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. 

2 PhD positions in Epidemiology and Ophthalmology

Code: 1532/2017/12

Population Health Sciences at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) in Bonn, Germany aims to study
determinants and biomarkers of normal and pathological mental and physical health function over the adult life course, with a
special emphasis on neurodegenerative diseases and ageing. It is primarily based on data from 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 extensive phenotyping. Study facilities currently encompass 2 fully operational examination centers equipped with
state-of-the art apparatus including dedicated devices for retinal and brain imaging, advanced bio-banking facilities and large
data storage and computational resources. Further information is available at

In collaboration with the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Bonn (UB) Medical School (UKB), we are looking for
TWO highly qualified PhD candidates who will conduct research in the following two topics:

Topic 1: Etiology and Diagnostics of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Topic 2: Retinal Imaging Biomarkers for Brain related Disorders

Successful candidates (f/m) will be supervised jointly by Prof. Monique M.B. Breteler (DZNE) and Prof. Robert Finger (UB). Both PhD students will work collaboratively within the Rhineland Study. Primary affiliation will be either with the UB (Topic 1) or the DZNE (Topic 2).

Your tasks

The scientific work will include the supervision of the ophthalmologic data collection within the Rhineland Study, data analysis and
preparation of manuscripts for publication in international journals. Support and mentoring will be available at every step along the
way. The PhD position will be integrated into the Bonn International Graduate School Clinical and Population Science ( with regular seminars as well as supportive mentoring and other research infrastructure. Training in general scientific methods as well as more specialized methods employed by the research unit will be provided. Active participation in local, national and international conferences is expected. Successful candidates will be awarded a PhD or MD/PhD depending on prior qualification.


The ideal candidate will be a highly motivated, team-oriented graduate with a strong interest in vision research, ophthalmology and
epidemiology. Strong quantitative and analytical skills are a pre-requisite as are excellent verbal and writing skills in English.
Experience with clinical or epidemiological research is advantageous as is a prior degree in health sciences/vision and/or
epidemiology. Candidates should hold a diploma or a master’s degree. Te positions are available immediately with an envisioned starting date in early 2018.

For further information, please visit our web page or contact us via email through the address stated below:




Contact details

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. Both, the DZNE and the UB are equal opportunity employers. They especially welcome and encourage disabled individuals to apply.