Position: PhD Position in Bioinformatics

Department: Virus-associated Carcinogenesis

Code number: 2021-0174

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.

Job description:

This project deals with increasing pandemic preparedness by computational high-throughput virus discovery and the dentification of RNA viruses and host reservoirs with high spillover risk. We are a highly complementary research team located at the TWINCORE Centre for Experimental and Clinical Infection Research in Hannover (Chris Lauber) and the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg (Stefan Seitz). Our work is dedicated to the large-scale discovery and evolutionary analysis of novel viruses by high-throughput screening of next-generation sequencing data. To this end we established and applied sensitive computational pipelines that allowed us to retrieve thousands of genomes of so far unknown eukaryotic viruses. The current project aims at assessing the spillover risk of these infectious agents from non-human host reservoirs into mankind and thus contributes to fostering our preparedness against future pandemics.


To join our research team, we are seeking for a highly motivated candidate holding a master’s degree in (bio)informatics or biotechnology with a focus on computational biology.

The ideal candidate works accurately, is able to conduct independent research, but also enjoys working in an international and interdisciplinary environment and is willing to advise students in the lab.

Desired qualifications:

  • Strong hands-on experience in programming with at least one scripting language, like Perl, Python or R, under Linux
  • Knowledge in and understanding of state-of-the-art methods of computational biology, e.g. NGS data processing, sequence alignment, phylogenetic tree reconstructions, protein functional annotation, motif search and structural predictions
  • Experience with high-performance computing is a plus
  • Experience with tools for workflow management (e.g. Snakemake, Nextflow) and version control (e.g. git) is a plus
  • Prior knowledge in virology is of advantage
  • Fluency in English language (written and spoken) is mandatory

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: 01.08.2021

Duration: The position is limited to 3,5 years.

Application Deadline: 28.07.2021


Dr. Catherine Moreau
Phone +49 (0)6221/42-4970

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.