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. 

Experienced Researcher (f/m/d) in Population Neuroimaging

Code: 1716/2020/1

Within the area of Population Health Sciences.

We 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. The research is led by Prof. Monique M.B. Breteler and is primarily based on data from the Rhineland Study. This prospective population-based cohort study will include more than 20,000 people aged 30 years and over, run for decades, and emphasizes brain-related outcomes. Core data collection includes extensive structural and functional brain imaging, cognitive and behavioral assessments, cardiovascular investigations, sensory systems assessments, questions on medical history, medication intake, life style, nutrition and mental health, collection of biomaterials, and wide-ranging omics analyses.

Brain imaging is an essential part of our data collection and prominent in our research. All eligible participants of the Rhineland Study undergo an advanced 1h MRI protocol at each examination. The core protocol acquires state-of-the-art anatomical, functional and structural connectivity data in the whole brain with high isotropic resolution. A “free protocol” with varying sequences addresses additional research questions in subgroups. We already have brain imaging data from thousands of participants, data collection is ongoing. We work with an interdisciplinary team of image analyzers, IT experts and other data scientists to build the relevant image analysis pipelines and perform further feature extraction and data analysis. To further strengthen our team, we aim to appoint a highly qualified scientist with strong experience in population imaging.

Your tasks

You are expected to take a leading role in the further development of our research efforts in this area. Responsibilities include but are not limited to: supervision of data acquisition and processing; analysis of data and preparation of manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals; supervision of graduate students; maintaining contact with our internal and external academic partners; preparation of grant applications, development of own research focus. Additionally, we expect you to actively contribute to the general conduct and further development of the Rhineland Study.



We are looking for a highly talented, motivated, enthusiastic and ambitious researcher with good social skills. You have a PhD in medicine (radiology), physics, epidemiology, applied statistics, cognitive neuroscience or other relevant discipline. Experience with large scale brain imaging data and very good epidemiological knowledge is a prerequisite, as is a demonstrated interest in quantitative research, the possession of strong data analytical skills, leadership capabilities and the ability for independent and critical thinking. A track record of publishing high quality scientific papers is a sine qua non.

We offer

  • An interesting and challenging work in a highly interdisciplinary and international scientific environments
  • Common language at work is English
  • We actively encourage and support our employees’ personal development and growth.
  • The position is initially limited to two years, extension possible
  • Employment, payment and social benefits are determined by the Public Sector Collective Agreement (TVöD-Bund).

The professional qualification of early career researchers is of great importance for DZNE. Besides special offers for career development and support, the DZNE also provides researchers career opportunities in form of junior research groups or internal career paths to obtain scientific independence.




Contact details

Prof. Dr. Monique Breteler

Working hours


Contract length

2 years, extension possible

Payment, social benefits

according to TVöD Bund

Application deadline

February 29th, 2020

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.