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 Pharmacoepidemiology (f/m/d)

Code: 1588/2018/12

Population Health Sciences at the DZNE aims to study determinants of normal and pathological mental and physical function over the adult life course, with a special emphasis on neurodegenerative diseases. To this end we have established the Rhineland Study, a prospective population based cohort study that will include up to 30,000 people aged 30 years and over and is designed to run for decades. Participants undergo a variety of tests, including: (1) extensive structural and functional brain imaging (on dedicated 3T MRI scanners), (2) cognitive and behavioral assessments, (3) cardiovascular investigations, (4) sensory systems assessments, (5) extensive collection of biomaterials and questioning on medical history, medication intake, life style, nutrition and mental health.

Pharmacoepidemiology is an important research area within the Rhineland Study, in which medication intake data can be linked to various clinical, imaging, biochemical and genetic outcomes. This research is done in collaboration with the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM).

Your tasks

Suboptimal medication use is common and involves a high risk of adverse health effects. The aim of this PhD project is to better identify and characterize people with a high risk for suboptimal medication use. The focus will be on different factors of suboptimal medication use including polypharmacy, potentially inappropriate medication use, drug-drug interactions, drug-gene interactions, and over- and undertreatment.

The scientific work will include involvement in medication data collection within the Rhineland Study, data analysis and preparation of manuscripts for publication in international scientific journals, as well as active participation in national and international conferences.


We are looking for a highly talented, motivated, enthusiastic and ambitious researcher with good social skills. Successful candidates hold a degree in epidemiology, pharmacy, medicine or other relevant discipline. Experience with pharmacoepidemiological research is a strength. Demonstrable interest in quantitative research, strong analytical skills, ability for independent and critical thinking, and excellent communication and writing skills in the English language are a prerequisite.

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
  • The position is initially limited to three years with the possibility of extension
  • Job location is Bonn, Germany. Common language at work is English.
  • Employment, payment and social benefits are consistent with those at other research institutes

Successful candidates will be supervised jointly by Prof. Monique M.B. Breteler and Dr. Dianna de Vries. 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 qualifications.  




Contact details

Herr Dr. Antonio Schmandke

Working hours


Contract length

3 years, extension possible

Payment, social benefits

consistent with those at other research institutes

Application deadline

April 15th, 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 is committed to employing disabled individuals and especially encourages them to apply.