The Cluster of Excellence “Balance of the Microverse” of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena,
Germany, combines expertise in life, material, optical and computational sciences to elevate microbiome
studies from descriptive to hypothesis-driven with a focus on functional analysis. Our core mission is to
elucidate fundamental principles of the interactions and functions in microbial communities in diverse
habitats ranging from oceans and groundwater to plant and human hosts. The affiliated early career program
of the Jena School for Microbial Communication (JSMC) offers an ambitious, structured and interdisciplinary
post-graduate training based on top-level fundamental research.
The Cluster of Excellence Balance of the Microverse invites applications for
Postdoctoral Researcher Positions
We are recruiting engaging and motivated individuals to join our research cluster. Important for all candidates
is the willingness to collaborate widely and to look beyond traditional disciplines to further our mission. What
are the similarities and differences in the recruitment and maintenance of plant and animal microbiomes?
What imaging technologies can best be adapted to study microbes in their natural environment with minimal
artificial manipulation? What can we learn about the resilience and stability of microbial communities in
diverse environments? How can we translate our understanding of microbiomes to positive societal impact?
Answering these questions requires that we come together as a scientific community to which we
contribute expertise as well as a curiosity about unfamiliar subjects.
A PhD in the life or natural sciences (Microbiology, Bioinformatics, Systems Biology, Biochemistry,
Material Science or related fields). Candidates in the final stages of obtaining their degree may apply
Highly motivated individuals with an interest in interdisciplinary research
The ability to work creatively and independently towards developing your own research project
A collaborative personality with enthusiasm for actively participating in the dynamic Microverse
Desirable methodological skills: excellent background in molecular biology, biochemistry and/or
microbial ecology, hands-on knowledge of analytical methods and/or statistical methods, analysis of
biological high-throughput data
Excellent English communication skills, both written and spoken
A highly communicative atmosphere within a scientific network providing top-level research facilities
A comprehensive mentoring program and soft skill courses for early career researchers
Funding for conference visits and international exchange
Jena – City of Science: a young and lively town with a vibrant local cultural agenda
The positions are funded through the Excellence Strategy of the German federal and state governments. The
Friedrich Schiller University Jena is an equal opportunity employer and part-time contracts can be discussed.
Disabled persons with comparable qualifications will receive preferential status.
Applications are exclusively accepted via the JSMC Online Application Portal:
Please familiarize yourself with the currently available projects (www.microverse-cluster.de) and the
application process as described in the Online Application Portal. Selected applicants will be invited to a
recruitment meeting taking place in September/October 2022; awarding decisions will be announced shortly