Balance of the Microverse Germany invites Applications for a Postdoc Position in Microalgal-Bacterial interactions

The core mission of the Cluster of Excellence “Balance of the Microverse” of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena 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. 

We aim to identify the shared characteristics of disturbed or polluted ecosystems as well as infectious diseases on the microbiome level and develop strategies for their remediation by targeted interventions. 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 a Postdoctoral Researcher Position (m/f/d) in Microalgal-Bacterial interactions commencing on May 1, 2023 or at the earliest possible date thereafter.

Albeit microalgae are key contributors to global carbon fixation, their molecular interactions with other microbes are still little known. As our new Postdoc you will study microalgal-bacterial communities on microscopically tractable structured surfaces and introduce imbalance by providing biotic (e.g. helper bacteria) and abiotic factors (light and temperature). For references of previous work see Aiyar et al., Nat. Commun. 8, 1756, 2017; Hotter et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 118, e2107695118, 2021; Hou et al., New Phytol. 237, 1620-35, 2023; Stallforth et al. Trends Biochem Sci. 48, 71-81, 2023.

Your opportunities:

• Actively contribute to the development of the project.
• Produce high-quality written manuscripts.
• Present your results at national and international conferences.
• Assist with training other researchers, including Masters’ and undergraduate project students, where required.
• Work in a friendly, international and collaborative environment within a group of passionate scientists.

Your profile

• A PhD in molecular biology, cell biology, botany, phycology, microbiology or a related subject
• Required methodological skills: standard molecular biology and microbiological methods with microalgae and/or bacteria
• Desired / to be acquired methodological skills: gene expression studies, gene knockout/knockdown approaches, natural product analysis, advanced microscopy, photobiology
• Highly motivated individual with an interest in joining one of the interdisciplinary research areas of the Microverse Cluster
• The ability to work creatively and independently towards developing your own research project
• An integrative and cooperative personality with enthusiasm for actively participating in the dynamic Microverse community
• English communication skills, both written and spoken

We offer:

• A highly communicative atmosphere within an energetic scientific network
• A comprehensive mentoring program and soft skill courses for early career researchers
• Jena – City of Science: a young and lively town with a vibrant local cultural agenda
• A family-friendly working environment with a variety of offers for families: University Family Office ‘JUniFamilie’ and flexible childcare (‘JUniKinder);
• University health promotion and a wide range of university sports activities
• Attractive fringe benefits, e.g. capital formation benefits (VL), Job Ticket (benefits for public transport), and an occupational pension (VBL)

The two-year full-time position will be funded through the Excellence Strategy of the German federal and state governments. To promote gender equality in science, applications by women are especially welcome. Candidates with severe disabilities will be given preference in the case of equal qualifications and suitability.

Applications in English should comprise a cover letter, a detailed curriculum vitae and copies of academic certificates. Please familiarize yourself with the currently available postdoctoral projects ( and the application process as described in the Online Application Portal. Please submit your application via the JSMC Online Application Portal, under the vacancy ID 083/2023 by 3rd April 2023:

For questions, please contact Prof. Dr. Maria Mittag (

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