Ph.D. Student - Bioinformatician (m/f/d)

Research Center Borstel - Leibniz Lung Center (FZB), Borstel

We are announcing a part-time position as

Ph.D. Student - Bioinformatician (m/f/d)

The position is offered for 3 years.

The Research Center Borstel (RCB) is an internationally operating Lung Center within the Leibniz Association, financed by the Federal Government and the State of Schleswig-Holstein. Our central task is basic and translational research in the field of respiratory diseases. We operate extensive laboratory and research infrastructures. Academically, we are closely linked with neighboring universities (Lübeck, Kiel) and clinically with the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein. Our goal is to improve existing methods for the detection, prevention and treatment of lung diseases and to develop new, innovative therapeutic approaches.

The center’s Data Science group performs Bioinformatics research on data generated by novel biomolecular technologies to address questions in pneumology. Our current focus lies on short and long-read sequencing data for Genomics, Transcriptomics and increasingly also Epigenomics and Epitranscriptomics. For more information, please visit our website and contact Inken Wohlers (iwohlers(at)fz-borstel.de).


• Within your Ph.D. project in Systems Genetics, you work on different approaches and applications that link genetic variation to biological high-throughput data, so-called OMICS data

• Analysis of human and pathogen genetic variant data

• Linking genotypes to molecular phenotypes via quantitative trait loci (QTL) analyses

• Linking genotypes to traits and diseases via genome-wide association studies (GWAS)

• Genetic risk assessment using both established and novel polygenic scores

• Applying machine learning approaches such as neural networks to genome-based prediction of lung diseases and treatments

• Selecting and characterizing suitable data sets and databases, both in public repositories and via collaboration partners


• A degree (MSc or equivalent) in bioinformatics or a related subject with a relevant interdisciplinary background

• Ambition to pursue a Ph.D. in Systems Genetics

• Basic knowledge of molecular biology

• Programming skills in at least one programming language (preferably Python and R)

• Formal education in machine learning and/or experience in applying machine learning methods to molecular data

• Experience in the analysis of genetic variant data is a strong plus (e.g. file formats (VCF) and tools (vcftools, bcftools, plink))

• First experiences with workflow management systems, version control and high-performance computing or willingness to learn

• Strong interest both in optimizing methods as well as applying them to specific questions in pneumology given available OMICS data


• Part-time position limited to 3 years, Salary according to TVöD-VKA 13 including benefits

• Becoming part of a newly founded group actively keeping Bioinformatics core skills at high levels of expertise

• A competitive computing infrastructure tailored for analysis of large variant data and deep learning

• Shaping the machine learning part in recently established Systems Genetics projects

• Support of your academic development by offering possibilities for attending workshops, university courses and conferences

• Personal atmosphere, family-friendly working conditions, flexible working hours, childcare and workplace health promotion, mobile working


The FZB is certified for the "berufundfamilie" audit and specifically promotes the compatibility of career and family. The under-represented gender is given special consideration while maintaining the same professional and personal aptitude. Severely handicapped persons with otherwise equal aptitude are also given preferential consideration. For more information about our certifications, please visit our homepage.

Please send your application with the usual documents (CV without photo, certificates, letter of motivation, contact information of references) until Mai 31st, 2023 to our website www.fz-borstel.de.