Call for applications


The ultimate goal of the Collaborative Research Center (CRC) 1182 “Origin and Function of Metaorganisms” ( at Kiel University is to understand why and how microbial communities form long-term associations with hosts from diverse taxonomic groups. We are particularly interested in the specific functional consequences of the interactions, the underlying regulatory principles, and the resulting impact on host life history and evolutionary fitness in selected host systems.

We are seeking an outstanding candidate for a PhD position in Kiel (Germany) at the next possible time. Salary will be commensurate at level TV-L 13 of the federal wage agreement scheme (Tarifvertrag der Länder). The working time is 65 % of a fulltime-position (currently 25.155 h/week).

The position is limited until 31.12.2023.

Project C4 “New approaches to understanding eco-evolutionary dynamics in metaorganisms”

While most attention in the first CRC 1182 funding phase was placed on bacteria as members of the microbiome, the new project C4 assumes that selfish genetic elements (SGEs), including phages, are major players in shaping microbial community composition and function. The project will assess how phages and other SGEs affect eco-evolutionary dynamics within metaorganisms and the resulting consequences on metabolism and life-history characteristics. The study will move phages and other SGEs to the forefront of research and combine an ecoevolutionary approach with metagenomic analyses to characterize the evolution of metaorganism function.

The appropriate candidate will work in the subproject C4.2 ‘Phage regulated rapid acclimatisation of Hydra’ with Tim Lachnit at the Zoological Institute at Kiel University.

Project description C4.2: Environmental stress can disturb the relation between host and its associated microbes leading to shifts in the bacterial community and disease development. In laboratory and field experiments, the appropriate PhD candidate will explore the regulatory function of phages in the acclimatisation process of the freshwater polyp Hydra to different environmental conditions. The project will be conducted in close cooperation with Ute Hentschel Humeida (Geomar) and Paul Rainey (Max Planck Institute in Plön).

Requirements: Applicants hold a Master’s degree in Biology or related fields and should be highly motivated and driven by scientific curiosity. The ideal candidate would have knowledge in ecology, microbiology, molecular biology and bioinformatics. The ability to fluently communicate in English (oral and written) is mandatory.

Kiel University aims at a higher proportion of women in research and education, and, therefore, specifically encourages qualified female scientists to apply. Female scientists will be preferentially considered in case of equivalent qualification, competence and achievements.

Kiel University specifically supports employment of severely handicapped people. Therefore, severely handicapped applicants will be preferentially considered in case of suitable qualification.

Kiel University specifically welcomes application from people with migration background.

Applicants should send their application as a single pdf-document to the office of the CRC 1182 ( The application should include (i) a curriculum vitae with a list of publications, (ii) Master or doctoral certificate or proof of records (iii) a motivation statement (max. 2 pages), (iv) contact addresses of two possible referees.

Please abstain from sending application portraits.

Deadline for applications is 8th March 2020.

If you have any questions on the CRC 1182 program, please contact Dr. Cleo Pietschke ( If you have project specific questions, please contact Dr. Tim Lachnit directly (

Here you will find the call for applications as PDF-file.