges. In the face of the increase in population, climate change, scarcity of resources and decline in biodiversity, the institute develops solutions for multiperformance agriculture, high quality food and sustainable management of resources and ecosystems.

Work environment, missions and activities

The laboratory of Chimie Agro-industrielle (LCA) is housed with ENSIACET (Toulouse INP) at the heart of a modern campus located in Labège, near to Toulouse. For over 20 years the laboratory, composed of 84 staff (37 scientists and university lecturers), performs research that places a strong focus on agromaterials. Obtained through the direct processing of biopolymers, these materials represent attractive, sustainable alternatives to conventional materials. Agromaterials are made using agricultural or agro-industrial coproducts and their life cycles (production-use-end of life) can be entirely reasoned at the local scale.
Making agromaterials involves the use of weakly hydrated conditions and high temperatures, pressures and shearing regimes. Therefore, understanding the properties of biopolymers within plant-based materials when submitted to such conditions is important to control the different manufacturing steps. In this respect, the state and reactivity of absorbed water remains to be elucidated.
Your project will focus on the study of water in agromaterials during fabrication processes. Using simplified models and complex systems, your aim will be to study water-biopolymer interactions. Your research will procure new knowledge related to fundamental phenomena that occur during the fabrication of agromaterials and enlighten on the structure-function relationships (and how these emerge during processing) that determine final properties. In terms of applied goals, your results will provide the means to better control chemical mechanisms induced by and/or resulting from thermomechanical methods used to process biomass.
Within the LCA, you will be an active participant to the research theme area “biopolymer processing”. This theme currently mobilizes 2 university lecturers, 3 senior research engineers and 1 junior engineer, all employees of Toulouse INP. These colleagues will assist you by contributing their expertise. You will also have access to all of the laboratory’s well-equipped environment, particularly twin-screw extruders (5 to 300 Kg/h) and all of the technological and analytical (DSC, DMA, DVS, IGC, SEC, A4F etc) equipment. Moreover, you will have access to a demonstration scale facility located in Tarbes (150 km from Toulouse). You will also benefit from a preestablished network of collaborations and, to get started, the financial resources of the laboratory.

Training and skills

PhD or equivalent

This competition is open to candidates with a doctoral degree (or equivalent).
You will possess strong skills in physical chemistry and chemistry of biopolymers are necessary. Experience of the polymer or biopolymer processing will be adavantage. Also, knowledge  of characterisation of biopolymer-based materials  and/or chemical reactions that occur during biopolymer processing will be additional assets.
Proficiency in English is required as well as long-term international experience: successful candidates who have not yet had one will have to stay abroad at the end of the year of internship.

INRAE's life quality

By joining our teams, you benefit from:

- 30 days of annual leave + 15 days "Reduction of Working Time" (for a full time);
- parenting support: CESU childcare, leisure services;
- skills development systems: training, career advise;
- social support: advice and listening, social assistance and loans;
- holiday and leisure services: holiday vouchers, accommodation at preferential rates;
sports and cultural activities;
- collective catering.

Offer reference

  • Profile number: CR-2021-TRANSFORM-3
  • Corps: CRCN
  • Category: A
  • Open competition number: 30

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