PhD position Synthetic Microbiology

Job Advertisement No. 10/2015

The Leibniz Research Cluster (LRC) Bio/Synthetic multifunctional micro-production units – Novel ways in compound development is a joint research programme of five Leibniz Institutes and combines life sciences and engineering to develop novel processes for cell free production of natural products. At the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology – Hans Knöll Institute Jena (HKI, we recently established the LRC Junior Research Group “Biobricks of microbial natural product syntheses”. The group is funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research in the framework of the initiative “Biotechnology 2020+” for up to five years.

We invite applications for

2 PhD positions

for three years initially in the field of Synthetic Microbiology.

The successful candidates will be involved in the genomic manipulation of model organisms to heterologously express eukaryotic secondary metabolite gene clusters.

Our requirements: We expect a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Life Sciences (e.g. Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry) with a strong background in molecular biological techniques. Experience in microbiology is advantageous but not required. Applicants should have very good communication skills in English and a high motivation to perform team-oriented as well as independent work.

The field of work includes the genomic manipulation of model organisms (e.g. Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Aspergilli); the identification and isolation of active metabolites; the elucidation of metabolic pathways and their key elements (e.g. polyketide synthases). The project aims to optimize the expression of cryptic gene clusters and to identify new therapeutics.

We offer: The successful candidates will be hosted in the independent LRC Junior Research Group “Biobricks of microbial natural product syntheses” headed by Dr. Vito Valiante. The HKI is embedded in the outstanding scientific environment of the Beutenberg Campus providing state-of-art research facilities and a highly integrative network of life science groups. We offer a multifaceted scientific project supported by excellent technical facilities, a place in a young, committed team, as well as strong scientific collaborations. As a PhD student, you will be integrated in one of the established graduate schools ILRS ( or JSMC (, which offer extensive mentoring support and provide additional training through a structured onsite programme. Training will include key areas of science and technology, and complementary skills.

Salary is paid according to German TV-L (salary agreement for public service employees). The HKI is an equal opportunity employer.

Further information: Dr. Vito Valiante | +49 3641 532 1090 |

Complete applications in English should include a CV, a complete list of publications, a brief statement of research experiences and interests, the addresses of two possible referees, and should be submitted until May 31, 2015 referring to HKI job posting No. 10/2015 to The HKI is committed to increase the percentage of female scientists and therefore especially encourages them to apply.

Mail address:
Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology
– Hans Knöll Institute –
Personnel office
Adolf-Reichwein-Straße 23
07745 Jena | Germany
How to apply:
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While applying for the job please refer to jobvector and use the following reference number: 10-2015

About Leibniz-Institut für Naturstoff-Forschung und Infektionsbiologie

The Leibniz-Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology (HKI) identifies and investigates natural products produced by microorganisms, mainly fungi, to understand their role as mediators of biological communication and to use them for the elucidation of cellular processes. Furthermore, scientists at the Institute are interested in understanding the pathobiology of...

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