Position: Head of an independent Junior Research Group in Immunology and Cancer

Code number: 2023-0387

The German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) 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 (www.dkfz.de).

The DKFZ research program “Immunology and Cancer” aims to gain fundamental insights into the mechanisms underlying the development, function and diversity of the immune system, in order to develop novel concepts for the prevention and treatment of cancer such as personalized cancer vaccines and T cell-based immunotherapies (https://www.dkfz.de/en/forschung/schwerpunkte/fsp-d.php).

We are looking for a creative and highly collaborative Junior Research Group Leader to head an independent research group in the research program “Immunology and Cancer” at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ).

We are seeking for applicants with interest in addressing fundamental questions in immunology that are of high relevance for the prevention or treatment of cancer and strong will to closely interact with the divisions and groups within the Immunology and Cancer research program including associated clinical sites as well as the wider DKFZ research community.

We offer a dynamic and supportive research environment with access to outstanding graduate students through our international PhD school and a wealth of cutting-edge technology platforms through numerous core facilities including single-cell, proteomics, and sequencing technologies.

The position can in principle be part-time.


Your profile:

  • PhD in biology or related area or an MD degree
  • Excellent postdoctoral research experience (more than two and less than six years) in the field of (tumor) immunology
  • Strong publication record
  • Ability to manage and coordinate research projects
  • High motivation to independently initiate the acquisition of (national and international) third-party funding and interest in leading a growing research group
  • Independent, self-reliant and responsible way of leading a research team including the mentoring of postdocs and students
  • Strong will to initiate collaborations and actively participate and contribute to activities of the local research community
  • Verbal and written English language fluency and ability to work in an international research environment

Applications should include a CV, list of publications and a 2-3 page research synopsis that summarizes current/past research accomplishments and outlines the candidate's research program for the next 6 years.


We offer:

  • Attractive basic endowment of the group for up to six years
  • Tenure-option for attaining a permanent position as division head at the DKFZ
  • A highly supportive research environment in the DKFZ research program “Immunology and Cancer” with currently 16 research divisions/groups and the wider scientific community including faculty at Heidelberg University, EMBL and local Max Planck Institutes as well as opportunities for national and international networking at the highest level
  • A welcoming and supportive international group of highly collaborative and aspirational colleagues that will help you to achieve your scientific and career goals
  • Campus with modern state-of-the-art infrastructure, including access to large clinical datasets and sample collections and support for work with pre-clinical model systems and access to a dedicated state-of-the-art computing cluster for data processing and downstream analysis
  • Remuneration according to TV-L including social benefits (incl. occupational pension plan)
  • 30 days of vacation per year
  • Flexible working hours and a family-friendly environment, e.g. parent-child room, advisory services caring for elderly relatives
  • Sustainable travel to work: subsidized Germany job ticket
  • Comprehensive further training program, options for mentoring and leadership programs
  • Administrative support for extramural grant application (e.g. ERC)


Earliest Possible Start Date: as soon as possible

Duration: The position is limited to 6 years, provided that all requirements according to the Act on Fixed-Term Employment Contracts in Academia (Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz – WissZeitVG) are met and includes a tenure option for attaining a permanent position as division head at the DKFZ.

Contact: Dr. Katja Engelmann, phone +49 (0)6221/42-2165

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.

Application Deadline: 12.12.2023

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.                    

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).