PhD position - Metabolic Engineering for 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 metabolic engineering and strain construction. Your tasks in detail



  • Generation of several mutant strains for the CoNoS setup using classical homologous recombination and state of the art CRISPRi strategies

  • Global analysis of evolved strains using several “Omics” technologies such as Illumina sequencing and evaluation of the resulting mutations

  • Rational strain design based on literature data and the knowledge generated in this project

  • 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 Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology or comparable disciplines, with an overall grade of at least “gut” (or equivalent, e.g. cum laude)
  • Expertise in metabolic engineering and microbial strain
  • Knowledge on metabolism of prokaryotic organisms
  • Experience Illumina sequencing 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 Quantitative Microbial Phenotyping group, you will also get good insights into high throughput strain characterization strategies and process development
  • 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 the HHU Düsseldorf
  • 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-177

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