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Evo-Devo PhD Position (Molecular Evolution) in Cologne, Germany

Posted by , on 31 December 2013

Closing Date: 15 March 2021

From early 2014, a PhD studentship is available in the Panfilio lab to investigate hypotheses of macroevolutionary change in gene function.  The aim is to address the evolution of the Hox3/zen gene, which is highly conserved in most animals but has acquired novel roles within the insects.  Focusing on the orthologues and paralogues of two key species, the research will involve a broad range of skills for comparative genomics, transcriptomics and phenotypic analyses in embryos (RNA-seq, RNAi, microscopy, gene expression assays in situ and in vitro at the transcript and protein levels).

This project is part of the local Collaborative Research Center (SFB) 680: The Molecular Basis of Evolutionary Innovations ( This is a large and diverse group of biologists and physicists that takes a number of approaches to understanding evolution at different levels of biological organization and on different evolutionary time scales.  The SFB provides an active research environment with regular journal clubs and seminars by invited guest speakers.

The lab is in the Institute for Developmental Biology, University of Cologne, and also has research and collaboration links with other evolutionary, developmental, and insect labs across the Biology Department.  Visit our lab website for more information.  With one million inhabitants, Cologne is an international, vibrant city that is well connected within western Europe.

Successful applicants will have a strong interest in molecular evolution and developmental genetics, demonstrated by holding a degree in at least one of these areas.  Candidates must be in possession of a master’s degree or the equivalent (German “Diplom”) before commencing this work.  The working language of the lab is English, and strong oral and written communication skills are required.

The position is for one year in the first instance and is renewable for up to four years.  Salaries are paid according to the standard German pay scale for the public sector (TV-L E13, 55%), and include health insurance and other social benefit contributions.  The University of Cologne is an equal opportunity employer in compliance with the German disability laws.  Women and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply and will be given preferential treatment provided equal qualification and capability.

To apply send a research statement, CV, starting date availability, and contact details (including e-mail address and phone number) for two references as a single PDF file to  Additionally, the two letters of recommendation should be sent independently to the same e-mail address.  Informal enquiries to further discuss the position are welcome.  Applications received by 31 January 2014 will be given full consideration.

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