Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research (MPIPZ)

Early Stage Researchers (Ph.D. and Post Doc)

Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research (MPIPZ)

Cologne, Germany

We are advertising positions for

early stage researchers (Ph.D. and Post Doc)

in the areas of plant development, morphogenesis and evolution (, in the Department of the Director Prof Miltos Tsiantis.

Ph. D. candidates should have an M. Sc in appropriate discipline (Plant biology, Developmental biology, Computer Science, Genetics, Biochemistry, Statistical, Evolutionary or Population Genetics). Post doc candidates typically will have obtained a Ph.D. degree no more than two years ago.

Ideal candidates will have shown evidence for working towards academic excellence, creativity, strong communication skills both orally and on paper and ability to work independently and harmoniously as part of a team. The Department also has a number of active international collaborations in which students will be encouraged to participate.

The positions are available at either PhD and Post Doc level and appointments made will depend on the merit of interested candidates. For Post Doc payment and benefits will depend on age and experience and will be according to the German TVöD scale. For PhD salary and working hours are in accordance with the funding guidelines of the Max Planck Society for junior scientists. Working hours are fulltime; salary is 50 % of E13 TVöD-Bund.

The interplay between growth and patterning in shaping organ form

Morphogenesis, pattern formation, growth and form, leaf development, live imaging, computational modelling

Natural variation of developmental traits in Cardamine hirsuta

Genetics, bioinformatics, local adaptation, ecology and evolution

Genetic Networks shaping leaf development in angiosperm plants

Transcriptional enhancers in development and diversity, plant homeobox genes, genome editing

For recent publications by the group see:
Kierzkowski, D., Runions, A., et al. A Growth-Based Framework for Leaf Shape Development and Diversity. (2019) Cell 177: 1405-1418.
Vuolo, F., et al. LMI1 homeodomain protein regulates organ proportions by spatial modulation of endoreduplication (2018) Genes and Development 32: 1361-1366.
Vuolo, F., Mentink, R. A., Hajheidari M., et al. Coupled enhancer and coding sequence evolution of a homeobox gene shaped leaf diversity (2016) Genes & Development 30: 2370-2375.
Gan, X.
, Hay, A., Kwantes, M., et al. The Cardamine hirsuta genome offers insight into the evolution of morphological diversity (2016) Nature Plants 2: 16167.
Cartolano M, et al. Heterochrony underpins natural variation in Cardamine hirsuta leaf form (2015) PNAS 112: 10539-44.
Vlad, D., et al. Leaf shape evolution through duplication, regulatory diversification, and loss of a homeobox gene (2014) Science 343: 780-3.

Interested candidates should provide a motivation letter explaining how their skills and interests fit the areas above. Please, apply by sending a combined pdf document (your_name_PhD or PostDoc.pdf) including your motivation letter and CV, to Dr. Ismene Karakasilioti (, until 17 September 2019. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

The Max-Planck Society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals. Furthermore, the Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in those areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply.

The Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research (MPIZ) in Cologne ( is one of the world’s premier sites committed to basic research and training in plant science. The institute has four science departments, three independent research groups and specialist support, totaling 400 staff including externally funded positions.


Apply with CV and Cover Letter

Must be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and no larger than 1MBMust be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and no larger than 1MB

Early Stage Researchers (Ph.D. and Post Doc)