Research Assistant (PhD Student, m/f/d) in the area Natural Product Chemistry (Salary Scale 13 TV-L, 65 %) Interested in natural product chemistry and elucidating steroid biosynthesis in plants? We offer a fully funded PhD position at Leibniz University Hannover, Germany.

The Institute of Botany of the Leibniz University Hannover invites applications for the position of a Research Assistant (PhD Student, m/f/d) in the area Natural Product Chemistry (Salary Scale 13 TV-L, 65 %) to start at the next possible date. The position is part of the group “Biochemistry of Plant Specialised Metabolites” (Prof. Dr. Jakob Franke). The initial contract is for 3 years with a possibility for extension,

Tasks: Our young and dynamic research group studies the biochemistry of plant specialised metabolites. We offer you an opportunity to conduct a PhD thesis in the context of a competitive and exciting interdisciplinary research project. The aim of the research work is the elucidation of plant steroid biosynthetic pathways as part of a project funded by the German Research Foundation.

The tasks of the position comprise:

  • Isolation and characterisation of steroids from plant material
  • Semisynthetic production of biosynthesis intermediates
  • Conduction of enzyme assays in Nicotiana benthamiana, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Escherichia coli
  • Purification and structure elucidation of biosynthesis intermediates from enzyme assays


The applicant must hold a university science degree (diploma/master or equivalent) in the area of chemistry, life science or related courses. We expect above average grades, high motivation and interest in interdisciplinary research.

In addition, the ideal applicant should have the following skills and qualifications:

  • Experience with the purification of natural products by column chromatography and preparative HPLC
  • Experience with characterisation of complex natural products by NMR and other spectroscopic methods
  • Experience with analytical methods (LCMS, GCMS) as well as handling LCMS and GCMS instruments
  • Experience with organic synthesis
  • Experience with basic molecular biological and biochemical techniques
  • Very good written and oral English skills for working in an international team and to fulfil research tasks

The university aims to promote equality between women and men. For this purpose, the university strives to reduce under-representation in areas where a certain gender is under-represented. Women are under-represented in the salary scale of the advertised position. Therefore, qualified women are encouraged to apply. Moreover, we welcome applications from qualified men. Preference will be given to equally-qualified applicants with disabilities.

Please send your application until 12th February 2023 as a single PDF file to


or via mail to:

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover
Institut für Botanik
Prof. Dr. Jakob Franke
Herrenhäuser Str. 2
30419 Hannover

For further information, please contact Prof. Dr. Jakob Franke (Phone: +49 (0)511 762-16354; Email:

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