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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 .

Call for applications: Scholarships for doctoral MD students in the RTG 2578 (Promotionsstipendien für Medizin-Studierende)

The Research Training Group 2578 "Impact of genotoxins on the differentiation efficacy of murine and human stem and progenitor cells and functional competence of thereof derived differentiated progeny" is looking for three MD students for doctoral research projects.

Scholarships for doctoral MD students are available in 2023. Monthly stipends (931€) can cover up to 9 months. At least one research semesters and the respective semester breaks are obligatory for conducting the practical research work and preparing the written thesis. During this time, the MD students will have the opportunity to participate in the official training program (i.e. lectures, seminars) provided by the RTG 2578. Detailed descriptions of the currently available projects can be found on our website.


  • Completion of 4th semester and completed midterm exam (1. Abschnitt der ärztlichen Prüfung) with a good or very good grade
  • Enrollment at the University Düsseldorf (HHU)
  • High motivation, interest and dedication for experimental research in the field of the RTG.

We offer:

  • Close supervision by the principle investigator (PI)
  • Detailed training of lab methods and daily guidance by staff members
  • Scholarship (931,- € / month) for up to 9 month
  • Participation in the RTG-related advanced toxicology-oriented education program
  • Project descriptions can be found here

Application documents:

  • Completely filled and signed RTG 2578 application form
  • Cover letter / Motivation letter (max. 1 page)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Transcript of records to prove the above-mentioned requirements (including the M1 exam certificate)
  • School report / certificate (Abiturzeugnis)

If you are interested in a research project for your doctoral thesis, please send your application with the required documents in one PDF document to . Please feel free to contact the coordinator with any inquiries about the projects, application procedure or the RTG. On our website (www.grk2578.hhu.de) you can find information about the individual research projects, project leaders and our curriculum!

Intended start: Flexible (after completion of M1 examina)

Personal data will be reviewed for the application process, shared with the people involved in the procedure and stored for the duration of the application process. Please only submit your application if you agree to these terms.

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