PhD Student position at the Institut Paul Bocuse Research Center, Lyon, France

Deadline application: 10th November 2021

Expected start: March 2022

Currently, the aging of the population represents a major public health challenge characterized by an increase in the vulnerability of seniors to a variety of physiological and metabolic disorders (type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sarcopenia…) in relation to poor nutrition. Different factors can be linked to this malnutrition: socio-economic context, sensory deficit, loss of appetite, oral and dental problems or even a decrease in mobility. If preventive nutrition throughout life is essential to limit the occurrence of diseases associated with aging, it is also essential to offer a specific and adapted diet to seniors (sensory and nutritional enrichment, modified textures, adapted portions, etc.) to prevent and fight these disorders.


The project specifically aims to develop a new approach to formulate and develop food products taking into account the changes in food perception due to aging. Young non-dependent seniors will be at the centre of the culinary innovation process through the development of food products adapted to their needs and expectations, taking into account their diversity related to sensory perceptions, needs in organoleptic and nutritional enrichment, textures, colour and odour attractivity, difficulties in eating, the social cultural habits… The work will be focused on four clear steps: defining a multi criteria food design space, design the minimum number of food applications within selected food categories (DOE), evaluate performance to design the best multi criteria model, and validate the learnings by testing newly designed and optimized food applications. To ensure success, this will work will engage a multi-actor expertise with food and sensory researchers, culinary chefs, industry partners and senior consumers in close interaction with sociologists, dieticians, and geriatrists.


The thesis co-supervisors will be:

  • Dr. Anne Saint-Eve, Assistant Professor, Paris-Saclay Food and Bioproduct Engineering research unit (SayFood, INRAE / AgroParisTech), Palaiseau, France.
  • Dr. Agnès Giboreau, Research Center Dir. Institut Paul Bocuse / University Lyon 1 (P2S), Lyon, France.
  • Dr. Audrey Cosson, Researcher, Institut Paul Bocuse Research Center (IPBR), Lyon, France.


The PhD candidate is expected to:

  • Lead the research project and ensure the coordination between the different involved partners.
  • Review the existing literature on seniors’ sensitivity and perception in relation to the physicochemical properties of food products.
  • Formulate original research hypotheses and co-develop the multi-constraint design.
  • Conduct and coordinate quantitative survey, product development, sensory and consumer evaluations.
  • Conduct statistical analyses.
  • Write scientific papers targeting top ranked international journals.
  • Attend congresses, workshops, meetings, media events in order to disseminate research results.


Looking for a candidate with an engineering degree or a research master’s degree with a specialty or first experience in food science, sensory analysis, nutrition and/or geriatry. An interest in human experimentation and an aptitude for statistical analysis and multidisciplinary subjects are highly desirable. Is also expected dynamism, excellent communication skills, teamwork and organizational skills for this profile. Fluency in English is essential and knowledge of French is an asset.


  • March 2022 – February 2025: 36-month PhD position at Institut Paul Bocuse Research Center/UMR SayFood (INRAE, AgroParisTech, Université Paris Saclay)
  • Salary: PhD position 25k€ gross/year (based on French ANRT recommendations for CIFRE)


  • Application deadline: 10th November 2021.
  • On line interviews: November 2021.
  • Applications should be sent to and and include in a single PDF file:
    1) a letter of application (incl. expected date of availability)
    2) a CV including a list of research output clearly showing expertise in relevant areas 3) two reference letters with names and contact information

For more information about this position, you could contact Audrey Cosson, Researcher (

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