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Synergy AI Scientist in the Helmholtz Foundation Model Initiative

Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC)
Berlin (DE)
Closing date
11 Jul 2024

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Biomedicine, Computing, Mathematics
Job Type
Employment - Hours
Full time
Fixed term

The Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) in the Helmholtz Association is an international biomedical research center dedicated to understanding the molecular mechanisms of health and disease with the goal to devise new diagnostics and medicines. The MDC is a member of the Helmholtz Association, Germany's largest scientific organization, and offers an engaging research environment with cutting-edge research infrastructure. Currently, ~1250 employees and ~500 guest scientists work at the Berlin-Buch and Berlin-Mitte campuses. Our diverse workforce is a core strength that inspires creativity and innovation at the MDC.

The MDC is committed to improving human health through transformative biomedical research. Our goal is to pioneer discoveries for preventing, treating, and ultimately curing disease.

The Helmholtz Association has launched an ambitious initiative to harness the recent advancements in AI and the rise of Foundation Models. The Helmholtz Foundation Model Initiative (HFMI) aspires to lead in creating generic AI models for a variety of research domains. In its current Pilot phase, HFMI funds four Pilot Projects and an overarching Synergy Unit. It is the mission of the HFMI Synergy Unit to amplify the impact of the HFMI on domain research. To this end, the Synergy Unit works with all Pilots in a cross-domain comparative benchmarking approach, aiming at deriving generalizing principles and best practices for streamlined foundation model development and deployment across domains.
Develop generalizing principles for understanding and interpreting foundation model knowledge

Job Description

  • Benchmark self-supervised learning paradigms and -workflows on a broad range of large-scale scientific data sources from various domains to identify common patterns how known data properties are reflected in embedding space
  • derive generalizing principles and best practices to streamline foundation model development for novel data domains
  • to this end collaborate closely with the HFMI Pilot Projects and further foundation model efforts in the community
  • engage in community building- and outreach events to ensuring lasting impact of the initiative


  • MSc in computer science, physics, mathematics or a related field
  • PhD with relevant machine learning focus
  • Experience with large-scale HPC is a plus

We offer

  • international working environment with communication in English and German
  • interesting career opportunities and a range of opportunities for further qualification and training
  • Compatibility of family and career certified by the workandfamily audit (“berufundfamilie audit”)
  • Support for "New Berliners" through the MDC Welcome & Family Office
  • On-campus health and fitness center

You also benefit from:

  • a remuneration in accordance with the collective agreement for the federal public service (TVöD-Bund), including additional company pension schemes
  • flexible working hours and childcare support
  • the possibility of mobile working

Application Period:
July 11, 2024

MDC Berlin-Mitte

Remuneration will be according to the TVöD Bund, depending on the personal requirements, up to the fee group E13

Employment volume:
Full Time

Desired starting date:
August 01, 2024

Fixed Term
The position is limited to 3 years

Dagmar Kainmueller
Integrative Imaging Data Sciences lab and Synergy Unit of the Helmholtz Foundation Model Initiative

Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion:

MDC values diversity and is committed to fostering an inclusive, fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish. All qualified applicants will receive equitable consideration for employment based on their experience and qualifications, and will not be discriminated against on the basis of national or ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, age, or other personal characteristics. We recognize that creating diverse teams that represent a broad range of experiences, perspectives and backgrounds strengthen our work and research. We welcome applications from open-minded people who embrace working together in a diverse environment. Applications from severely disabled people will be given particular consideration.


Please use our online portal and submit your application including a cover letter, CV (without photo, age and information about your family status) and other relevant attachments.

If you have a foreign degree, please submit proof of the recognition of your Master's degree in Germany with your application. The proof can be determined via the anabin database ( and can be submitted as a PDF attachment to the application.

For information on fair mobility, click here:

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