Division Head Position in "Cancer Epidemiology" (Successor of Prof. Dr. Rudolf Kaaks)

Reference number: 2024-0191

  • Heidelberg
  • Full-time
  • Scientific Management Board

“Research for a life without cancer" is our mission at the German Cancer Research Center. We investigate how cancer develops, identify cancer risk factors and look for new cancer prevention strategies. We develop new methods with which tumors can be diagnosed more precisely and cancer patients can be treated more successfully. Every contribution counts – whether in research, administration or infrastructure. This is what makes our daily work so meaningful and exciting.

We are looking for a highly distinguished scientist with outstanding international reputation, who is a recognized leader in cancer epidemiology. The ideal candidate is expected to pursue highly original and innovative research at the frontiers of cancer epidemiology with focus on life style, social and molecular factors and their contribution to public health / relation to cancer risk and thereby will build a strong complementarity to the overall DKFZ cancer prevention portfolio and research programs (www.dkfz.de).

The new division head will develop and enhance effective methods and measures in epidemiological research to find causes and risk factors of major cancer entities in relation to the overall tumor burden. Candidates have previously demonstrated the ability to direct/lead a program of highly innovative and original research in large prospective international cohorts and consortia, which addresses fundamental questions related to cancer incidence, early cancer detection and survival. He:she should oversee a broad portfolio of cancers and demonstrate a particular track-record in 1-2 major cancer entities. The successful candidate will initiate interdisciplinary collaborations on a national as well as international level to conduct large scale retrospective and prospective studies focusing on questions of high relevance to identifying and, if possible, avoiding cancer risk factors. The successful applicant has also epidemiology expertise in determing outcome of therapeutic strategies.

The applicant is expected to participate in the NAKO Health Study, currently the largest population-based, multi-center, long-term study in Germany that investigates the causes of widespread diseases, including cancer. A representative function for the DKFZ might be linked with the PI position at the NAKO study center in Mannheim (https://mannheim.nako.de/).

The division will be established in the program "Cancer Risk Factors and Prevention" at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the National Cancer Prevention Center (NCPC) in Heidelberg, which is currently being established in a partnership between the DKFZ and the German Cancer Aid (Deutsche Krebshilfe). The division will be embedded in an outstanding research environment at the DKFZ covering a broader field of cancer epidemiology and prevention, cancer related biomarkers, cancer biology, data science, physics and biomedical engineering, and clinical translation.

The DKFZ also works with the cancer information service (KID) with national coverage and annually up to 10 million users. You will also have access to the research networks of the DKFZ and the NCPC, such as the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), the network of Comprehensive Cancer Centers of the German Cancer Aid, and other research alliances at the national and international level.

The tenured position at the level of a DKFZ Division Head (German W3 score equivalent) will be provided with attractive core funding for personnel, consumables and investments. In addition, access to competitive intramural funding programs of the DKFZ and the Helmholtz Association will be provided.



We are looking for a candidate with proven leadership skills, capable of mentoring and supervising junior researchers, fostering a stimulating and inclusive research environment and assuring leadership roles in comprehensive strategic programs.

Recruitment requirements include a PhD in life sciences and/or a MD. We encourage candidates to apply, who have outstanding academic qualifications (habilitation or equivalent academic qualifications) with an internationally visible, high-impact publication record, successful acquisition of competitive third-party funding, including consortium projects, and teaching activities.

Interested candidates should submit a single PDF file containing a cover letter, curriculum vitae, copies of certificates and degrees, a list of publications, summary of past research and future plans (max. 3 pages), an overview of international research experiences and third-party funding, and contact information for three references to the Chairman of the Management Board and Scientific Director of the German Cancer Research Center, Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h.c. Michael Baumann, via the applicant portal (www.dkfz.de/jobs) by July 30, 2024.

We Offer

  A highly supportive research environment at the DKFZ, the National Cancer Prevention Center (NCPC) and the wider scientific community including Heidelberg University as well as opportunities for national and international networking at the highest level

  Campus with modern state-of-the-art infrastructure and core facilities

  Compensation according to German W3 score equivalent

  30 days of vacation per year

  Possibility of mobile work and part-time work

  Family-friendly working environment

  Sustainable travel to work: subsidized Germany job ticket

  Administrative support for extramural grant application

  Our Corporate Health Management Program offers a holistic approach to your well-being

Are you interested?

Then become part of the DKFZ and join us in contributing to a life without cancer!


Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h.c. Michael Baumann
Telefon: +49 (0)6221/42-2850

‚ÄčDuration: The position is permanent.
Application Deadline: 30.07.2024
Applications by e-mail cannot be accepted.

We are convinced that an innovative research and working environment thrives on the diversity of its employees. Therefore, we welcome applications from talented people, regardless of gender, cultural background, nationality, ethnicity, sexual identity, physical ability, religion and age. People with severe disabilities are given preference if they have the same aptitude.

Notice: We are subject to the regulations of the Infection Protection Act (IfSG). Therefore, all our employees must provide proof of immunity against measles.

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