The German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) is a unique non-university research center which is dedicated to the subject dementia and all its areas, as well as other neurodegenerative diseases. The center compasses the full spectrum of fundamental research through population sciences to health care research. The DZNE stands for excellence in research and science management, translation of scientific results into practice, interdisciplinarity and internationalization. It is a research center within the Helmholtz Organization of German research centers. With over 1000 employees from 55 nations, spread over 10 sites, the DZNE is one of the national and international leading research centers in its research field. 

Postdoctoral Epidemiologist / Data Scientist (f/m/d): Nutrition and Brain Health

Code: 1580/2018/7

Within the area of Population Health Sciences in Bonn we are looking for a Postdoctoral Epidemiologist / Data Scientist to lead and further develop our efforts in this research area.

The link between nutrition and health related outcome is one of our major interests. For this, we collaborate with multiple partners in the Bonn-based Competence Cluster on "Diet-Body-Brain" (DietBB) and in two international consortia within the European Joint Programming Initiative "A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life" (AMBROSIAC and HEALTHMARK). We aim to understand the mechanisms through which diet and food intake influence health and disease risk, with a special focus on the impact of nutrition on brain structure and function. In our research we integrate data from dietary assessments, neuroimaging, multi-omics ((epi-)genomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics, , microbiomics) and extensive clinical data with information on individual preferences and behavioral aspects such as physical activity.

The research is led by Prof. Monique M.B. Breteler, Director of Population Health Sciences at the DZNE, and primarily based on the Rhineland Study. This prospective population based cohort study will include up to 30,000 people aged 30 years and over, run for decades, and emphasizes brain-related outcomes. Study facilities encompass 2 fully operational examination centers equipped

with state-of-the art apparatus including dedicated 3T MRI scanners, advanced bio-banking facilities and large data storage and computational resources.

Your tasks

  • Further development of the area of nutritional and lifestyle epidemiology in the context of the Rhineland Study
  • Supervision and monitoring of dietary and lifestyle data acquisition and processing
  • Analysis of complex and high-dimensional data and preparation of manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals
  • Supervision of graduate and PhD students
  • Maintaining contact with our external academic partners
  • Preparation of grant applications to strengthen this line of research and to develop an own research focus.


Successful candidates hold a PhD in (nutritional) epidemiology, medicine or other relevant discipline. Demonstrable interest in quantitative research, strong analytical skills, ability for independent and critical thinking, leadership capabilities and excellent communication and writing skills in the English language are a prerequisite. At least 2 years of post-doctoral working experience in epidemiological research or large-scale observational studies and experience with dietary pattern analysis is highly desirable.

We offer:

  • Interesting and challenging work in a research centre that works on the forefront of health research
  • Working in a team to help direct the efforts of the Rhineland Study to address pressing health issues related to aging
  • A high potential for the development of own research profile
  • The position is initially limited to two years with the possibility of extension
  • Employment, payment and social benefits are determined by the Public Sector Collective Agreement (Tarifvertrag für den öffentlichen Dienst).
  • Job location is Bonn, Germany. Common languages at work are English and German.




Contact details

Prof. Dr. Monique M. B. Breteler

Working hours


Contract length

2 years, extension possible

Payment, social benefits

according to TVöD Bund

Application deadline

March 31st, 2019

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