Position: PhD Student

Department: Medical Physics in Radiation Oncology

Code number: 2018-0256

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

Job description:

Before cancer patients undergo radiation treatments, the therapy is once virtually simulated and optimized. This includes the calculation of the radiation dose to be delivered into the patient’s body. For lung treatments with charged particles, however, the clinically applied dose calculation and treatment optimization model exhibits several shortcomings. (1) Inevitable organ motion is not explicitly considered during the static treatment simulation [1]. (2) The heterogeneous structure of lung parenchyma has a non-trivial degrading influence on the sharp distal fall-off of particle beams [2]. (3) Pronounced daily variations, e.g. tumor shrinkage, may not be accounted for in an optimal way.

Building on previous work at the German Cancer Research Center and the Heidelberg Ion-Beam Therapy Center (HIT), you will further advance the experimental planning module of matRad [3] for intensity-modulated particle therapy. Depending on the interests and the qualifications of the candidate, the project includes experimental and theoretical work to improve and validate the physical dose calculation model within heterogeneous lung tissue, its extension towards breathing motion, and the development of suited daily treatment plan adaptation strategies for lungs cancer treatments with particles.

  1. Ulrich, Silke, et al. "Impact of respiratory motion on variable relative biological effectiveness in 4D-dose distributions of proton therapy." Acta Oncologica 56.11 (2017): 1420-1427.
  2. Titt, Uwe, et al. "Degradation of proton depth dose distributions attributable to microstructures in lung‐equivalent material." Medical physics 42.11 (2015): 6425-6432.
  3. http://www.matrad.org


We are looking for a candidate with a genuine interest in the design, implementation, and evaluation of quantitative models in cancer therapy. The candidate should have a strong background in physics, mathematics, and/ or computer science. Experience in scientific programming is mandatory; experience in medical physics, ideally radiation therapy, as well as scientific programming would be an advantage.

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

Earliest Possible Start Date: as soon as possible

Duration: The position is limited to 3 years.

Application Deadline: 27.11.2018


Mr Dr. Mark Bangert
Phone +49 (0)6221/42-2418

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

The German Cancer Research Center is committed to increase the percentage of female scientists and encourages female applicants 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 (www.dkfz.de/jobs).

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.