Position: PhD Student – Combined Cancer Immunotherapy & Radiotherapy

Department: DKTK partner site Freiburg - Section of Radiobiology & Tumor Immunotherapy, Department of Radiation Oncology, University Medical Center Freiburg

Code number: 2023-0312

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.

Together with university partners at seven renowned partner sites, we have established the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK). 

For the DKTK partner site Freiburg we are seeking a highly motivated PhD student in the field of combined cancer immunotherapy and radiotherapy.


Job description:

The position is located in the Section of Radiobiology & Tumor Immunotherapy of the Department of Radiation Oncology, University Medical Center Freiburg. We study combinations of immunotherapeutics with focal radiation therapy (RT). This includes the combination of RT with active immunotherapeutics as well as cellular immunotherapeutics such as CAR T cells. Our research involves both the use of mouse tumor models and immunophenotyping of patient samples.

The aim is to identify and develop effective combination therapies for the treatment of advanced / metastatic disease (see: Nat Commun. 2023, 14: 2087 PMID: 37045833; Clin Cancer Res 2023, 29: 667-683; Cancer Lett. 2022, 538: 215697; Cancer Immunol Immunother 2020, 69: 1823-1832; Clin Cancer Res 2020, 26: 945–956; Clin Cancer Res 2019, 25: 7243–7255; Nat Rev Dis Primers 2019, 5; Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2018, 101: 63–73).

Within the PhD project, you will combine research on mouse tumor models and characterization of patient samples.

In this position you have the opportunity to work in a laboratory that employs a variety of modern research methods in cell and molecular biology, tumor immunology and tumor immunotherapy.

For more information, please visit: https://www.uniklinik-freiburg.de/strahlenklinik/sektion-strahlenbiologie.html or https://www.uniklinik-freiburg.de/strahlenklinik-en/section-of-radiobiology.html



  • M.Sc. in biology, molecular medicine or other subjects, preferably with a focus on immunology, or M.D.
  • Deep interest in tumor immunology and translational oncology
  • Ideally experience in the analysis of murine or human T cell responses
  • Experience with mouse tumor models or the willingness to work with mice (a FELASA B certificate or equivalent desirable)
  • Very good written and spoken English

Please submit your application online as a single PDF file with the following documents:

  • Motivation letter containing a brief statement on research experience
  • CV
  • Copy of school and graduation certificates
  • Copy of university grades
  • Contact details of 2–3 references

For questions regarding your application, please contact Dr. Anja Hernández, phone +49 (0)761/270-22810.
For questions regarding the content of the position, please contact Prof. Dr. med. Gabriele Niedermann, email: gabriele.niedermann@uniklinik-freiburg.de.

We offer:

  • Excellent framework conditions: state-of-the-art equipment and opportunities for international networking at the highest level
  • Access to international research networks
  • Doctoral salary with the usual social benefits
  • 30 days of vacation per year
  • Flexible working hours
  • Possibility of mobile work and part-time work
  • Family-friendly working environment, e.g. parent-child room, advisory services
  • Sustainable travel to work: subsidized Germany job ticket
  • Unleash your full potential: targeted training and mentoring through the DKFZ International PhD Program and DKFZ Career Service
  • Our Corporate Health Management Program offers a holistic range of services for your well-being

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 may work at the DKFZ.

Earliest Possible Start Date: as soon as possible

Duration: The position is initially limited to 3 years.

Application Deadline: 30.09.2023


Dr. Anja Hernández
Phone +49 (0)761/270-22810

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.