PhD position in Microbial Ecology: Germany

The Leibniz-Institute DSMZ-German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures GmbH is currently looking for a microbial ecology PhD student. This PhD project DFG funded and focuses on the role of nucleotide salvage pathways in microbial energetics and nutrient dynamics. The project consists of two parts: one in collaboration with regional (University of Constance) and international partners on the dynamics of freely dissolved nucleotides in freshwater and marine systems, and another internal collaboration with Prof. Michael Pester and Dr. Meina Neumann-Schaal on the interplay of microbial nucleotide salvage and bioenergetics. The project is interdisciplinary and will involve techniques in molecular biology (RNASeq, metagenomics, and Nanopore), ecophysiology (cultivation and radio-isotope labeling), analytical chemistry (HPLC and gas chromatography), and bio-informatics.

Qualifications required: The candidate should have a master’s degree (or equivalent) in the above-mentioned disciplines. Experience with ship-based sampling in aquatic systems and possession of a driver’s license class B is ideal for the position. While the PhD student will work closely with bioinformaticians and microbial culture experts, the applicants are expected to have a genuine interest in working with large-scale molecular datasets. Knowledge of radioisotope tracing techniques would be an advantage. Applicants should additionally have excellent communication, organizational and time-management skills, and enjoy working proactively and independently. They should also have basic molecular biology experimental skills (i.e., qPCR, next-gen sequencing) and good command of spoken and written English. In the evaluation of candidates, we will emphasize personal qualities such as clear and coherent thinking and teamwork skills.

Qualifications desired: The ideal candidate has previous experience in conducting lab and field experiments and with molecular methods for characterizing microbial communities and functions. Furthermore, knowledge of statistics and R programming is essential, and some basic bioinformatics skills are highly valuable.

Application: Applicants should send their application in English and include (1) a motivation letter, (2) CV, (3) copy of degree and course grades, (4) any publications produced, and (5) names and contact details of at least two academic referees (email address and phone number) as a single pdf file by e-mail to

Applications should be received by November 20th but will be considered until the position is filled. The position is offered as full time for 3 years, with a salary grade TV-L E13 (65%).

Further information: The institutes of the Leibniz Association strive to increase the proportion of female scientists. Disabled applicants with identical qualification will be preferentially selected. We offer an interdisciplinary working environment with excellent facilities for biological and biotechnological research. The successful candidate will be integrated into the PhD graduate school at the Technical University of Braunschweig, including soft skill courses. The scientific work will be based at the DSMZ with opportunities to attend regional and international conferences. The DSMZ is the most comprehensive biological resource center worldwide. It is an equal opportunity employer and a certified family-friendly institution supporting balanced work-life career development and a flexible working time model.

Further inquiries should be addressed to Dr. David Ngugi (

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