PhD student (f/m/d) | Biochemistry of Signal Dynamics


The Max Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences in Göttingen, Germany, is a leading international research institute of exceptional scientific breadth. With more than 40 research groups and about 1,000 employees from over 50 nations, it is the largest institute of the Max Planck Society.

The research group Biochemistry of Signal Dynamics (Dr. Alex Faesen) invites applications for a position as 

PhD Student (f/m/d)

Our laboratory aims to reconstitute the initiation of autophagy using purified proteins. Autophagy is a process of regulated degradation that has been proven to play a wide range of roles in cellular housekeeping, including removal of damaged or unneeded organelles, intracellular pathogens, and protein aggregates. It is an essential biological pathway that promotes organismal health, longevity and helps combat cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

Building on exciting recent data, this project focuses on the reconstitution and structural-functional characterization of newly identified and purified macromolecular super-complexes. This project combines a large variety of biochemical and cell biological techniques with X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy, and will be tailored to the particular interests of the successful candidate.

Candidates should hold/soon expect a MSc or equivalent degree in a relevant area of the life sciences and have initial experience in protein biochemistry or structural biology. Candidates should be passionate about science, curiosity-driven, self-motivated, and eager to work in an international and multi-disciplinary team. Furthermore, the PhD student will collaborate with other national and international research groups. PhD students are encouraged to attend international workshops and meetings once a year.

We offer

  • competitive research in an inspiring, world-class environment
  • professional training, networking and career-development opportunities; free language courses
  • on-site health management: free fitness and yoga room, sports groups, beach volleyball league, and courses for a "moving lunch break”
  • a wide range of opportunities to balance work and family life, including an on-campus kindergarten and vacation care
  • spacious on-site cafeteria with diverse meals; espresso bar
  • initiatives for sustainability and a green environment with an on-site biotope

About us

Based at one of Germany’s premier research campuses, our research group has access to leading- edge infrastructure in all areas of cell and structural biology, including cryo-EM. We are an international team, supported by the Max Planck Society and the German Research Foundation. Our working language is English; knowledge of German is not required.

The Max Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences places strong emphasis on interdisciplinary work and has an outstanding scientific record. It is the largest institute of the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science and conducts basic research in the public interest. Research in the Max Planck Society is characterised by innovative projects and interdisciplinary collaboration.

The historic city of Göttingen, located in the center of Germany, offers great outdoor and cultural opportunities, a vibrant student scene, and an impressive scientific heritage.

Position details

The positions should be filled as soon as possible; the exact start date is flexible. PhD students will be funded for three years (with a possibility of extension) and have the opportunity to enroll in one of several PhD programs in collaboration with the University of Göttingen. Payment and benefits are based on the TVöD (wage agreement for public service personal) guidelines.

The Max Planck Society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and encourages applications from such qualified individuals. The Max Planck Society strives for gender and diversity equality. We welcome applications from all backgrounds.


Please submit your application including a cover letter (explaining background and motivation), CV, academic transcripts, publication list, and the contact addresses of two references preferably as a single PDF file to the email address below. Review of applications will begin immediately.

Max Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences
Research Group „Biochemistry of Signal Dynamics“
Dr. Alex Faesen
Am Fassberg 11
37077 Göttingen

Twitter: @FaesenLab

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