Research Fellowship in Raman spectroscopy and data analysis for ex vivo and in vivo human skin permeation studies



Centre-Val de Loire (CVL) is one of the thirteen administrative regions of France. It straddles the middle Loire Valley in the interior of the country. Its prefecture is Orléans. On the capital’s southern doorstep (one hour from Paris by motorway or high-speed train, TGV), the city of TOURS offers a high-quality living environment. 

CVL has a dense R&D network, with 64 public research units, a number of which are globally recognized (INSERM (medical), INRAE (agronomy), CNRS (energetics, electronics), BRGM (geology)), a vibrant private research sector (75% of total R&D spending), and innovation and other clusters.
The main industries are organized in innovation clusters: Cosmetic Valley (leading global resource center for cosmetics: Chartres); S2E2 (smart energy: Tours); Elastopole (rubber and polymers: Orleans) and the DREAM Water Cluster (Orleans).

CVL is also a prime tourist destination with 2 500 listed monuments, and a wealth of unspoilt landscapes (Val de Loire, Sologne, Perche, Berry), two of the most visited châteaux in France (Chambord and Chenonceaux), its wine heritage (third largest wine-growing region in France) and its recreational and nature destinations (Beauval Zoo, Center Parcs holiday village, Loire à Vélo cycle route). A pleasant and must see region in France where work, culture and a pleasant lifestyle are possible.

LE STUDIUM Loire Valley Institute for Advanced Studies: Across a series of different research programmes and an annual call for applications, the Smart Loire Valley Programme, LE STUDIUM attracts, selects and welcomes experienced international researchers into public and private regional laboratories for long-term residencies and organises scientific events and networking actions enabling the  development of sustainable international collaborations and scientific interdisciplinary exchanges. LE STUDIUM offers an unique outward-looking and stimulating pluri-disciplinary scientific and international community.

COSMETOSCIENCES is a research programme created in 2015 to promote partnerships between academics and industries in the field of cosmetics. It relies on a well-established regional dynamic to support transversal research, training and entrepreneurial initiatives with the ambition to place cosmetics research at the heart of CVL innovation strategy for smart specialisation.

In the framework of the COSMETOSCIENCES Programme LE STUDIUM Loire Valley Institute for Advanced Studies is recruiting an experienced scientist specialised in PERMEATION STUDIES FOR TESTING TOPICAL SKIN PRODUCTS.

The successful candidate will be invited for a one-year LE STUDIUM RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP. The position will be based in at the university of TOURS, faculty of pharmacy in the EA 6295 NMNS research unit.


The host laboratory EA 6295 NMNS actively participates to the COSMETOSCIENCES Programme through a broad scope of projects including expertise in formulation, nanoencapsulation, physico-chemical characterisation, biological testing, and permeation studies.

The successful candidate will be part of the funded ARD CVL research project MINIONS: Non-Invasive methods for personalisation of skin-care.

The research group currently leads projects aiming at developing bio-analytical protocols coupling chromatography (HPLC) and spectroscopy (Raman imaging, fluorescence) to study the penetration of active cosmetic ingredients in human skin. While ex vivo permeation studies can be conducted on human skin biopsies using Franz cells, the current scientific objective is to strengthen research activities around in vivo applications. The goal is to provide a multimodal analytical approach, combining Raman spectroscopy, high-resolution ultrasound and photoacoustic imaging and biological studies to collect biochemical information (hydration, lipids, proteins, etc.) on human skin in vivo and histological information of the skin layers (thickness, organization, etc…) for a comprehensive understanding of the measured penetration of active molecules from the topical skin products tested.

To support the project, EA 6295 NMNS has acquired a Raman skin analyser gen2-SCA from RiverD International B.V. In vivo Raman spectroscopy has emerged as a potential alternative to methods acknowledged in international guidelines for equivalence studies in skin. However, in order to validate the technique demonstrations for the detection and tracking of active molecules in the different skin layers are needed. Correlation of results between ex vivo and in vivo studies but also comparison with reference techniques such as HPLC will be developed to evaluate Raman spectroscopy performances for in vivo applications. 

EA 6295 NMNS collaborates with INSERM U1253 iBRAIN (University of Tours) for the development of high-resolution ultrasound and photoacoustic imaging tools.     

Other established collaborations with industrial partners and academic research teams can be further discussed during the interview process.


The successful LE STUDIUM candidate is expected to be creative and to produce original work during the 12 months residency. 1 PhD student and 1 post-doctorate fellow are also working on the project. It is anticipated that the successful candidate will actively participate to coordinating the scientific work through knowledge sharing, training of young researchers but also in proposing experimental plans or studies to conduct. To provide context, the PhD student is fully trained and specialised in permeation studies (in vitro and ex vivo). The post-doctorate has a Raman spectroscopy background with competences for data acquisition and data mining (multivariate analysis). The fully equipped EA  6295NMNS facilities will be at disposition.  

Another post-doctorate fellow will be recruited at the INSERM U1253 iBRAIN (University of Tours) to cover the high-resolution ultrasound and photoacoustic imaging.

Ideally the 4 individuals, including the LE STUDIUM FELLOW, can gather to bring their competences and dynamism and to generate cutting edge research in the field of bioanalytical and non-invasive skin analysis applied to testing topical skin products and the study the penetration of active ingredients.      


LE STUDIUM Loire Valley Institute for Advanced Studies is looking to recruit a senior researcher profile with:

  • Significant track records in the field of Raman spectroscopy applied to biological systems:

    • Preferably, demonstrated expertise for applications of Raman spectroscopy in vivo for skin analysis
    • or experience in skin analysis (human ex vivo, in vivo)
    • or demonstrated expertise for applications of Raman spectroscopy to tissue and/or subcellular imaging
    • or advanced skills for data mining including competences in data-preprocessing and multivariate analysis. 
  • and/or Significant track records in the field of permeation studies:

    • previous experience in testing of topical skin products according to international guidelines
    • and/or demonstrated expertise for gold standards techniques (chromatography, Franz cells, tape stripping, etc…)
    • and/or demonstrated expertise for permeation studies ex vivo / in vivo
  • Experience and motivation for team work and ability to establish fruitful scientific exchanges with researchers, students and actors from different technical and scientific cultures;
  • Research experience in the field of study, able to innovate and interact with diverse stakeholders including industry;
  • Proven ability to participate to the whole research chain from the definition of the experimental set-up, preparation of samples, data collection, data analysis and communication of results to both academic and non-academic audiences;
  • Strong organisational and time management skills with ability to prioritize work, manage time effectively and deliver results on time;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including abilities to make clear and concise presentations but also to participate to fast publication of latest results; 
  • Ability to initiate new projects/concepts in the field of interest


Applicant researchers will:

  • Be in possession of a Doctoral degree and at least five years of full-time equivalent research experience after  PhD
  • Be national or long-term resident of a country other than France. Long-term residents are researchers who spent a period of full-time research activity of at least 5 consecutive (without breaks in research) years in a country other than France.
  • Comply with the following mobility rule: applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, etc.) in France for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the deadline of application.


The position is based in Tours, France and offers 12 months of residency.

The successful candidate will be welcomed into the Cosmetosciences Programme, NMNS research team and LE STUDIUM faculty of international research fellows working in the Centre-Val de Loire region. The research fellow will be provided with the necessary means of work (laboratory facilities, office, telephone, internet, access to databases, computer tools, etc.).

The scientific working languages are French and English.

Entitlements detailed in the French labor contract of employment include:

  • A personal salary under a French labor contract
  • Rental costs of a fully furnished apartment for the candidate and her/his family. Utilities (water, heating, electricity, internet, local tax) have to be paid by the fellow.
  • Logistics and administrative assistance by a member of LE STUDIUM operational team before and during the fellowship (visa, housing, bank, insurance, schooling…).


The deadline for application is June 15th, 2022. Applications will be reviewed as they come in.
The position is expected to be filled no later than September 1st , 2022.

The application will consist of three elements:

  • A completed online LE STUDIUM application form with personal information and details of track records;
  • A curriculum vitae of maximum two pages including information not in the online application;
  • A motivation letter.

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