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) in the group Neuroepidemiology

Code: 6009/2019/10

The main goal of the research group neuroepidemiology (Dr. Yiqiang Zhan) is to identify ­­­­­­­­early targetable risk factors for neurodegenerative disease, especially for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, frontotemporal dementia, Alzheimer’s dementia, and Parkinson’s disease­ using novel genetic approaches as well as other omics resources and cohort data.  The group has extensive collaborations within DZNE, Ulm University, Sweden, China, and others. The PhD student position will be based in DZNE site in Ulm.

Your tasks

The specific focus of the project will be to investigate the putative risk factors for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia, and to examine if similar patterns could be obtained in terms of both the incidence and progression of these two diseases. Primary methods will include novel genetic approaches such as polygenic risk score construction, Mendelian randomization analysis, and genetic correlation analysis as well as mixed models and survival analysis techniques. The specific tasks involved in this position are to harmonize data from disease registers and population-based cohort as well as in-house case-control studies, to develop study protocols, to perform statistical analysis, and to disseminate the findings in conferences and peer-reviewed scientific journals with the group leader.


Applicants must have a Master degree in epidemiology, bioinformatics, neuroscience or equivalent and should have a strong background in quantitative data analysis in biomedicine. Prior experiences in GWAS, omics analysis, polygenetic risk score analysis, Mendelian randomization, and R/Python/Stata/SAS are highly desirable. Applicants should be fluent in English and possess good communication and team working skills.

We offer

  • Working in an international team within a stimulating research environment and with very well equipped laboratories
  • An international environment characterized by a strong focus on science and research
  • A high potential for the individual development of our employees
  • Targeted personnel development
  • The contract is limited to 2 years, extension possible
  • Employment, payment and social benefits are consistent with those at other research institutes.




Contact details

Dr. Yiqiang Zhan

Working hours


Contract length

2 years, extension possible

Payment, social benefits

consistent with those at other research institutes

Application deadline

December 31st, 2019

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