PhD student (m/f/d) in Plant Biochemistry

Updated: 2 months ago

The Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry (IPB) in Halle (Saale), Germany, offers a three-year position in the project TERRAPHOS within the frame of the DFG-funded Priority Program 2237 “MAdLand - Molecular Adaptation to Land: plant evolution to change”. The research group Nutrient Sensing of the Department Molecular Signal Processing seeks a creative, curious and enthusiastic

PhD student (m/f/d) in Plant Biochemistry

(Pay group E13 TVL, working time 65 %, limited for three years)

to investigate the evolution of a novel class of multicopper ferroxidases, typified by LPR1 (LOW PHOSPHATE ROOT 1) in the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana, which links antagonistic Fe-Pi interactions to local Pi sensing by root meristems.

Who we are:

The IPB is a non-university research institution of the Leibniz Association on the Weinberg Campus of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. As a foundation under public law, the IPB is under the supervision of the state of Saxony-Anhalt.

The institute is an internationally recognized research institution and consists of four scientific departments, independent junior research groups, and the Administration and Infrastructure Department (about 200 employees, including about 40 PhD students).Research of the scientific departments/junior research groups (ca. 200 employees, including about 40 PhD students) aims to understand the bio/chemical basis of plant resilience and performance in challenging environments. The IPB offers excellent research facilities and state-of-the-art infrastructure to investigate the chemical diversity, biochemical interactions, and biological roles of plant and fungal natural products, with an emphasis on specialized metabolites, signalling molecules and relevant molecular networks of functional gene and protein regulation.

The Department of Molecular Signal Processing offers a multinational, interdisciplinary, and highly stimulating scientific environment. Information about our research group Nutrient Sensing and the IPB can be found on our homepage:

Research topic:

We recently showed that land plant ancestors acquired LPR1-type ferroxidase from Terrabacteria by horizontal gene transfer (HGT), which benefited plant terrestrialization (see Naumann et al. 2022, Current Biology 32:2189-2205). The study of LPR1-type ferroxidases from select soil-dwelling bacteria, streptophyte algae, and bryophytes offers a bridgehead for exploring the impact of HGT on the early evolution of local Pi sensing during the water-to-land transition, when plants faced dramatically different geochemical conditions. The TERRAPHOS project will focus (i) on the enzymatic characterization of recombinant LPR1-like ferroxidases from bacteria to mosses, and (ii) on the evolution of plant Pi sensing in the model liverwort Marchantia polymorpha. Toward this goal, we will employ modern biochemical, genetic, and cell biologic approaches.

Your tasks:

The successful PhD candidate must hold a Master’s degree in biochemistry, biology or closely related field, and should have a solid command of spoken and written English communications skills. Applicants should have a strong interest in molecular biology, biochemistry, plant biology, microbiology, or cell biology. Basic knowledge of plant biochemistry will be highly appreciated.

Our benefits:

  • Interesting, varied and challenging tasks and family-friendly working conditions
  • An excellent infrastructure with state-of-the-art technology
  • Payment according to TV-L (including annual special payment)
  • flexible working hours and the opportunity to work from home
  • extensive offer for health promotion
  • Promotion of your company pension scheme (VBL)
  • Promotion of your skills through further training measures

How to apply and information:

Please, contact Dr. Christin Naumann for additional information (christin.naumann(at) ; Phone: +49 (0) 345 5582 1220).

Applications must include a cover letter describing your motivation, research interests and future goals, a Curriculum Vitae, and contact details for two references. Please, send your complete application documents, including the reference number 16/2023, by email to bewerbungen(at) . Review of applications will begin on December 11 and will continue until the position is filled.

Foreign qualifications must comply with German standards (TV-L-EntgeltO Protokollerklärung Nr. 1 Absatz 4) and be certified (equivalence test in Germany, subject to a fee) and presented to IPB Human Resources at the time of hiring:

Diversity, family and equal opportunities:

The Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry has set itself the goal of equal opportunities, diversity and the promotion of work-life balance and was awarded the "Total E-Quality" certificate for this. In addition, the IPB is a member of the nationwide company network "Success Factor Family" and the Diversity Charter (Charta der Vielfalt).

Further information can be found at:

Data protection:

Please note the data protection information for applicants (m/f/d) according to Article 13 and 14 GDPR on data protection processing during the application process:

Similar Positions