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. 

PhD student (f/m/d)

Code: 1612/2018/11

The research group “Dynamics of Neuronal Circuits”, led by Prof. Dr. Gaia Tavosanis, is interested in the differentiation and adult plasticity of the nervous system. We investigate the cellular mechanism underlying the differentiation of neurons and the capacity of remodelling of the adult nervous system at the cellular and circuit level.  For this, we combine multiple approaches ranging from classical genetics in Drosophila and molecular biology to high-resolution in vivo microscopy, functional imaging and behavioural paradigms (

Your tasks

One PhD student position, supported by the DFG within the frame of the recently initiated Research Unit (Forschergruppe): FOR 2705: Dissection of a Brain Circuit: Structure, Plasticity and Behavioral Function of the Drosophila mushroom body is now available in the lab. The project will focus on the circuit mechanisms that support the consolidation of memories in the adult fly brain. Combining detailed anatomical insight and refined genetic tools to manipulate identified neurons, you will investigate how experience and learning modify a circuit’s output and will interrogate the involvement of structural plasticity in the process. The project will additionally include developmental and cell biological aspects of circuit establishment and plasticity.

This project is embedded within the frame of the FOR 2705 that includes highly interactive groups with complementary expertise. We will be meeting on a regular schedule and collaborations within the Research Unit are planned or already active. Interactions among graduate students will be strongly fostered.


  • Excellent University grades (Degree: Masters of Science)
  • A strong interest in Neuroscience
  • Previous experience in fly genetics, fly behaviour and in functional imaging are preferred, but not a strict requirement
  • Basic experience in programming will be of advantage
  • The lab language is English

We offer

  • An interesting and challenging task in a research center that works on the future topics of health research
  • An international environment characterized by a strong focus on science and research
  • A high potential for the individual development of our employees
  • Employment, payment and social benefits are consistent with those at other research institutes
  • Students in the lab are enrolled in the Bonn International Graduate School in Neuroscience (

Highly motivated students are welcome to apply with a short letter of intent and their CV including two of the usual references and University grades.




Contact details

Prof. Dr. Gaia Tavosanis

Working hours


Contract length

Payment, social benefits

consistent with those at other research institutes

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.