Early-Stage Researcher (ESR) - PhD Student Position (m/f/d)

For a new EU funded project: ICEBIO “Microbial and biogeochemical processes in a range of glacial ecosystems, the exchanges between them and the surrounding ecosystems” we are looking for an early state researcher to join our team as a PhD student. The successful candidate will be working at Dr. Brill + Partner in Bremen, Germany, with academic supervision done by Nuremberg Hospital. The team of Prof. Dr. Jörg Steinmann, Medical Director of Institute for Clinical Hygiene, Medical Microbiology and Clinical Infectiology, Paracelsus Medical Private University, Nuremberg Hospital, will be responsible for the academic part as well as conferral of the doctorate degree.

The ICEBIO consortium comprises 6 leading research teams across Europe (Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Austria and Switzerland) and two industrial stakeholders (Germany and France).

ICEBIO's mission is to train 11 predoctoral researchers in glacier microbiology and biogeochemistry. Glaciers and ice sheets were long believed to be sterile environments, but just like other large ecosystems (e.g., tropical forests, tundra), they are now widely recognized as one of the Earth’s biomes, teeming with life. Active algae, fungi, bacteria and viruses dominate the glacial environment and they have the ability to change the physical and chemical characteristics of the ice and snow, with global effects.  Despite their global influence, many of the microbiological processes within the cryosphere remain poorly quantified. A deeper understanding of such processes is relevant to researchers interested in the possibility of life on icy extraterrestrial bodies, the survival and proliferation of life forms on our early Earth, and the positive and negative feedbacks that the cryosphere may have on global warming. The microbial communities living in association with icy environments may also harbor unique metabolic pathways, providing novel opportunities in biotechnology.

To assess the quality of glacier water with respect to potential pathogenic threats, using culturing-based techniques from samples collected from various PhD projects in ICEBIO. To test the isolated bacteria with a pathogenic potential to provide a detailed analyses of their antibiotic susceptibility and efficacy of disinfectants. To provide a first risk assessment regarding pathogenic organisms from the glacier biome, including the integration of fungi and viruses into the risk assessment. To mine metagenomics data produced in other ICEBIO PhD projects to screen for particularly important pathogens in parallel to the cultivation-dependent methods.

You will conduct innovative molecular ecological analysis in combination with culture techniques to identify pathogenic bacteria to humans, plants and animals. In addition, relevant secondary metabolites, e.g. biocidal and antibiotic as well as corresponding resistant phenotypes will be characterized. You will also study the response of microbial communities to environmental changes especially global warming as this may influence the activity of pathogenic bacteria.

The major job responsibilities include performing state-of-the-art research in the characterization of pathogenic bacteria within the project. Furthermore, it is the candidate’s responsibility to participate in ICEBIO short courses, management meetings, and network meetings. The candidate has to communicate the results of their research project to other ICEBIO members, to the international scientific community, and to the general public as part of public outreach activities. Results of each research project are to be written up for publication in internationally distributed scientific journals. The candidate will be required to interact closely with his or her personal advisor and prepare regular progress reports for the ICEBIO website and for annual reports.



•    Biological sciences: Master Degree or equivalent in Microbiology/Biology with a focus in molecular ecology and/or classical microbiology
•    Experience in microbiological techniques, particularly DNA/RNA-based analyses, e.g. qPCR, NGS, SIP, and metagenomics/metatranscriptomics for the characterization of microbial communities in permafrost ecosystems
•    Experience in culture methods of bacteria
•    Willingness to develop and validate novel experimental and analytical approaches  
•    Interested in working in a private company and in cooperation with universities
•    Ability to work independently

•    ENGLISH: Excellent

In addition, it is absolutely crucial that before submitting an application you ensure that you meet all of the European Commission’s eligibility criteria for this post: At the time of recruitment by the host organization, researchers should not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host organization for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment date. Candidates CANNOT have been awarded a doctoral degree yet in any field.



The Marie Sklodowska-Curie Doctoral Network Program offers a highly competitive and attractive salary and working conditions. Each fellowship includes the following:

  • 3.342,20 €/month gross living allowance. This amount is subject to local taxes, social security deductions, etc. Candidates are also eligible for a mobility allowance of 600 euros per month (gross) and in some cases a family allowance of 660 euros per month (gross)
  • We will appoint the candidate under an employment contract.
  • We will ensure that the researcher is covered under the social security scheme that is applied to employers within the respective country, or under a social security scheme that provides coverage for at least sickness and maternity benefits, invalidity and accidents at work and occupational diseases, and covers the researcher in every place at which Marie Sklodowska-Curie DN activities will take place. (The exact conditions will differ per country.)
  • To cover personal household, relocation and travel expenses, 600€/month gross will be paid to each candidate. This amount is also subject to local taxes, social security deductions etc.
  • ICEBIO Doctoral Network. 11 PhD positions in glacier microbiology and biogeochemistry (EURAXESS 13/11/2022: https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/jobs/838793 Page 5 of 7)
  •  When applicable, family allowance may also be provided in the amount of 660€/month. This amount is subject to local taxes, social security deductions etc.  Other possible allowances include long-term leave and special needs and more information can be provided if requested.
  • The fellows will benefit from the ICEBIO training programme designed to exploit the multidisciplinary skills of our network. To meet the challenges of this innovative research project, excellent and creative scientists are required, skilled in high-end technologies, with broad expertise and able to translate scientific knowledge into innovation. ICEBIO will offer an international, multidisciplinary and inter-sectorial, custom developed training programme that promotes scientific excellence and exploits the expertise and infrastructure present in the consortium.

Additional comments:
Website for additional details: http://www.icebio.eu/pages/Job%20opps/index.html




Please submit your application by December 31st, 2022, under https://jobs.brillinstitutes.com/en/apply?id=b6cf88, including your application documents (letter of motivation, CV and certificates).


  • Research fields: Microbiology, organisms, antimicrobials, antibiotic resistances
  • Career stage: early-stage researcher or 0-4 years (Postgraduate)
  • Starting date: between 01/02/2023 and latest 01/04/2023
  • Type of contract: temporary, 36 months 
  •  Gross salary: € 3.942,20 (€3.342,20 living allowance + € 600 mobility allowance + € 660 family allowance if entitled). The salary is indicated BEFORE taxes and other deductions.
  • Working hours: full-time, 35 h/week
  • Location: Bremen, Germany



After applications have been reviewed, candidates will be informed about the status of their applications. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an interview and candidates will be informed about the final decision within 4 weeks of the last interview. 

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Gesche von der Lieth
HR Manager

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