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) – Electrophysiology

Code: 100024/2020/6

To join the Research Group " Cellular Circuits of Memory " led by Dr. Silvia Viana da Silva starting from 1st of August, 2020. We are looking for a PhD student with an interest in synaptic and network dysfuntion in animal models of neurodegeneration. The project aims at understanding how interneuron manipulations can alter the formation of memory and have the potential to be used as treatment targets.

In our group, we work on projects related to neurodegeneration at a cellular and circuit level. We study brain oscillations and single cell activitity during active behavior and aim to understand what circuit rearrengements occur in the early phases of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Overall, the project provides a highly interdisciplinary approach to the study of hippocampal function in the context of neurodegeneration

Your tasks

  • The candidate is expected to perform experimental bench work, oral presentation of the results, as well as the preparation of manuscripts for publication in international scientific journals.
  • Experimental work includes in vivo electrophysiology recordings, whole cell patch-clamp electrophysiology and behavioural analysis.
  • Active participation in local, national, and international conferences is expected.


  • We are looking for an open-minded, enthusiastic, and highly-talented junior researcher with good social skills for our teamwork-oriented research group.
  • Demonstrable interest in basic biological research, strong analytical skills, ability for independent and critical thinking, organizational talent, and excellent communication and writing skills in the English language are a prerequisite.
  • Experience with the standard methods in fluorescence microscopy, immunocitohistology and electrophysiology are appreciated.
  • Successful candidates have a masters degree in life sciences

We offer

  • A doctoral position in an international, highly interactive environment at the DZNE Berlin embedded in the strong Berlin neuroscience research community.
  • An exciting and challenging position in a research center that works on state-of-the art health research topics.
  • The project provides a highly interdisciplinary approach to the study of learning and memory.
  • Excellent career development opportunities for our employees. You will obtain special skills and knowledge for your scientific qualification during your activities at DZNE.
  • The successful candidate will be supervised by Dr. Silvia Viana da Silva, and support and mentoring will be available at every step along the way. Training in general scientific methods, more specialized methods employed by the research unit, and scientific writing will be provided.
  • The opportunity to utilize state-of-the-art equipment and facilities
  • A PhD appointment of initially 2 years with the possibility of extension.
  • The PhD candidate can be registered as such in an external University, or can be registered as a PhD student in the Charite Berlin, Freie University Berlin, or the Humboldt University Berlin and can be part of an external PhD program.
  • Employment, payment, and social benefits are consistent with those at other research institutions

Applications should contain the following documents (in English):

  • A detailed Curriculum Vitae
  • A cover letter with research interest
  • At least 2 of the usual references

We are looking forward to your application!




Contact details

Dr. Silvia Viana da Silva

Working hours


Contract length

2 years

Payment, social benefits

consistent with those at other research institutes

Application deadline

July 15th, 2020

The DZNE is an equal opportunity employer. It is committed to employing disabled individuals and especially encourages them to apply.