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The Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity at the University of Münster, Germany, invites applications for the position of a


Doctoral Research Associate (PhD position)

Wissenschaftliche/r Mitarbeiter/in

(salary level TV-L E 13, 65%)


We are offering this fixed-term part-time position (65% FTE) within the research group of Prof J Kurtz for 3 years, starting at the earliest possible date.


Your tasks:

This research project focuses on the evolutionary flexibility of epigenetic regulation in insects. Even within the group of beetles, some species rely on CpG methylation, while other species have lost the relevant DNA methyltransferases (Dnmt genes). Using beetles as models, our project aims to understand the evolution of epigenetic regulation systems, elucidate the alternative functions of DNA methyltransferases and assess the mutual dependences between DNA methylation and histone modification.

The successful candidate will make use of the combined power of sequencing technology to analyse epigenetic processes (Methyl-Seq, Cut&Tag, RNAseq) and functional validation (RNAi) in up to ten beetle species. The candidate will collaborate intensively with a PhD student from Prof Sonja Prohaska’s research group at the University of Leipzig, who will contribute expertise in bioinformatics.

The project is part of the Priority Programme “Genomic Basis of Evolutionary Innovations (SPP 2349 GEvol,” funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The goal of GEvol is to collaboratively and interdisciplinarily exploit new computational and OMICS methods to reveal the history of genomes in the insect taxon through comparative genomics.


Our expectations:

Applicants should be highly motivated scientists interested in interdisciplinary work. They should have the equivalent of a master’s degree in biology, preferentially with a focus on evolution, molecular biology, genomics or a related field. A background, and ideally some experience, in any of the following areas will be useful: molecular laboratory skills, functional genomics and/or practical insect work. Applicants should have excellent communication skills and be able to work both independently and as part of a multidisciplinary team. The working language of the Institute and the lab is English, therefore good proficiency in spoken and written English is a requirement. German language skills are not a requirement, but a willingness to learn is desirable.


Advantages for you:

The Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity provides a stimulating research environment with a number of scientific groups researching diverse topics centred on different aspects of evolution. As a part of the Priority Programme GEvol (SPP 2349) the project will involve intensive collaboration with consortium partners across Germany.

The University of Münster is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to increasing the proportion of women academics. Consequently, we actively encourage applications by women. Female candidates with equivalent qualifications and academic achievements will be preferentially considered within the framework of the legal possibilities.

The University of Münster is committed to employing more staff with disabilities. Candidates with recognised severe disabilities who have equivalent qualifications are given preference in hiring decisions.

Positions can generally be filled as part-time positions if there are no compelling work-related reasons against doing so.

Are you interested?

Then we look forward to receiving your application, written in English, in one single PDF file, by 30 June 2022. Applications should be sent to Prof Joachim Kurtz at: Please note that we cannot consider other file formats. Applications should include 1) a cover letter with a statement of research interests and motivation (max. 1 page), 2) a CV including details about research experience and publications, and 3) contact details for at least two referees.