PhD student positions (f/m/d) (dry and wet lab):

Updated: about 1 month ago

At the ZMBH two following temporary positions are to be filled with 25,675h/week as soon as possible:

PhD student positions (f/m/d) (dry and wet lab):

Vertebrate brain origins and evolution

Your tasks:

  • Our lab has been interested in a range of topics related to the origins and evolution of organs in mammals and other vertebrates and the various underlying genomic/molecular changes. In the framework of our research, we have generated and analyzed comprehensive genomics (e.g., RNA-seq, ATAC-seq) datasets based on samples from our large organ collections. More recently, we have begun to bring the work of our lab to the level of single cells using state-of-the-art single-cell genomics technologies and bioinformatics procedures.
  • The PhD student positions will be funded by a recently awarded ERC Advanced Grant (VerteBrain – “The Ancestral Vertebrate Brain and its Cellular Diversification During Evolution”). In the framework of this grant, we seek to unravel the molecular origins and evolution of the vertebrate brain and its constituent substructures and cell types. Possible projects involve the generation and/or comparative/bioinformatics analyses of extensive single-cell transcriptomic, epigenomic, and spatial transcriptomics data for key species representing all major vertebrate lineages, ranging from jawless vertebrates, such as the sea lamprey, to mammals, such as platypus and human. The precise projects will be developed together with the candidates, based on their respective interests and dry/wet lab skills.

Your profile:

  • We are seeking highly qualified and enthusiastic applicants with a Master degree, a keen interest in evolutionary questions, and a talent and passion for experimental molecular/cellular work and/or bioinformatics analyses (i.e., both joint and distinct dry/wet lab projects are possible).

We offer:

  • In our lab, we attach great importance to a highly collaborative and positive team spirit! Indeed, we have various “mini-teams” of dry and wet lab researchers within the lab, who enthusiastically drive projects forward in remarkable ways. We are also particularly fond of the diverse cultural backgrounds of our lab members, which contribute to a very enriching atmosphere.

The language of our institute is English and its members form a highly international group. The ZMBH is located in Heidelberg, a picturesque international city next to the large Odenwald forest and Neckar river. The city offers a very stimulating, diverse and collaborative research environment, with the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg Institute of Theoretical Studies (HITS), and the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research located in close proximity to the University.

For more information on the group and our institute more generally, please refer to our website at the ZMBH ( ).

We are looking forward to your application. Please submit a CV, statement of research interest, and names of three references to: Henrik Kaessmann ( ) at latest by December 15, 2021.

The positions are limited to three years, with the possibility of extension. The positions are available for immediate start, the salary follows TV-L guidelines.

Heidelberg University stands for equal opportunities and diversity.

Qualified female candidates are especially invited to apply.

Disabled persons will be given preference if they are equally qualified.

Information on job postings and the collection of personal data is available at

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