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Head of the Center for Preclinical Research

German Cancer Research Center in the Helmholtz Association (DKFZ)
Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg (DE)
Excellent framework conditions
Closing date
27 Dec 2023

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Biomedicine, Clinical, Health Science
Job Type
Bioinformatician, Head of Department
Employment - Hours
Part time
Professional certification

Job Details

The German Cancer Research Center is seeking the

Head of the Center for Preclinical Research (Ref-No. 2023-0371)


The German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) is the largest biomedical research institution in Germany. With more than 3,000 employees, we operate an extensive scientific program in the field of cancer research.


We are seeking an experienced leader to head the entire Center for Preclinical Research (ZPF) from 01.05.2024, which is the central support service providing institutional animal care and specialized research services to more than 100 research groups at DKFZ. This position combines two levels of responsibility. First, the position directs a husbandry team that includes five clinical veterinarians, one biological staff scientist, four administrative assistants, two senior technicians and over 50 animal caretakers. Second, the post holder sets strategic direction for three closely aligned, independently operating service units providing microbiological diagnostics, production of genetically modified mice, and design and execution of bespoke preclinical and translational experimental tumor models. This senior leadership position offers a unique opportunity to further develop a world-leading preclinical research support program.

Job description:

  • Provide strategic direction for a flagship core facility by combining best husbandry practices and institutional research priorities
  • Develop and maintain collaborative relationships with a cross-section of faculty
  • Maximize the scientific impact of the service units Microbiological Diagnostics, Transgenic Service, and Tumor Models
  • Further development of animal experimental research
  • Undertake animal husbandry in accordance with § 11 TierSchG (German Animal Protection Act)
  • Closely cooperate with animal welfare officers and participate in the DKFZ Animal Welfare Committee to continuously implement the 3Rs principle
  • Maintain and extend animal husbandry databases
  • Represent DKFZ to the relevant legal authorities
  • Lead the DKFZ’s ongoing efforts to finalize full AAALAC accreditation


  • Long-term experience in management of laboratory animal facilities
  • Doctoral degree in veterinary sciences with professional specialization in laboratory animal science or Dipl. ECLAM
  • Theoretical and practical knowledge in management of laboratory rodents
  • Thorough understanding of animal protection law and animal experimentation procedures
  • Business management skills
  • High social and leadership skills, strong communication skills
  • Independent and self-organized
  • Very good knowledge of German and English languages, both written and spoken

Applicants should include a CV, a list of publications, an overview of external funding obtained, and a 2-3 page synopsis of their scientific career with special emphasis on the experience in the field of laboratory animal science.

We offer:

  • Excellent framework conditions: state-of-the-art equipment and opportunities for international networking at the highest level
  • 30 days of vacation per year
  • Flexible working hours
  • Possibility of mobile work and part-time work
  • Family-friendly working environment, e.g. parent-child room, advisory services caring for elderly relatives
  • Sustainable travel to work: subsidized Germany job ticket
  • Unleash your full potential: targeted offers for your personal development to further develop your talents
  • Our Corporate Health Management Program offers a holistic approach to your well-being

The position is permanent.

Important notice:

The DKFZ is subject to the regulations of the Infection Protection Act (IfSG). As a consequence, only persons who present proof of immunity against measles may work at the DKFZ.

For further information please contact
Prof. Dr. Peter Angel, phone +49 (0)6221/42-4570.

The DKFZ is committed to increase the proportion of women in all areas and positions in which women are underrepresented. Qualified female applicants are therefore particularly encouraged to apply.

Among candidates of equal aptitude and qualifications, a person with disabilities will be given preference.

To apply for a position please use our online application portal (

We ask for your understanding that we cannot return application documents that are sent to us by post (Deutsches Krebs­forschungs­zentrum, Personal­abteilung, Im Neuen­heimer Feld 280, 69120 Heidelberg) and that we do not accept applications submitted via email. We apolo­gize for any inconvenience this may cause.



About the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)

The German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) is Germany’s largest biomedical research institute and a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers. Over 3,200 staff members from 88 nations are dedicated to performing and driving cutting edge research for a life without cancer. Organized in more than 100 divisions and research groups, the focus of our 1,400 scientists is to unravel the causes and mechanisms of cancer development and progression, and to develop novel strategies for the diagnosis, early detection, prevention and treatment of cancer though innovative translational research.

Scientists at the DKFZ have received the most prestigious academic awards, including Prof. Harald zur Hausen, awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2008 for his pioneering work on Human Papilloma Viruses (HPV),and Prof. Stefan Hell, who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his research on super-resolution imaging.

The DKFZ core site is located in Heidelberg, the “City of Science”, which is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Germany with a highly international community: An estimated 56,000 of Heidelberg’s 160,000 inhabitants have an international background – many of whom are scientists or students.


Research Topics and Scientific Collaborations

The DKFZ is an international leader in a number of research areas including stem cell research, bioinformatics and systems biology, cancer genomics, neurooncology, pediatric oncology, cancer prevention, tumor immunology, virology, radiooncology and medical image analysis. The interdisciplinary and collaborative research environment at the DKFZ also results in excellent opportunities for computational and data scientists with interest in biomedical applications.

Research at the DKFZ is organized into six research programs:

On the mission for a life without cancer, the DKFZ collaborates with renowned clinical and research institutions at the local, national and international level. A key goal is to continuously strengthen translational research activities with the aim of sustainably advancing state-of-the-art clinical cancer research in Germany and thereby improving the treatment outcomes and quality of life of cancer patients. Together with University Hospital partners across Germany, the DKFZ established the National Centers for Tumor Diseases (NCT) as leading Comprehensive Cancer Centers in Germany, as well as the Hopp Childrens’ Tumor Center (KiTZ) in Heidelberg with a specific focus on pediatric oncology. Within the German Cancer Consortium for Translational Cancer Research (DKTK), research institutions and university hospitals at eight partner locations collaborate with the DKFZ, the core center of the DKTK, to speed up the transfer of successful cancer research into clinical practice. Furthermore, the HI-TRON in Mainz is a cooperative effort to make full use of the potential of individualized immunotherapy.


Training Programs and Career Development

Talent management and career development are central parts of DKFZ’s mission to maintain scientific excellence. The DKFZ places strong emphasis on the international recruitment and comprehensive training of excellent scientists, specifically welcoming diverse and international backgrounds.

Dedicated programs train young scientists and clinicians and prepare them for their next career step:

The DKFZ has developed programs to support the reconciliation of family and careers at all levels and international employees are supported by the International Staff Services in the planning, preparation and realization of their stay in Heidelberg.


Innovation Management

The DKFZ builds on strong Innovation Management to foster the development of innovative preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic products for maximum societal benefit. It facilitates technology transfer through licensing and support of spin-off companies. Recent examples include iOmx Therapeutics, Apogenix and mtm laboratories. The DKFZ also has strong collaborations with industry partners, such as Bayer Healthcare, Bosch, SAP and Siemens.

Company info
+49 (0) 6221 420
Im Neuenheimer Feld 280

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