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Post-doctoral researcher (m/f/d) in ‘‘Marine Microbial Natural Product Chemistry’’

Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Closing date
31 Aug 2024

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Job Type
Employment - Hours
Full time

Job Details

Area of research:


Job description:

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel is a foundation of public law jointly financed by the Federal Republic of Germany (90 %) and the state of Schleswig-Holstein (10 %) and is one of the internationally leading institutions in the field of marine sciences.

Through our research and our commitment to the transfer of knowledge and technology, we contribute significantly to the preservation of the function and protection of the ocean for future generations.

GEOMAR Research Unit Marine Natural Products Chemistry / GEOMAR Centre for Marine Biotechnology is seeking an experienced

Post-doctoral researcher (m/f/d)in ‘‘Marine Microbial Natural Product Chemistry’’

The position is available for 3 years starting at the earliest date possible.

Job Description

We are seeking a skilled and motivated post-doctoral researcher who will work in ecology -driven marine drug discovery project(s). One main task will be the investigation of the (cultivable) microbiome of robust / invasive marine organisms i) to unravel their contribution to the overall fitness of the host organism through production of bioactive secondary metabolites, ii) to identify their potential, simultaneously, for drug discovery against human diseases. Both “one-microbe-at-a-time” and the “Synthetic microbial Community (SynCom)” approaches will be employed for microbial cultivations.

The responsibilities of the candidate will involve innovative cultivation and extraction of marine microorganisms; investigating their chemical capacity by comparative genomics and metabolomics (computational untargeted metabolomics using LC-MS/MS-based molecular networks); fractionation of the extracts; LC-MS and bioactivity-guided isolation and structure elucidation of the purified metabolites. The candidate will supervise/train students and maintain analytical equipment. He:She will cooperate with other large collaborative projects of the research group.

Your profile

Requirements for successful application are:

  • A diploma and a PhD in (marine) microbial natural product chemistry
  • Hands-on experience and a strong understanding of metabolomics/dereplication of natural products by LC-MS/MS (preferably by molecular networks)
  • Solid experience in purification of natural products (by HPLC and other chromatographic methods)
  • High competence in structure elucidation of natural products (1D and 2D NMR, HRMS, other spectroscopic and computational methods)
  • Experience in writing first author-publications, high publication track record in scientific journals and conference presentations
  • Excellent communication skills in English (both spoken and written).

Desirable qualifications

  • Experience in microbial genomics and biosynthetic gene cluster (BGC) analyses
  • Microbiomics (e.g., NGS)
  • A scientific diving license
  • A full car driving license

GEOMAR is located directly on the Kiel Fjord with many leisure and recreational opportunities, we offer you:

  • An exciting and international work environment with the opportunity to provide important impetus for the development of sustainable solutions
  • Work in the field of marine and climate research, a forward-looking area with social significance
  • Attention to questions of work-life balance, including the possibility of mobile working and individual working time arrangements
  • Vacation camps for the children of employees
  • Support in finding a place in a day-care centre at the Kiel site
  • Support services for professional and personal life situations
  • 30 vacation days + additional time off at Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve
  • Company pension plan and capital-forming benefits

The research unit Marine Natural Products Chemistry offers a dynamic, international and innovative research environment with excellent infrastructure and networks, a collaborative work culture, thus is an ideal incubator for a successful career. Our labs are equipped with state-of-the-art chemical facilities including in-house UPLC-QTOF-MS coupled with DESI Imaging Mass Spectrometry, HPLC-DAD-MS, HPLC-HRMS, GC-MS, automated extraction systems such as Accelerated Solvent Extraction (ASE) and Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE), FT-IR, polarimeter and related databases, as well as excellent microbiology/biotechnology facilities and over 75 running in vitro biological assays. Our in-house microbial culturing facilities span from small (1 L) to large-scale (300 L fermenter), as well as access to sequencing facilities. GEOMAR has full access to high-resolution (cryo-) NMR facilities at Kiel University. We lead or participate multiple collaborative EU or national research projects.

Working language in the group is English.

The position is available for a funding period of three years, starting at the earliest date possible. The salary depends on qualification and could be up to the class 13 TVöD-Bund of the German tariff for public employees. This is a full-time position and the position can be basically split. The fixed-term contract shall comply with Section 2 Paragraph 1 of The Act of Academic Fixed-Term Contract (German WissZeitVG).

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel seeks to increase the proportion of female scientists and explicitly encourages qualified female academics to apply. GEOMAR is an equal opportunity employer and encourages scientists with disabilities to apply. Qualified disabled applicants will receive preference in the application process.

Please submit your application in English no later than 11th August 2024 under the following link:

online application

As soon as the selection procedure has finished, all application papers will be destroyed according to data protection regulation.

For further information regarding the position and research unit, please contact Prof. Dr. Deniz Tasdemir by e-mail (dtasdemir(at)

Further questions will be answered by e-mail to bewerbung(at) In doing so, please refer to the keyword “MN-Chem-PD”.

For further information on GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel or the Helmholtz Association, please visit or

GEOMAR is committed to an objective and non-discriminatory personnel selection. Our job advertisements address all people. We expressly renounce the submission of application photos.

This research center is part of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers. With more than 42,000 employees and an annual budget of over € 5 billion, the Helmholtz Association is Germany's largest scientific organisation.


The Helmholtz Association contributes to solving major challenges to assure the future of our society. With more than 39,000 people on staff in 18 national research centres, the Helmholtz Association is Germany’s largest scientific organization. The name Helmholtz stands for concerted research in which networks form the key principle behind inquiring thought and action. Concerted research is efficient and flexible.

The profile of the Helmholtz Association

The Helmholtz Association performs cutting-edge research which contributes substantially to solving the grand challenges of science, society and industry. To succeed in meeting these responsibilities, Helmholtz concentrates its work in six research fields: Energy, Earth and Environment, Health, Key Technologies, Matter, as well as Aeronautics, Space and Transport. Within each of these fields, research programs are developed by our scientists and regularly evaluated by renowned international experts. Their evaluation forms the basis for the programme-oriented funding that is allocated to Helmholtz research. Within the six research fields, Helmholtz scientists cooperate with each other and with external partners – working across disciplinary, organizational and national borders.

Promoting young academics

Helmholtz scientists, a high-performance infrastructure and modern and efficient research management are the ingredients to the Helmholtz Association‘s success and global impact.
Promoting young researchers is a major priority for the Helmholtz Association. Its qualification schemes for young researchers are geared mainly towards PhD students, postdocs and young managers. The Helmholtz Association has set high standards for its talent management. Its strategy begins with targeted recruitment of highly qualified staff at all levels, followed by comprehensive support aimed at further developing their potential. Ensuring equal opportunities is an essential element in all talent management activities undertaken by the Helmholtz Association.

The Helmholtz Graduate Schools and Research Schools at almost all Helmholtz Centres provide doctoral students with the general and specific skills and training they need, as well as ample opportunity to network with other working groups. The period following a doctorate is decisive in determining the direction and success of a scientific career. For this reason, we are about to establish Career Centers for postdoctoral researchers in the Helmholtz centres and a mentoring programme for especially gifted PostDocs in order to foster career orientation. This equips young researchers with the skills they need to go on to head a Helmholtz Young Investigators Group, for example. As a Young Investigator Group leader, junior scientists can independently set up their own group to conduct research in their specialist field.

Within its talent management strategy, the Helmholtz Association pays special attention to the increased recruitment of talented female scientists both from Germany and abroad. To this end, there are currently two funding programs supporting this policy Funding of first-time appointments of excellent women scientists (W2/W3)’ and ‘Funding to recruit top-level international women scientists (W3)’.

The increasing complexity of the content, structures and framework conditions of scientific work today requires researchers to organise their projects, their employees and, of course, themselves in a highly professional and effective way. In response to these demands, we have set up the Helmholtz Management Academy to provide junior leaders in science with professional management training. Furthermore, the Helmholtz network provides a platform for the alumni of the Helmholtz Management Academy and Mentoring programme to come together and share their experiences of leadership, career development and lifelong learning.

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