The MPI for Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam is looking for 2 Doctoral students (m/f/d) in the newly established group „Root Biology and Mycorrhiza” of Prof. Dr. Caroline Gutjahr. The positions are available immediately and awarded as part of the TRR356 ‘Genetic diversity shaping biotic interactions of plants’ in a collaborative consortium with the LMU and TU Munich and the University of Tübingen.  

The two projects aim at understanding the role of a plant hormone signaling pathway in the development of a plant-fungal symbiosis called arbuscular mycorrhiza, in which plant and fungi exchange nutrients. Interestingly, the impact of this hormone signaling pathway on the symbiosis differs among plant species, and we want to understand the molecular basis for this phenomenon.

One of the projects will focus on the mechanistic function of one protein in symbiosis, while the other will characterize the symbiosis-induced proteome in different species to identify proteins, which may be involved differentially shaping the symbiosis in different species. Both projects will involve handling of plants and fungi and a number of molecular, biochemical and microscopy techniques.

What we expect:

  • An MSc or equivalent degree in Biology, Biochemistry or a related subject, preferably with a specialization in plant biochemistry or plant molecular biology
  • Some prior experience in one or more of the following aspects: Handling of proteins, Proteomics, Molecular biology techniques, Confocal and/or electron microscopy, Handling of plants and/or fungi, Statistical and/or bioinformatics data evaluation methods
  • Good command of English (oral and written)
  • Curiosity, a strong motivation to excel in science, and a ‘can-do’ attitude
  • A collaborative mind-set and good communication skills
  • Good organizational skills
  • A positive attitude towards interacting with colleagues from different backgrounds and cultures

What we offer

  • Doctoral student position for three years (plus one), paid according to German public service pay scale (65% E13 TVÖD Bund).
  • Competent mentoring and additional training events and courses
  • A stimulating environment in a dynamic, international team of cooperative and motivated scientists
  • Access to the infrastructure of one of the leading plant science institutes in the world
  • Working in the beautiful town of Potsdam and near by the exciting urban area of Berlin

How to apply:

Applications should be sent by 31st January 2023 by email to:    

Uta Keller:

However, screening of applications may start already before that date. Please use “PhD position TRR356” in your subject. Otherwise, your email may be lost.

Please include these documents into your application:

  • CV
  • Contact information of minimum 2 referees
  • Motivation letter explaining why you are interested in joining the group and why you are the right person to make progress in the field

For further information please contact Caroline Gutjahr. If you want to know more about the institute or the group, please have a look on our homepages at:  and

The group will move to the MPI-MP in February 2023.

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