DZNE is a world-leading, internationally oriented center for cutting-edge research into diseases of the nervous system. With its outstanding research personalities and state-of-the-art infrastructure, it offers the best conditions for publications and results at the highest level.

Around 1,200 employees at 10 locations in Germany are working together on new approaches to better understand and effectively combat diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and ALS.

That is our goal - maybe soon yours too? Become part of the DZNE and support us in realizing our research strategy!

PhD Candidate (f/m/x) Functional Omics of Neurodegenerative Diseases

Code: 1298/2024/3

We are looking for enthusiastic and ambitious students who are keen to work on the functional omics of ageing and age-related diseases as part of their PhD.

The job holder will be part of the Population Health Sciences group, led by Prof Dr Monique M B Breteler, and located at the headquarters of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) in Bonn. We study causes and biomarkers of normal and pathological mental and physical health, with a special emphasis on neurodegenerative diseases and ageing. The research is primarily based on the Rhineland Study, a prospective cohort study that emphasizes deep phenotyping. The study currently includes more than 11.000 participants at baseline, follow-up data is already available from nearly 5000 participants, and further data collection is ongoing. Available clinical data include detailed structural and functional brain imaging, cognitive and neurological assessments, cardiovascular and anthropometric assessments, sensory systems tests, medical history, and medication use. We further have detailed exposome data, including information on physical activity, diet, and environmental toxin and temperature exposure. Importantly, we have extensive multi-omics data, both from baseline and follow-up, including genomic and epigenomic data (miRNA sequencing, DNA-methylation), transcriptomics, metabolomics, lipidomics and proteomics data.

Your role in detail

You will integrate different layers of OMICS data (both cross-sectional and longitudinal) to investigate biological questions related to health outcomes with a specific focus on neurodegeneration. Responsibilities include: participation in and supervision of data acquisition and processing; data analysis and preparation of manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals; active participation in national and international conferences.

Your qualifications

  • Excellent master degree in bioinformatics, epidemiology, biomedical sciences, or related disciplines
  • Demonstrable interest in quantitative research, the possession of strong analytical skills
  • First experience with analysing high-throughput sequencing data (e.g., RNASeq) and performing Quality Control for such data is a plus, as is experience in epidemiological research or large-scale clinical studies
  • First programming experience (preferably in R)
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English is required
  • Enjoy working as part of an interdisciplinary and international team

We offer

  • An interesting and challenging position on the forefront of health research
  • Work in a highly interdisciplinary and international team to address pressing health issues related to aging
  • Excellent scientific infrastructure with state-of-the-art research and computational facilities
  • Active encouragement and support of our employees’ individual development
  • Employment, payment, and social benefits in line with the Public Sector Collective Agreement (Tarifvertrag für den öffentlichen Dienst)

The PhD position will be integrated into the Bonn International Graduate School of Clinical and Population Science and further training in epidemiological, statistical and computational methods will be provided as needed. The position is initially limited to three years with the possibility of extension.

How to apply

Interested applicants should submit, as one single PDF file, a CV, transcripts, three references, and a cover letter describing your research interest and experience, through the link below.

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. For inquiries about the position, please contact:

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Application deadline


You will obtain special skills and knowledge for your scientific qualification during your activities at DZNE. The DZNE is an equal opportunity employer. It is committed to employing disabled individuals and especially encourages them to apply.