A World Leading SFI Research Centre - Science Foundation Ireland - For What's Next


APEX is a new intersectoral training, career development and mobility fellowship which focuses on the research strengths and expertise of the Institute in the area of gut microbiota and their role in human health and disease.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 754535.


Update: Both Calls are now closed. Call 1 closed in 2018 from which 10 fellowships were awarded and Call 2 closed in 2019 from which another 10 fellowships were awarded.

APEX is a postdoctoral fellowship Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action (MSCA) COFUND programme, based at APC Microbiome Ireland at University College Cork (UCC), and cofunded by Horizon 2020.

The APEX programme will offer 20 prestigious two-year postdoctoral fellowships for incoming mobility across two calls over the 60 months duration of the programme.

Fellowships will be targeted at experienced researchers. (An experienced researcher must at the application deadline be in possession of a doctoral degree OR have at least four years of full-time equivalent research experience in academia or industry).

Host Locations

All fellows will be hosted in an APC academic host organisation (University College Cork, Teagasc Moorepark or Trinity College Dublin) and will be required to complete a mandatory secondment in a relevant industry host.

Thematic Areas

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’. Adhering to the MSCA principle of ‘individual-driven mobility’, APEX applicants will have the freedom to choose their research topic (within the remit of the APC), their supervisor and their secondment organisation. Secondments will be relevant to the fellows’ research project and their career development.

CoFunded by EU H2020 - 20 Postdoc felows microbiome research 2 calls 2018 and 2019 EU Mobility rules 3-6 month secondment to industry

Fellowship Details

The APEX Fellowships are open to experienced researchers of any nationality, resident anywhere in the world (provided the mobility eligibility criteria are met), seeking a prestigious career development fellowship in research of the gut microbiota and their role in human health and disease.

All fellows will be hosted in an APC academic host organisation (University College Cork or Teagasc Moorepark ) and will be required to complete a mandatory secondment in a relevant industry host.

The aim of APEX is to develop the next generation of scientific leaders who will gain hands on experience developing cross-disciplinary and entrepreneurial skills through individual research projects.

Applicants choose their research area (within the remit of APC), APEX supervisor, and secondment organisation in the non-academic sector.

Pre-Application Process

Application Process

The application process starts with the publication of the call for proposals

Contact Us

We would love to hear from you. Should you have any queries in relation to the APEX fellowship programme, please feel free to contact us.

Programme Manager

  • Ms. Oonagh Cahalane, APC Microbiome Ireland, Rm 5.04, Biosciences Building, University College Cork, Ireland.
  • APEX Programme Management Office: +353 (0)21 490 1393
  • Email: APEX@ucc.ie 

2019 Call Important Dates

Indicative Call Schedule Date*
Call 2 Announcement 22 Jan 2019
Deadline for Proposal Submission 23 April 2019
Call Outcome Aug 2019
Fellowship Start Date Oct 2019

*These dates are indicative and subject to change


  • Shriram Patel, Abel A. Vlasblom, Koen M. Verstappen, Aldert L. Zomer, Ad C. Fluit, Malbert R. C. Rogers, Jaap A. Wagenaar, Marcus J. Claesson, Birgitta Duim.  Differential Analysis of Longitudinal Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Colonization in Relation to Microbial Shifts in the Nasal Microbiome of Neonatal Piglets. American Society of Microbiology (ASM) Journals 2021 10.1128/msystems.00152-21
  • Rubén García‐CabrerizoCarina Carbia, Kenneth J. O´Riordan, Harriet Schellekens, John F. Cryan. Microbiota‐gut‐brain axis as a regulator of reward processes. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jnc.15284
  • Mariana Pérez-Ibarreche, Des Field, R. Paul Ross, Colin Hill. A Bioengineered Nisin Derivative to Control Biofilms of Streptococcus uberisdoi:10.1128/aem.00391-21
  • Fernández de Ullivarri M., S. Arbulu, E. Garcia-Gutierrez, P. D. Cotter (2020).  Antifungal peptides as therapeutic agents. Frontiers Cellular and Infection Microbiology, 10:105. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2020.00105.
  • Book chapter: Arbulu S., B. Gomez-sala, E. Garcia-Gutierrez, P. D. Cotter. Food bioprotection.
  • Codagnone, M.G., Stanton, C., O’Mahony, S.M., Dinan, T.G. and Cryan, J.F., 2019. Microbiota and Neurodevelopmental Trajectories: Role of Maternal and Early-Life Nutrition. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 74(2), pp.16-27.
  • Cryan JF, O’Riordan KJ, Cowan CS, Sandhu KV, Bastiaanssen TF, Boehme M, Codagnone MG, Cussotto S, Fulling C, Golubeva AV, Guzzetta KE, Jaggar M, Long-Smith CM, Lyte JM, Martin JA, Molinero-Perez A, Moloney G, Morelli E, Morillas E, O’Connor R, Pereira J, Peterson VL, Rea K, Ritz NL, Sherwin E, Spichak S, Teichman EM, van de Wouw M, Ventura-Silva AP, Wallace-Fitzsimons SE, Hyland N, Clarke G, Dinan TG. The Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis. Physiol Rev. In press (August 2019)
  • Review article published in Gut Microbes journal.  Mondal SI, Draper L, Ross P, Hill C. Bacteriophage endolysins as a potential weapon to combat Clostridioides difficile infection. Gut Microbes. doi:10.1080/19490976.2020.1813533
  • Shakhinur Islam Mondal, Arzuba Akter, Lorraine A. Draper, R. Paul Ross, Colin Hill. Characterization of an Endolysin Targeting Clostridioides difficile That Affects Spore Outgrowth

Social Media Activity

Host Institution

Host Logos - UCC and Teagasc

Partner Institutions

APC Microbiome Ireland

Biosciences Building, University College Cork, Ireland,