Date Posted
8 Jun 2024

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PhD Project
Collaborative Research Center AquaDiva

Doctoral Researcher Position in Molceular Biology / Biochemistry in Leipzig, Germany

8 Jun 2024

NOTE: this position listing has expired and may no longer be relevant!

Position Description

The Collaborative Research Center SFB 1076 “AquaDiva – Understanding the Links between Surface and Subsurface Biogeosphere” is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). AquaDiva is an ambitious research center with more than 70 researchers and Institutes at four faculties of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU) and three non-university research institutes in Jena or Leipzig. The integrated Research Training Group AquaDiva is educating doctoral researchers in a structured, interdisciplinary training program. AquaDiva combines different research areas, such as ecology, microbiology, hydrogeology, soil science, geomorphology, geochemistry, geology, geophysics, chemistry, and information science, to a comprehensive picture of subsurface research (

The Integrated Research Training Group AquaDiva invites applications for a
Doctoral Researcher Position (m/f; Ref.No. ufz13/2017)
at the Department of Molecular Systems Biology at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ

Quantification of microbial nutrient cycling through the assessment
of key functional proteins

Our analyses will yield quantitative data on the pathways involved and the activity of specific bacterial groups dependent on metabolomic signatures from the surface and thus will contribute to the understanding of microbial activity and ecosystem services present in the Hainich CZE. The main objective is (1) targeted proteomics on key enzymes of the nitrogen and carbon cycle in the aquifers, (2) elucidation of subpopulations and the functional role in nitrogen and carbon cycling in combination with flow cytometry, and (3) metaproteomics qualitative and quantitative analysis of labelling approaches using by applying heavy labelled water for determining metabolically active species. The subproject will provide important evidence, through protein abundance to a better functional understanding of biogeochemical cycling in nature.

A Master’s degree (or equivalent) in chemistry, microbiology, molceular biology, biochemistry; candidates expected to earn their degree by September 2017 are welcome to apply
Solid knowledge of molecular biology; knowledge of statistics (in R) and the use of genome reference data
Excellent technical skills in mass spectrometry coupled with liquid-chromatography, cultivation of bacterial cells, standard molecular biology tools
Readyness to work for extended periods in the field
Enthusiasm to play an active role in the interdisciplinary research team of AquaDiva
Highly motivated and creative personalities, with an interest to shape their own thesis project
Excellent written and oral communications skills in English

We offer:
A doctoral researcher position (remuneration in accordance with the TVöD public-sector pay grade 13, 65%) with funding from Sep 1, 2017, until Jun 30, 2021, as well as generous research funding with the possibility of a three-months research stay abroad
Opportunity for research on an innovative and unique Critical Zone research platform
A comprehensive mentoring program with supervision by a team of advisors
A communicative atmosphere within a scientific network providing top-level research facilities and training program, including participation in international and national conferences and workshops
The place of work is Leipzig, Germany, a big and lively city with a vibrant cultural scene, dynamic business activities, and successful scientific centers of innovation, such as UFZ and iDiv, around the Leipzig University

How to Apply

The UFZ is an equal opportunity employer. Women are explicitly encouraged to apply to increase their share in science. Severely disabled applicants with equal qualification and aptitude are given preferential consideration. Applications should be written in English. The application deadline is July 23rd, 2017. Applications are submitted exclusively via an online application tool: Selected applicants will be invited to a recruitment symposium in Jena, Germany, presumably in Aug/Sep, 2017. For more information on the position, feel free to contact Prof. Dr. Martin von Bergen ( and Dr. Nico Jehmlich ( For more information on the application process, please contact the coordinator, Dr. Maria Fabisch ( or write to More project details: