Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Cancer Research 2016, Germany

Publish Date: Jul 25, 2016

Deadline: Aug 31, 2016

About the DKFZ

The German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) is a member of the Helmholtz Association of National Research Centers. The DKFZ has a Nobel Prize winner, the highest density of scientists with an ERC-advanced grant in Europe and is the place with the most Leibniz awardees in life sciences in Germany. Quality and impact of research is documented by more than a hundred publications per year in international peerreviewed journals with an impact factor of above 10. The DKFZ was established in 1964 by the State Government of Baden-Württemberg as a foundation under public law. The aim of research at the DKFZ is to unravel basic mechanisms of cancer development and to translate these new insights into novel diagnostic tools and strategies for cancer therapy and prevention.

Program outline

Although there are other ways of becoming a postdoc at our institute, the DKFZ Postdoctoral Fellowship Program is the most prestigious and competitive PostDoc recruitment process at DKFZ. It is intended to recruit highly talented and motivated young scientist, who wish to work at the forefront of cancer research in any of basic or translational cancer research labs at the DKFZ. This program offers up to 10 fellowships per year and provides interdisciplinary training and research opportunities in state-of-the-art research facilities for excellent young scientists, no longer than 2 years past graduation, with a background in biology as well as in physics, mathematics, bioinformatics and other fields.

The fellowships are offered for a duration of two years.

Salaries are competitive by national standards and are negotiated and confirmed during the recruitment phase should a fellowship be offered.

Career Development
The DKFZ aims to open new avenues for personal career development. Therefore, the DKFZ actively supports the career development of its scientists by providing advanced training tailored to their specific needs. This includes support for making new contacts and design and implementation of a personalized career strategy. A dedicated Career Manager, Dr. Barbara Janssens is available to provide information about future career opportunities and gives access to the resources required for planning next career steps.

Who can apply


A qualification equivalent to a PhD or MD is a prerequisite for all applications. Candidates should document their successful previous research endeavors with publications. The candidates should be at an early stage of their career, having held a PhD for no longer than 2 years. The fellowship is not open for internal candidates, unless they have been recruited within the previous 6 months.

Selection criteria

The most important selection criterion is academic quality, demonstrated by outstanding publications. Other criteria that will be considered during the selection process include research prizes and awards, demonstration of mobility, sucessful application for research funding.

Selection procedure

All applications will be evaluated by four distinguished division heads and group leaders in a competitive selection process. We will invite successful candidates for a vist to Heidelberg. Letters of invitation will be provided for VISA application.

DKFZ Postdoctoral Symposium

About 8-10 weeks after the application deadline, a three day DKFZ Postdoctoral Symposium will be held in Heidelberg. About 20 candidates will be invited.

Tentative schedule:

  • Day 1: Postdoc Symposium with 15 min presentations + 5 min discussion.
    Dinner at a typical Heidelberg restaurant with all candidates and invited DKFZ members
  • Day 2: Lab visits and Interviews
  • Day 3: Lab visits and Interviews

Final decisions

Applicants will be informed of the outcome of the selection process shortly after the symposium (within about 2 weeks) and are expected to accept the fellowship within 4 weeks. Postions are available immediatedly after acceptance and should be fillled within 6 month after the fellowship has been awarded.

Research Topics

The DKFZ has strong reseach programs in the following topics:

  • Cell Biology and Tumor Biology, Developmental and Stem Cell Biology
  • Structural and Functional Genomics, Systems Biology
  • Epidemiology, Cancer Risk Factors, Cancer Epigenomics
  • Tumor Immunology
  • Imaging and Radiology, Medical Physics
  • Infection and Cancer, Tumor Virology
  • Translational Cancer Research
  • Research programs are structured in 43 Research Divisions and Groups, 22 Junior Research Groups, and 9 Clinical
  • Cooperation Units. Scientists from nearly all scientific fields - from medicine and biology to mathematics and theoretical physics - work together in interdisciplinary teams to fight against cancer.

Candidates are encouraged to contact division heads and group leaders before application to discuss potential projects.

How to apply

The following documents should be provided as one single PDF file:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Publication list
  • One-page statement of reseach interests
  • Copy of the latest degree certificate
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A list of three division or research groups in which the applicant would like to work should a fellowship be offered.
  • Candidates are encouraged to contact division heads and group leaders before application to discuss potential projects.
  • Applications need to be submitted in English.

The complete application should be submitted as a single PDF file to


Susanna Grenner
German Cancer Research Center
Epigenomics and Cancer Risk Factors
Im Neuenheimer Feld 280
69120 Heidelberg
Phone: +49 6221 423301
Fax: +49 6221 423359

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