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9 positions for doctoral researchers/ PhD students (m/w/d)

The Research Training Group 2578 „Impact of genotoxins on the differentiation of murine and human stem and progenitor cells and functional competence of thereof derived differentiated progeny” located at the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Germany, and funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) has a call for

9 positions for doctoral researchers/ PhD students (m/w/d)

(65% salary scale 13 TV-L)

to be filled starting January 1st 2024. The employment is initially limited for 3 years. The positions are qualification positions according to the Act of Academic Fixed-Term Contract (Wissenschaftszeitgesetz – WissZeitVG), which is to promote the scientific qualification of employees.

The RTG 2578, funded by the DFG, addresses fundamental aspects regarding the stability of genetic information of stem and progenitor cells, which is essential for their correct differentiation and function. Metabolites, environmental mutagens or anticancer drugs cause DNA damage and thereby promote genetic instability which is the cause of numerous diseases. Within the frame of the RTG 2578, stress responses of stem and progenitor cells following exposure to toxic substances, which cause permanent alterations in the genetic information, will be investigated. The subject of analysis will be both early stress response of stem/progenitor cells to DNA damaging substances as well as the impact of genotoxins on the development and function of the progeny cells.

We are looking for talented and highly motivated applicants with a master degree (MSc) or a state examination in a natural science discipline such as biology, biochemistry, toxicology, molecular medicine, pharmacy or a related field. The PhD students will participate in a centrally organised curriculum and will perform individual research under the guidance of their supervisors.

List of required documents:

  • CV
  • Certificates (BA & MA)
  • 2 reference letters
  • Motivational letter

We would also like you to state your three prefered projects. You can find information about the available projects here. The following projects will be available next year:

  • 1a (Prof. Adjaye)
  • 1b (Prof. Aktas/ PD Dr. Berndt)
  • 1c (Prof. Fritsche)
  • 1e (Prof. Stork)
  • 2a (Prof. Schupp)
  • 3a (PD Dr. Schroeder)
  • 4 (Prof. Kögler/ Prof. Wesselborg)
  • 5a (Prof. Fritz)
  • 5b (Prof. Reichert)

The pay scale grouping will be, depending on the personal qualification of the applicant, up to salary scale E13 TV-L.

Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf aims at increasing the percentage of employed women. Applications from women will therefore be given preference in cases of equal aptitude, ability and professional achievements unless there are exceptional reasons for choosing another applicant. Applications from suitably qualified severely disabled persons or disabled persons regarded as being of equal status according to Book IX of the German Social Code (SGB – Soziales Gesetzbuch) are encouraged.

Contact person in case of questions:

Dr. Daniela Geist (Scientific Coordinator)


Please submit your application documents as a single PDF file until the 6th of October (applications with multiple attachments/documents will not be considered). The mail address for questions and application documents is .


Poster award for Leonie Thewes

For her presentation with the title 'Glutathionylation regulates activity of GPx4 and thereby sensitivity against ferroptosis' Leonie Thewes was awarded a poster prize at the 'Thiol oxidation in biology: Biochemical mechanisms to physiological outcomes' conference in Sant Feliu de Guixols (Spain). Congratulations for this great achievement and award.

Night of Science 2022!

We had an interesting time at this year's 'Night of Science' with our exhibit 'Toxicology is Diverse and Encounters Us Everywhere'!

Stem Day 2022

On March 11, the annual Uni Stem Day, organized by the Stem Cell Network NRW, took place once more. For 14 years now, the Stem Day has given students the opportunity to gain insights into stem cell research. This year, the Research Training Group participated in the event for the first time and welcomed 16 students of a biology advanced course and their teacher in the RTG laboratories.  

The day started with an introductory lecture by the RTG speaker, Prof. Dr. Fritz. In one of the university lecture halls the students got first insights into stem cells, toxicology and how these two topics are related and researched within the RTG.  

In groups of 2 or 3, the students were able to conduct some experiments together with the PhD students in the morning and afternoon. Each student could try out two of eight possible experiments, including microscopy, working with cells under the sterile bench or vitality assays. During a common break with the PhD students, the guests had the opportunity to ask questions about the day-to-day life of a scientist, going to university and doing a PhD and more.   

At the end of the day, there was a short meeting in the lecture hall including a Kahoot quiz and a small prize for the winners. We hope that the participation in the Stem Day was informative as well as entertaining and interesting for everyone and we are looking forward to potemtially welcoming guests again next year! 

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