PhD position ‘Sensory Systems and Brain Health’ (f/m/x)

Code: 1126/2022/8

The German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) is a world-leading internationally oriented research center, committed to discovering new approaches to prevent and treat neurodegenerative diseases. To this end, researchers at ten DZNE sites across Germany pursue a translational and interdisciplinary strategy comprising five interconnected areas: fundamental research, clinical research, health care research, population health science, and systems medicine.

We are looking for an enthusiastic and ambitious young researcher who is keen to pursue their PhD focusing on sensory systems, their integration, and their association to brain health.

The job holder will be part of the Population Health Sciences group, led by Prof Dr Dr Monique M B Breteler, and located at the headquarters of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) in Bonn. We study determinants and biomarkers of normal and pathological mental and physical health function over the adult life course, with a special emphasis on neurodegenerative diseases and ageing. The research is primarily based on the Rhineland Study, a prospective cohort study that emphasizes deep phenotyping.

The comprehensive data collection includes sensory systems assessments (visual system, hearing, smell), detailed structural and functional brain imaging, cognitive and behavioral assessments, cardiovascular investigations, questions on medical history, lifestyle, nutrition and mental health, assessment of medication intake and collection of biomaterials. Moreover, we have have already obtained extensive blood-based biomarker data from our participants, including (epi-) genomic arrays, RNA-seq data, metabolomics, lipidomics and immune profiling, as well as gut microbiome analyses.

Your tasks

You will focus on research topics related to sensory systems, their integration and how they relate to brain health over the adult life course. Your responsibilities include: participation in and supervision of data acquisition and processing; data analysis and preparation of academic publications; active participation in national and international collaborative studies.


  • Excellent degree in epidemiology, medicine, biomedical sciences, psychology, or a related discipline
  • Demonstrable interest in quantitative research, the possession of strong data analytical skills, and the ability for independent and critical thinking
  • First experience in epidemiological research is a plus
  • Statistical knowledge and R coding skills are desirable
  • Flexibility and strong interpersonal skills
  • Strong communication and writing skills in the English language are a prerequisite

We offer

  • An interesting and challenging position on the forefront of health research
  • Work in a highly interdisciplinary and international team to address pressing health issues related to aging
  • Excellent scientific infrastructure with state-of-the-art research and computational facilities
  • Active encouragement and support of our employees’ individual development
  • Employment, payment, and social benefits are consistent with those at other research institutes

The PhD position will be integrated into the Bonn International Graduate School of Clinical and Population Science and further training in epidemiological, statistical and computational methods will be provided as needed. The position is initially limited to three years with the possibility of extension.

How to apply

Interested applicants should submit, as one single PDF file, a CV including 3 references, transcripts, and a cover letter describing your motivation to apply for this position, including your research interest and experience, through "Apply here".

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.




Prof. Dr. Dr. Monique Breteler 

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