Position: PhD Student – Translational Medical Oncology

Department: Translational Medical Oncology at DKFZ and NCT Heidelberg

Code number: 2022-0365

The German Cancer Research Center is the largest biomedical research institution in Germany. With more than 3,000 employees, we operate an extensive scientific program in the field of cancer research.

The National Center of Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg is a joint institution of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), the Heidelberg University Hospital and the German Cancer Aid. The NCT with sites in Heidelberg and Dresden is the leading oncological center in Germany and is being further expanded to an international center of excellence regarding point-of-care and individualised cancer medicine.

The Division of Translational Medical Oncology (headed by Prof. Stefan Fröhling) at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg is dedicated to understanding the complex mechanisms underlying the development of malignant tumors with the goal of developing new approaches for targeted cancer treatment.


Job description:

We are seeking a talented and highly motivated PhD student for a project focused on elucidating the biology of various subtypes of soft-tissue sarcoma to find novel therapeutic targets. For this, we use genome-wide and self-designed CRISPR/Cas9 libraries for screens in appropriate sarcoma cell lines and integrate the results with genomic and transcriptomic data from thousands of patients. The PhD candidate will have the opportunity to (i) continue a project in which we applied this strategy to uncover an exciting new dependency of synovial sarcoma on a specific metabolic process, (ii) analyze additional CRISPR screens that have already been completed, and (iii) perform new CRISPR screens.

We are an enthusiastic and international team that offers intensive support and mentoring. Technologies in our laboratories include functional genomics (e.g., CRISPR/Cas9 screening), structural (epi)genomics (e.g., whole-genome, transcriptome, and DNA methylome analysis, various single-cell technologies, etc.), bioinformatics, and many molecular / cell biological and biochemical approaches. Furthermore, we are closely connected to clinical aspects of cancer patient care, e.g., via the MASTER precision oncology program of NCT Heidelberg and the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK).



We are looking for an early-career scientist who is highly motivated, ambitious, and hard-working. Applicants should hold a master’s degree in biology, biochemistry, genetics, or a related field. Expertise in molecular and cellular cancer biology techniques is advantageous. Profound knowledge of cancer biology, excellent communication skills, and proficiency in English are mandatory.

Applications must include a CV, cover letter, high school and university certificates, expected availability date, a complete list of publications, and 2–3 reference letters.

We offer:

  • Interesting, versatile workplace
  • International, attractive working environment
  • Campus with modern state-of-the-art infrastructure
  • Access to international research networks
  • Doctoral student payment including social benefits
  • Flexible working hours
  • Comprehensive training and mentoring program through the Helmholtz International Graduate School

Important notice:

The DKFZ is subject to the regulations of the Infection Protection Act (IfSG). As a consequence, only persons who present proof of immunity against measles as well as against COVID-19 may work at the DKFZ.

Earliest Possible Start Date: as soon as possible

Duration: The position is limited to 3 years.

Application Deadline: 12.10.2022


Tara Buschle
Phone +49 (0)6221/42-1633

Please note that we do not accept applications submitted via email.

The DKFZ is committed to increase the proportion of women in all areas and positions in which women are underrepresented. Qualified female applicants are therefore particularly encouraged to apply.

Among candidates of equal aptitude and qualifications, a person with disabilities will be given preference. 

To apply for a position please use our online application portal (https://www.dkfz.de/en/stellenangebote/index.php).

We ask for your understanding that we cannot return application documents that are sent to us by post (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, Personalabteilung, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, 69120 Heidelberg) and that we do not accept applications submitted via email. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.