PhD position-marine biotechnology: Germany

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel is a foundation of public law jointly financed by the Federal Republic of Germany (90%) and the state of Schleswig-Holstein (10%) and is one of the internationally leading institutions in the field of marine sciences. Currently GEOMAR disposes over an annual budget of approx. 75 million Euros and has approx. 1000 employees.

In the frame of the EU-H2020-MSC-ITN project MarPipe (Improving the flow in the pipeline of the next generation of marine biodiscovery scientists), GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel is offering a Early Stage Researcher (ESR) – PhD position starting on 1st November 2018.

Project description:

MarPipe Consortium is composed of 11 partners based in 8 countries (Italy, Norway, UK, Germany, Belgium, Ireland, Spain, Netherlands) including 3 from the non-academic sector. MarPipe ( studies the further development of antibiotic and anticancer lead compounds mainly from marine microorganisms. The project trains 11 ESRs in the field of marine drug-discovery, providing them with unique skills towards becoming experts in their research field and to advance their careers in academia or industry. MarPipe PhDs are taught in a programme including training-by-research, joint courses of technical, scientific and transferrable skills, active participation to public scientific events, and an intense inter-sectoral networking exchange plan. The PhD students will be involved in all phases of the drug discovery pipeline and trained to overcome the bottlenecks in this field.

Job description:
PhD position at GEOMAR (ESR5): Enhanced chemical diversity of antibiotic molecules from extremophilic microorganisms monitored by metabolomics and chemical imaging

The main aim of the PhD project (ESR5) will be the discovery of new molecules from marine microbes from extreme environments. The project will involve innovative cultivation techniques of the extremophilic microorganisms (by OSMAC and co-cultivation), their extraction, bioactivity testing and metabolome profiling (the latter by LC-MS and 1H NMR), chemical imaging of microbial metabolites in mono- and co-cultures (by DESI-Imaging Mass Spectrometry), purification of the bioactive metabolites (by HPLC) and structure elucidation (by NMR, LC-MS and other spectroscopic techniques). The compounds will then be evaluated for bioactivity against a large panel of assays.

The PhD student will be based GEOMAR, at the Research Unit Marine Natural Products Chemistry/GEOMAR Centre for Marine Biotechnology (GEOMAR-Biotech) and supervised by Prof. Dr. Deniz Tasdemir. Several secondments at MarPipe partner institutions will allow for comprehensive expansion of the PhD study.


As a successful candidate you should have:

  • a successful MSc degree in a relevant field, preferably in microbial natural products chemistry or a related field
  • demonstrated experience in lab work and methods in microbiology and natural product chemistry
  • some experience in writing publications and conference papers
  • willingness to travel
  • fluency in English with excellent oral and written communication skills
  • planning and organisational skills
  • motivation and capability of creative- and critical thinking, independent thought and experimentation, self-motivation and curiosity

By the eligibility criteria in the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions H2020 Guide for Applicants ( researchers each applicant must simultaneously fulfil the following criteria at the time of recruitment:

  • Mobility
    At the time of recruitment, the applicant must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc…) in the country of the host organization for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to his/her recruitment. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.
  • Qualifications and research experience
    The applicant must fulfil the requirements defined for Early Stage Researchers (ESRs): ESRs are researchers who, at the time of recruitment, have NOT yet been awarded the doctorate degree and is in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent) of his/her research career.

Employment conditions:
This is a 3-year PhD position starting on 1st November 2018. In the first 22 months, the salary will follow the Marie Sklodowska-Curie rules whereas the 14 following months salary will follow Guidelines for employment of doctoral students at GEOMAR (75% E13 TVöD). The position cannot be split. The PhD student will be based at research unit Marine Natural Products Chemistry/GEOMAR Centre for Marine Biotechnology (GEOMAR-Biotech) and supervised by Prof. Dr. Deniz Tasdemir. Secondments to other MarPipe partner institutions will take place during the PhD project.

Please send your application containing:

  • CV
  • statement of research interests
  • names and contact details of three people who agreed to write a reference letter
  • original transcripts of Bachelor and Master University Degrees
  • copy of valid identity documents


For further information please contact Prof. Dr. Deniz Tasdemir by email (dtasdemir(at) and visit our website ( and the project website (

Please do not contact us by phone about the present state of procedures. However, we will answer all your questions if you send us an e-mail to bewerbung(at) In doing so, please refer to the keyword.

GEOMAR is a member of the Helmholtz Association and the German Marine Research Consortium (KDM). For further information please visit www.geomar.deor

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