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 Students (f/m/d)

Code: 1727/2019/11

Join the research group Experimental Neurophysiology (ENP), led by Prof. Dirk Isbrandt and located at the University of Cologne.

The ENP lab has state-of-the art equipment and a motivated team of experts in molecular biology, rodent behavior, and electrophysiology of hippocampus and cortex. We invite applicants interested in studying the neural basis of: learning and memory, cortical development, and the evolution of disease processes with a focus on neuronal channelopathies. These two positions will be available as of January 1, 2020 for a duration of four years.

Candidates should hold a master’s degree, preferably in neuroscience or in a closely related field. Students of math, physics, or bioinformatics who are eager and self-motivated to study neuroscience are also encouraged to apply, but a strong interest in neurophysiology is a prerequisite.

For a more detailed overview of our research topics, applicants are encouraged to review Peters et al. ’05 (, Marguet et al. ’15 (, Fazeli et al ’17 (, and Kirmse et al. ( We welcome any inquiries on our research prior to a formal application. Please contact us at +49 221 478 32732.

Your tasks

  • To perform your own PhD project and conduct behavioral, electrophysiological, and opto-/chemogenetic experiments in mice
  • To participate in the acquisition and analysis of data and to take part in the preparation of manuscripts


  • Ability to work in a team
  • Good written and oral English communication skills
  • Basic programming skills and experience (e.g., Matlab, Python, R)

We offer

  • An exciting and challenging position in a research center that works on state-of-the art health research topics
  • A doctoral position in an international, highly interactive environment at the DZNE Bonn/University of Cologne in Prof. Isbrandt’s DZNE research group Experimental Neurophysiology at the University of Cologne, Institute for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience
  • PhD projects will be fully incorporated in the coordinated training programs at the University of Cologne (GSfBS) (, or IPMM (
  • The opportunity to utilize state-of-the-art equipment and facilities both in Cologne and Bonn
  • Excellent career development opportunities for our employees
  • Employment, payment, and social benefits consistent with those at other research institutions

Required documents

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Statement of research interests
  • References




Contact details

Prof. Dr. Dirk Isbrandt - Tel. +49 221 478 32732

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 at DZNE. The DZNE is an equal opportunity employer. It especially welcomes and encourages disabled individuals to apply.