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Fully-Funded PhD Studentships

University Heart Center Freiburg-Bad Krozingen GmbH - Institute for Experimental Cardiovascular Medicine

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Friedberg - Germany
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: Salary is assigned according to a pay scale
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 23rd December 2019
Expires: 23rd March 2020

The University Heart Center Freiburg-Bad Krozingen is a highly-specialised center for heart, cardiovascular and circulatory diseases and enjoys an international reputation. It is a modern academic and scientific center based both in Freiburg and Bad Krozingen with the following departments: The Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, The Departments of Cardiology and Angiology I and II, The Department of Congenital Heart Defects and Paediatric Cardiology, and the Institute for Experimental Cardiovascular Medicine (IEKM).

With 1600 staff, the heart centre is one of the largest of its kind in Europe. The vision for its translational research centre, the IEKM, is to build bridges between basic and clinical research and to drive the advancement of knowledge on cardiovascular disease and therapy.

The Institute for Experimental Cardiovascular Medicine is offering multiple

Fully-Funded PhD Studentships

within the Sections for Optogenetics, Biophysics, Bioinstrumentation, and 4D Imaging of the IEKM.

Research will cover

  • Whole heart electrophysiology, mechanisms of cardiac pacing, and its control by different energy delivery approaches (mechanical-, electrical-, light-induced excitation) in whole hearts Development (design and testing) of novel optogenetic tools (e.g. light-gated potassium channels) and their application in studying and controlling cardiac electrophysiology (single cells and whole hearts)
  • Mechanisms of mechano-electric coupling in single cardiomyocytes and non-myocytes (with focus on electrophysiology, mechanical properties, and drug testing) in the context of human cardiac diseases (e.g. atrial fibrillation)
  • Dynamic effects of mechanical deformation (stretch, contraction) on intracellular 3D nano-structure and –function, using approaches including molecular biology, mechano-manipulation, electron tomography, FRAP, and CLEM

We offer

  • An outstanding international and interdisciplinary scientific environment with flat hierarchies
  • Access to up-to-date laboratories, cutting-edge technologies and state-of-the-art infrastructure
  • Highly personalized supervision at the forefront of integrative biomedical sciences

A diverse and vibrant environment in one of the most desirable places to live as a student in Europe (located at the crossroads of Germany, France, and Switzerland, Freiburg is extremely convenient for European travel)

Studies will span multiple disciplines and, hence, be associated with multiple sections of the IEKM (see All projects will utilise a broad range of methodologies, including molecular biology (e.g. vector design), biochemistry (e.g. western blotting), and biophysics (e.g. advanced light and electron microscopy, optogenetics and optical mapping, patch clamp), involving experimentation with human material, computational modelling, and much more. Successful applicants will additionally enjoy close interactions with the Freiburg Cardiovascular BioBank (providing unrestricted access to human material), other university departments within and outside the medical school, including biology, physics, and engineering, as well as at the Freiburg Max-Planck-Institute for Immunology and Epigenetics. Finally, all students will

be enrolled within Spemann Graduate School of Biology and Medicine (SGBM), offering additional networking opportunities, translational skills training, and career guidance.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Self-motivated students who hold (or are about to complete) an MSc or equivalent in a discipline relevant to biomedical research such as biophysics, bioengineering, medicine, physiology, and biology
  • Research experience with biophysical methods, such as electrophysiology, optical mapping, advanced imaging, and mechanobiology would be welcome
  • Scientific curiosity and the desire to actively shape your own research project are a must
  • Excellent communication skills in English (B2 or higher), as well as the desire to work as part of an English-speaking institute

All positions are available for three years in the first instance. Payment and benefits are based on the University Hospital Trade Agreement of the Federal State Baden-Württemberg (starting salaries for PhD students are in the order of EUR 45k p.a.). The search will be continued until the positions are filled. 

Please submit your application including a motivation letter and CV via the online portal

University Heart Center Freiburg - Bad Krozingen Institute for Experimental Cardiovascular Medicine Elsässer Str. 2Q, 79110 Freiburg

Pia Stroeger

General information: Salary is assigned according to a pay scale. Unless prevented by operational or legal reasons, full-time positions are generally open to those wishing to job share. Where two candidates are equally suitable for a post, severely disabled candidates are given priority. Employment decisions are made by the Personnel Department.

To learn more about working & living in Germany, please visit:

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* Salary has been converted at the prevailing rate on the date placed
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