MANNA - project 01
01it gb

n6/n3 Fatty acid (FA) ratio effect on piglet microbiome and immunity

Prof. Giovanni Savoini
University of Milan
Dr. Richard Burchmore
University of Glasgow
Autonomous University of Barcelona
Dr. Matilde Pinerio
MetLabs (Slovak Republic)

Tags: sows; n6/n3 ratios; EPS from Lactobacilli;



The aim of the project is to determine the impact of the n6/n3 fatty acid ratio in the diet of gestating and lactating sows on their performance and health, and on growth performance of the relative piglets.

Description of the project

The Early Stage Researcher (ESR) will first perform a trial on sows fed diets containing two different n6/n3 ratios throughout gestation and lactation. The effects on sow performance, milk fatty acids composition, and blood parameters will be evaluated. Piglets will be challenged with LPS from E. coli (serotype 055:B5), treated or not with exopolysaccharide (EPS) from Lactobacilli, characterized for immune modulation activity, received from the partner from the University of Kosice, and sampled for blood and faeces. At slaughter, liver and intestine will be sampled as well. The systemic and the intestinal immune status will be characterized using “classical” pathological and histological techniques. OMICs studies, including proteomics, metabolomics will be performed in serum and the microbiome will be determined for the sows and piglets in intestinal and faecal samples, the latter for the piglets only.

The ESR will be enrolled by the University of Milan ( under the supervision of Prof Giovanni Savoini and will be awarded a Double Doctorate degree in co-tutelle with the University of Glasgow, under the supervision of Dr Richard Burchmore at the University of Glasgow ( The supervision team is completed by Dr Matilde Pinerio from Acuvet ( at Zaragoza. The research will involve short secondments to the Autonomous University of Barcelona ( and MetLabs ( at Bratislava.

Eligibility criteria are indicated at admission rules page

For the specific ESR 1 position, it will be considered advantageous if the candidate has:

  • experience in handling animals and sampling procedures together with a basic knowledge of animal nutrition

The University of Milan requires the following additional documents at the moment of enrolment

Proof of evidence for degree titles:
A self-certification might be accepted at the moment of selection, but proofs might be provided at the moment of the enrolment. For the enrolment at the University of Milan they are as follows:

  • Master Degree (or equivalent) translated in Italian and authenticated by the authorities of the country where it was obtained
  • Dichiarazione di valore, issued by the Italian Embassy or Consulate in the country where the qualification was obtained or, alternatively:
  • Diploma Supplement issued by the University
  • Statement of validity issued by ENIC-NARIC centres (

Certificate of English language proficiency: The English language proficiency certificate accepted by the University of Milan are listed at

For co-tutelle with the University of Glasgow, applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English language proficiency level, listed at In certain circumstances a previous degree from an English speaking university may be accepted.


Salary and other benefits for the ESR enrolled at the University of Milan are according to EU-standards for Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and national regulations. The living allowance will be €3318.37 per month (gross amount-subject to employers costs, as well as employees tax and insurance) and appointed ESR will be eligible to pay local tax and insurance. Additional benefits are possible in the case of family allowances which will be €500 per month.

Each ESR will also have a Research and Training allowance which will be managed through the University of Milan. This will cover the participation of researchers in training activities;

  • expenses related to research costs;
  • tuition fees (where applicable).
  • Visa, residency card for the recruited researcher and their family (where applicable)

A mobility allowance is also available. This will contribute to mobility related expenses of the ESR. The amount of the mobility allowance is specified in Table 1 of the MSCA Work Programme and for calls 2018-2020 and will amount to €600 per month.

Required documentation

Please refer to the general required documentation at

Application process

The deadline for application is 21st May 2018 through the completion of the form under the section ‘send your application‘.