PhD position - Microbial Biotechnology

As a member of the Helmholtz Association, Forschungszentrum Jülich makes an effective contribution to solving major challenges facing society in the fields of information, energy, and bioeconomy. It focuses on varied tasks in the area of research management and utilizes large, often unique, scientific infrastructure. Come and work with around 6,100 colleagues across a range of topics and disciplines at one of Europe’s largest research centres.

The successful candidate will work in the research area “Systemic Microbiology” of the Institute of Bio- and Geosciences 1 - Biotechnology (IBG-1) of Forschungszentrum Jülich. The department “Systemic Microbiology” of IBG-1 performs research in the field of molecular and applied microbiology. Major aims are a systemic molecular understanding of selected microbial cell factories and the development of microbes as biocatalysts for production of industrially or pharmaceutically relevant products from renewable carbon sources using metabolic engineering, synthetic biology, and high-throughput screening technologies.

We are offering a
PhD position - Microbial Biotechnology

Activities and responsibilities

Many biotechnological processes fail because the product imposes too much stress on
the microbe. We aim to address this by utilizing naturally stress-resistant Pseudomonas
bacteria in a collaborative project called NO-STRESS. You will investigate microbial
stress tolerance mechanisms. Based on your findings, you will engineer new strains with
higher tolerance to chemical stressors. You will evaluate these new strains through
biocatalytic production of industrially relevant chemicals, using state-of-the-art production
pathways available in our lab. Your methodical focus will be on genetic engineering,
metabolic engineering, and laboratory evolution.

Your tasks in Detail:
  • Cultivation and analysis of Pseudomonas bacteria
  • Enhancement of native tolerances by laboratory evolution
  • Knockout and overexpression of genes encoding tolerance mechanisms
  • Rational strain design based on literature data and the knowledge generated in this project
  • Participation in conferences in Germany and abroad (incl. presenting your research results)
  • Exchange with internal and external project partners
  • Preparing scientific publications and project reports
  • Mentoring students

Qualification profile

  • MSc degree in Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Biochemical engineering, or comparable disciplines
  • Experience in microbiology and biotechnology
  • Expertise in genetic and metabolic engineering
  • Knowledge on metabolism of prokaryotic organisms
  • Fluent command of written and spoken English
  • High degree of independence and commitment
  • Reliable and conscientious style of working
  • Excellent ability to cooperate and work in a team

We offer

  • Outstanding scientific and technical infrastructure with low teaching load - ideal conditions for successfully completing a doctoral degree
  • An international and interdisciplinary working environment at one of Europe’s largest research establishments
  • Chance of participating in (international) conferences and project meetings
  • Doctoral degree conferred by the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf
  • A comprehensive training programme for personal development
  • Above average pay equivalent to 75 % of pay group 13 of the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (TVöD EG 13).
  • Information on employment as a PhD student at Forschungszentrum Jülich can be found on
  • Usually a contract for the duration of 3 years
Forschungszentrum Jülich aims to employ more women in this area and therefore
particularly welcomes applications from women.

We also welcome applications from disabled persons.

Applications are welcome in English or German.

Send application to

We look forward to receiving your application until 15.12.2019 via our Online Recruitment System!

Questions about the vacancy?
Contact us by mentioning the reference number 2019D-224:

Please note that for technical reasons we cannot accept applications via email.

Bitte beziehen Sie sich bei Ihrer Bewerbung auf jobvector und geben Sie die folgende Referenznummer an: 2019D-224

Über Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH

Das Forschungszentrum Jülich leistet als Mitglied der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft wirksame Beiträge zur Lösung großer gesellschaftlicher Herausforderungen in den Bereichen Information, Energie und Bioökonomie. Es bearbeitet vielfältige Aufgaben im Forschungsmanagement und nutzt große, oft einzigartige wissenschaftliche Infrastrukturen. Arbeiten Sie zusammen mit rund 5.900 Kolleginnen und Kollegen...
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