PhD position

PhD position

Saarland University (Computational Biophysics)

Saarbruecken, Saarland, Germany

PhD position: Molecular Dynamics Simulations of RNA Polymerase

A PhD position is available in group of Prof. Jochen Hub at Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany. The Saarland University is a research university of international renown with an excellent research environment for biophysics. Our group is focussed on understanding structure, function, and dynamics of biological macromolecules by means of state-of-the-art computer simulations. Payment will be according to TV-L E13 (65%), and the employment will be limited to 3 years.
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RNA polymerase is a large macromolecular machine that translates DNA into messenger RNA and as such, RNA polymerase is essential for all forms of life. Although our structural knowledge on RNA polymerases has increased in recent years, a mechanistic understanding of this fascinating dynamic machine, for instance on the mechanisms of regulation, has remained elusive. The PhD student will use large-scale molecular dynamics simulations, carried out on our group’s own cluster and on external supercomputers, to unravel how the functions of RNA polymerases are controlled by collective motions of the protein and by interactions with cofactors.

The project is part of the Collaborative Research Center CRC 860 (Sonderforschungsbereich 860), hence providing tight collaborations with experimentalists working on RNA polymerase. Depending on the interest of the student, the project may involve the development of new computational methods, including programming, or take a more applied direction focussed on biological functions of RNA polymerases.


We are looking for highly motivated and team-oriented PhD student. The applicant should have a degree in physics, chemistry, biophysics, biotechnology, bioinformatics or a related subject. Experience in computational work, programming, scripting, or Linux/Unix-like environments is beneficial. Most important is a strong interest in molecular biophysics and large macromolecular machines.

Please send your full application to Jochen Hub ( until December 31st, 2018. Please include as a single PDF your CV, all academic certificates (including all course records), the university entrance exam (according to the German Abitur), and the names of 2 references who are willing to write a letter of recommendation upon request. We request that you send us copies of your documents, as no returns will be made. We will destroy the documents after a holding period of five months.

Saarland University aims to increase the number of women in this field. Therefore, women are strongly encouraged to apply for this position. Physically handicapped persons will be preferred in case equally qualified.

We are looking forward to hear from you!


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PhD position