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PhD student position (m/f/d)

GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung operates a unique large-scale accelerator for ions, which is used by scientists from around the world. To explore biological effects of space radiation, the European Space Agency (ESA) cooperates with GSI in the IBER (Investigations into Biological Effects of Radiation) program. Within this program, in the biophysics department of GSI we offer a


PhD student position (m/f/d)

Posting-ID: 20.77-1540



This position is embedded in the IBER project "Cancer induction in space: To the molecular level and beyond", which aims to clarify the molecular basis of the increased cancer risk of astronauts. DNA damage by heavy ions contributes significantly to the effective dose of cosmic radiation and thus the cancer risk of space travelers. We will focus on the processes that contribute to clustering of DNA damage, in particular, DNA double strand breaks (DSBs), and to the choice of pathway to repair DSBs, as both add substantially to the increased biological efficacy of particle irradiation.


To answer the different questions, the candidate will irradiate mammalian cells at GSI's accelerator and observe them in life-cell microscopy directly at the beam line as well as off-line. Radiation-induced DNA damage will be visualized by fluorescence-labeled DNA-repair relevant factors. The life cell data obtained at the accelerator should be corroborated with X-ray and immune-fluorescence data.


What we expect:


The candidate


  • has a strong interest in radiobiological questions at the molecular level.
  • enjoys doing research in an interdisciplinary field between biology and physics.
  • is curious, open-minded, a team player, and well organized.
  • is willing to handle cell cultures and apply different techniques in molecular biology and biochemistry.
  • is willing to independently improve and implement live-cell imaging methods.


Experience in these areas is therefore desirable.


Required qualifications:


  • Master degree or equivalent degree in biology, biochemistry, (bio-)physics, or a related field
  • fluent English language skills


What we offer


Working in an international working environment in an excellently well-equipped lab, as well as a collaboration in an exciting field of research and competent supervision.


The position is initially limited for two years with the option of prolongation, starting as soon as possible. Salary is equivalent to that for public employees as specified in the collective agreement for public employees (TVöD Bund) (EG13, 65 %).


GSI supports the vocational development of women. Therefore, women are especially encouraged to apply for the position.


Handicapped persons will be preferentially considered when equally qualified.


For further information, please contact Dr. Nicole Averbeck (+49 6159/71-2947 or n.averbeck(at)


If you like to work in an exceptional, international environment, please send your application (cover letter, CV with certificates, prior publications, references) including the posting ID 20.77-1540 to the following address no later than December 4, 2020.


GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

Abteilung Personal

Planckstrasse 1

64291 Darmstadt  


or by e-mail to: bewerbung(at)


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