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PhD positions RWTH Aachen – The Neuroscience of Modulating Aggression and Impulsivity in Psychopathology


Doctoral positions at the International Research Training Group (IRTG 2150)

“The Neuroscience of Modulating Aggression and Impulsivity in Psychopathology”
in RWTH Aachen – Jülich FZJ – UPenn.

– 1 open PhD position to be filled immediately, more PhD positions available during 2019 –

The IRTG is a program funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) that has started with April 2016. In a network, the neuroscience research at the RWTH Aachen University, and the Research Center Jülich provide an international English spoken curriculum with obligatory and intense exchange with the University of Pennsylvania (USA).

Potential PhD researchers within this IRTG investigate a clinically and societally highly relevant topic: the neurobiology of pathological aggression and impulsivity. Doctoral candidates will learn, develop and apply advanced brain imaging techniques including structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (high-field MRI and fMRI), positron emission tomography (PET), whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG), electroencepaholography (EEG), transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), receptor distribution and micro-structural architectonic brain mapping.

The participating institutions comprise the Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, the Department of Neurology, the Department of Biology, and the Institutes of Neuroscience and Medicine at the Research Center Jülich. The program is situated within the framework of the Jülich-Aachen Research Alliance (JARA-BRAIN, These and associated institutions host the individual doctoral researchers in joint supervision of partners from the University of Pennsylvania (Departments of Psychiatry, Neurology, Biology, Pharmacology, Psychology, Radiology, Criminology). An extensive exchange and rotation program for students, researchers and professors is central to this IRTG.

Participants will be granted a TL-13 (65%) position for a period of up to 3 years. The IRTG is designed to allow participants to acquire a doctoral degree (Dr. rer. nat and Dr. rer. medic., depending on the primary institution) within this time frame.

Applicants must hold a Master’s degree or a German Diploma (or an equivalent degree) in a related field, such as neuroscience, psychology, physics, biomedical sciences, be interested in neurobiological research of aggression and impulsivity. The curriculum of the IRTG will be in English, facilitating the inclusion of international students. However, we would like to stress that for part of the clinical projects with patients, German-speaking students have an advantage for projects with patient communication (diagnostics, psychopathological assessment). Due to the strong international orientation of the IRTG, ideal candidates should have a sufficient command of the English language, both in writing and orally (comparable to TOEFL, IELTS-C1). Transcripts or degree certificates issued in languages other than English must be accompanied by English translations.

Applications can be submitted via email and should include a curriculum vitae along with copies of degree certificates, an English language proficiency test (if available) and two letters of recommendation. Applicants are required to outline their future professional plans in a personal statement, in which they describe how their plans relate to the research topics of the IRTG.

Please submit your application or informal inquiries to

Speakers of the program are

Prof. Dr. Ute Habel

Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Faculty of Medicine,

RWTH Aachen University,

Pauwelsstr. 30, 52074 Aachen

Prof. Dr. Ruben C. Gur

Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

10 Gates Pavilion, 3400 Spruce Street

Philadelphia, PA 19104

Sina Radke, PhD, Dipl.-Psych.

Postdoctoral researcher

Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics


Tel.: 0241 80-89354

Fax: 0241 80-82401

Universitätsklinikum Aachen

Anstalt des öffentlichen Rechts (AöR)

Pauwelsstraße 30

52074 Aachen

Telefon Call- & Service-Center: 0241 80-84444


Apply Now