PhD position - Bioprocess Development using Synthetic Microbial Communities

Jülich Research Centre (FZJ)

Jülich, Germany

Work group:

IBG-1 – Biotechnologie



Area of research:

PHD Thesis



Job description:

Your Job:


You will work within in the priority program SPP2170 “Intercell”, which is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. The planned work will focus on the development of process and metabolic engineering strategies for the construction of synthetic mixed cultures and will be performed by two PhD students. In contrast to existing approaches that make use of different strains or organisms, you will study the interaction between two or more strains of the same species, named CoNoS (Community of Niche-optimized Strains; doi.org/10.1016/j.tibtech.2018.07.011 ). The focus of your subproject will be on the strain characterization and bioprocess development.Your tasks in detail:



  • Characterization of selected auxotrophic strains in supplementation experiments

  • Setup of auxotrophic strains in communities and evolution of mixed cultures

  • (Micro-scale) fed-batch process development and model-based analyses of community dynamics

  • Quantitative characterization of synthetic mixed cultures for production purposes

  • Participation in conferences in Germany and abroad (incl. presenting your research results)

  • Exchange with internal and external project partners

  • Preparing scientific publications and project reports

  • Mentoring students

Your Profile:

  • MSc degree in Biotechnology, Bioengineering, Chemistry, Biochemistry or comparable disciplines, with an overall grade of at least “gut” (or equivalent, e.g. cum laude)
  • Expertise in microbial cultivation technology and bioprocess development
  • Knowledge on metabolism of prokaryotic organisms
  • Experience in mathematical modelling is an advantage
  • Fluent command of written and spoken English
  • High degree of independence and commitment
  • Very reliable and conscientious style of working
  • Excellent ability to cooperate and work in a team

Our Offer:

  • Outstanding scientific and technical infrastructure – ideal conditions for successfully completing a doctoral degree
  • As the project will be performed in close collaboration with the second PhD student in the Metabolic Regulation and Engineering group, you will also get good insights into state-of-the-art metabolic engineering techniques
  • A highly motivated group as well as an international and interdisciplinary working environment at one of Europe’s largest research establishments
  • Chance of participating in (international) conferences and project meetings
  • Continuous scientific mentoring by your scientific advisor
  • Doctoral degree conferred by RWTH Aachen University
  • Further development of your personal strengths, e.g. via a comprehensive further training programme
  • Pay in line with 75 % of pay group 13 of the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (TVöD-Bund)
  • Usually a contract for the duration of 3 years
  • Information on employment as a PhD student at Forschungszentrum Jülich can be found on www.fz-juelich.de/gp/Careers_Docs

Applications are welcome in English or German.Forschungszentrum Jülich aims to employ more women in this area and therefore particularly welcomes applications from women.We also welcome applications from disabled persons.


Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: 2019D-178

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