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Funded PhD position; in Natural Product Research; at Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology – Hans Knöll Institute – in cooperation with the Friedrich Schiller University, the University Hospital Jena and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology; in Germany


The Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology – Hans Knöll Institute – in cooperation with the Friedrich Schiller University, the University Hospital Jena and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology are offering an international graduate training programme. The
International Leibniz Research School (ILRS Jena)

gives doctoral researchers the possibility to prepare for their PhD exam in an ambitious program providing excellent research conditions. We invite applications for a

Doctoral Researcher Position (Ref.No. ILRS_09/2017)

The Effect of Bacterial Natural Products on Multicellular Development

Social amoebae are ubiquitous, soil-dwelling eukaryotes with both a unicellular and a multicellular life cycle. The unicellular protists are voracious predators to bacteria and upon food depletion the amoebae aggregate and form fruiting bodies that enable the dispersal of their spores. In order to survive in the presence of amoebae, soil bacteria need to defend themselves against their predator. The secretion of toxic, bacterially produced secondary metabolites is a very effective defense strategy. Besides killing, it is possible to counteract the bacteria’s predator by interfering with its multicellular life cycle thus effectively preventing dispersal of the amoebae. The aim of this project is to investigate the secondary metabolome of bacteria from our culture collection, which were shown to halt or alter the multicellular development of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. The PhD candidate will identify and elucidate the structure the bacterial metabolites that interfere with multicellular development and investigate their biological and ecological activities as well as their biosyntheses. The interdisciplinary project investigates the role of natural products in microbial communication and is thus ideally suited to be carried out within the ILRS framework.

We expect:

  • a Master’s degree (or equivalent allowing you to pursue a PhD degree) in Natural or Life Sciences. Research at ILRS is centred around “Microbial and Biomolecular Interactions”. Candidates about to earn their degree are welcome to apply.
  • experience in molecular biology, natural products, or analytical chemistry
  • high motivation to join one of the research areas of ILRS
  • creativity and interest in shaping your own thesis project
  • an integrative and cooperative personality with enthusiasm for actively participating in our lively community
  • very good communication skills in English

We offer:

  • a top-level research environment
  • efficient supervision by a team of advisors
  • a comprehensive mentoring programme
  • courses in state-of-the-art technologies and soft skills
  • strong communication and interaction between the involved institutions

Jena – City of Science: innovative business activities, successful scientific centres and a vibrant cultural scene around the famous Friedrich Schiller University

The three-year Doctoral Researcher position is available starting from January 2018. The position will be financially supported according to TV-L (salary agreement for public service employees). HKI is an equal opportunity employer.

Further information:
Dr. Pierre Stallforth, PI:
Dr. Christine Vogler, ILRS Coordinator:

The application process is handled exclusively online. Please acquaint yourself with the scientific projects offered on our website. Please note that you can choose up to 3 projects of interest in your application. It is only necessary to fill in the application form for your first preference of projects; the other two projects can be selected in the application form. In order to apply via the online application portal, go to

Deadline for application: Oct 22, 2017.
Successful applicants will be invited to attend a recruitment meeting in Jena (envisaged date: Dec 14-15, 2017).

Send application to

Dr. Christine Vogler, ILRS Coordinator:

Deadline: October 22, 2017.

Apply Now