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Leader in Integrated ICT Hardware & Systems

Researcher – Transdermal Delivery Technologies

COMA-12 Researcher – Transdermal Delivery Technologies

Contract: Full Time/Fixed Term

The Tyndall National Institute at University College Cork is a world leader in the development of Micro Transdermal Interface Platforms (MicroTIPs) – wearable ‘smart patches’ for closed-loop delivery and diagnostics. Working closely with a global range of academic, business and clinical partners under our ‘ABC’ model, our technology is under evaluation by several SMEs and multinational corporations and is approaching market readiness in a number of areas. In parallel, Tyndall is currently engaged in an ambitious ‘ICT for Health’ strategy that will leverage our core strengths in Information and Communications Technologies to develop the next generation of intelligent medical devices and systems.

As a result of ongoing research in collaboration with a world leading drug delivery device company, the Tyndall National Institute is now seeking a highly motivated postgraduate or postdoctoral researcher to join our team in this exciting and rapidly expanding R&D field, primarily to work on the next generation of microneedle-based drug delivery technologies. Microneedles are short, sharp projections made using microfabrication technologies and measuring less than 1mm in height, through which drugs and vaccines may be infused. These technologies have immense potential for use in transdermal delivery, primarily due to their ability to painlessly perforate the skin barrier and to deliver to specific layers within the epidermis, and the MicroTIPs team is particularly interested in merging microneedles with electronic micropumps in order to facilitate controlled delivery in a wearable form factor.

Working as part of a team, the successful candidate will perform a detailed study of microneedle-based transdermal delivery platforms. This will involve modelling fluidic parameters, experimentally assessing delivery efficacy as a function of parameters such as flowrate, time and infusion pressure, and comparing performance with that offered by traditional methods of drug delivery such as cannulae or hypodermic needles. The candidate will work in close cooperation with our commercial partner to meet industrial targets and specifications, and with several other team members who are engaged in development of other aspects of the system.


The candidate will be required to:

  • Review the state-of-the-art in transdermal drug delivery technology on an ongoing basis;
  • Liaise with Tyndall’s cleanroom staff to coordinate production of microneedle arrays;
  • Perform a detailed study of the use of microneedle-micropump assemblies to infuse agents into ex-vivo skin samples and skin substitutes;
  • Assess reliability of these devices before and after use;
  • Pinpoint where improvements and/or advancements to the system may be made;
  • Seek new methods of adding value by incorporating additional functionalityon the microneedle platform;
  • Construct demonstrator devices for internal and external showcase;
  • Report results to team leaders, commercial partners and funding agencies;
  • Participate in Education and Public Engagement activities, as required.
  • Ensure all activities are compliant with the Tyndall Quality Management system.
  • Ensure all activities are compliant with the required Health and Safety standards.
  • Carry out any additional duties as may reasonably be required within the general scope and level of the post.

Academic/Educational Requirements

  • Applicants should have a postgraduate qualification in a relevant discipline (e.g. biomedical engineering, materials, engineering, physics), along with experience in areas such as microneedle technology, microfluidics, micropumps, tissue engineering, medical device design and development, bioMEMS, basic electronic circuits and/or sensor development.
  • Laboratory experience and a willingness to adapt to a multidisciplinary field is essential.
  • Previous work with microneedles or microfluidics, micropumps, microscopy tools, and skin or skin substitutes will be an advantage.

Skills and Experience

This is an exciting project in a fast-moving, industrially relevant area.  Reporting to the team leader of the MicroTIPS research activity, the candidate will take a hands-on role, and will be responsible for the day-to-day execution of the technical research tasks outlined above. Scientific dissemination (preparation of regular internal reports, journal and conference publications, and industrial liaison) is an essential part of the position. Some international travel may also be required.

It is critical that the candidate has an ability to work in a team environment, as he/she will liaise closely with other team members engaged in developing complementary aspects of the MicroTIPS platform. In addition, close cooperation with our industrial partners is required, who will provide support, supervision and direction throughout the research activity. The successful candidate should be highly motivated with excellent organizational and communications skills, demonstrate an understanding of the research environment, the ability to communicate his/her research and the potential to manage a research project.

In return, the position provides the opportunity to develop innovative solutions for medical technology challenges, as well as to gain valuable experience in design, fabrication and testing of next-generation devices and systems. The successful candidate will experience the excitement of working with high-profile industry on emerging technologies in a world-class research environment, and will have the opportunity to build the career profile associated with presentation at international conferences, workshops and industry meetings, and publication of the research in high impact journals.

The duration of the project is 12 months in the first instance, although this may be extended pending funding and the impact of the candidate.

For further information, please contact Dr. Conor O’Mahony;; +353 21 234 6200.

Appointment may be made on the IUA Researcher Scale €37,873 - €45,041.  Salary placement on appointment will be in accordance with public sector pay policy.

Application Instructions

Step 1 - Click here to download and complete the Application form and indicate the Job Reference COMA-12

Step 2 – Return the completed Application form, together with your CV and motivation letter to

Please note that Garda vetting and/or an international police clearance check may form part of the selection process.

The University, at its discretion, may undertake to make an additional appointment(s) from this competition following the conclusion of the process.

Please note that an appointment to posts advertised will be dependent on University approval, together with the terms of the employment control framework for the higher education sector.

At this time, Tyndall National Institute does not require the assistance of recruitment agencies.

Tyndall National Institute at University College, Cork is an Equal Opportunities Employer.