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The Cluster of Excellence on Plant Science (CEPLAS) and the Botanical Institute at the University of Cologne invites applications for a PhD position in Plant Microbe Interactions starting January 1st, 2019. The position is available for 36 months, the salary is based on the German E13 TV-L scale (65%) if terms and conditions under collective bargaining law are fulfilled.

The project is part of DFG Priority Programme SPP 2125 DECRyPT, which aims to obtain a deep and more predictive understanding of plant-microbiota associations and to contribute to molecular understanding of plant microbiota functions. It is available in the group of Prof. Stanislav Kopriva, who´s research seeks to understand how plants integrate the uptake and utilization of key mineral nutrients with their needs, demand, and changes in environment and what is the role of microorganisms in plant nutrition.

The project aims to dissect the role of camalexin for plant-microbe interactions in the roots. This will be addressed by a combination of biochemical and genetic methods, focusing on two P-450 enzymes and a MYB transcription factor. The researcher will take part in annual meetings and workshops organized by the SPP to enable networking with the other programme members and obtain training in different aspects of plant microbiota research. He/she will also join the GSfBS graduate school.

We are looking for a talented, highly motivated, and enthusiastic researcher interested in plant science. The successful candidate will have a Master degree or equivalent in life sciences. He/she will have experience in plant molecular biology and/or genetics and be able to freely communicate in English. Experience in working on plant microbe interactions or functional analysis of transcription factors is desirable.

The University of Cologne promotes equal opportunities and diversity in its employment relations. Women are specifically encouraged to apply and given priority in accordance with the Equal Opportunities Act of North Rhine-Westphalia (Landesgleichstellungsgesetz – LGG NRW). We explicitly welcome applications from individuals with severe disabilities or people of equivalent status. Severely disabled applicants of equal merit and qualifications will be given priority.

Please send your application with proof of the sought qualifications by email (in one pdf-file) with the reference number 1808-11 to Prof. Stanislav Kopriva (skopriva(at) The application deadline is 20th September 2018. For more information on our lab and research visit our website

We provide limited number of places for BSc and MSc students, so apply early to

We welcome applications from post-doctoral and graduate researchers with external funding or interested in
applying for independent fellowships, such as Marie Curie Skłodowska, Alexander von Humboldt, etc.
If a suitable project can be found, we will support the application and assist in its preparation.
Please, send your expression of interest to skopriva(at)