Are you interested in RNA biology and are looking for a PhD position? Join our newly established research training group (RTG) with a focus on R-loop biology: “4R – R-loop regulation in robustness and resilience”.

Life Science in Mainz has a strong focus on RNA biology, ranging from molecular mechanisms to diagnostics and therapeutics. Many research groups in our scientific community have come across so-called R-loops as important regulatory intermediates in the context of their research. Although it has long been appreciated that RNA can base-pair and hybridize to complementary DNA, it has only recently been appreciated that such RNA-DNA hybrids can have regulatory roles within the genome.

When RNA-DNA hybrids lead to the displacement of one strand of DNA, and hence a three stranded structure, it is referred to as an “R-loop”. Indeed, RNA-DNA hybrids and R-loops have recently been demonstrated to influence processes such as transcription, DNA repair and telomere maintenance, which may indicate that R-loops play important roles during ageing. However, when R-loops are not efficiently managed, they can lead to genome instability and disease.

Within the “4R RTG”, we will investigate how R-loops regulate biological processes across scales, from molecules to organisms. At the same time the mechanistic regulation of R-loops themselves will be interrogated. Pending funding, we are currently offering 12 PhD positions, starting on October 1, 2023, to work on various aspects of R-loop biology.

What we offer:

  • Exciting, interdisciplinary projects in a vividly international environment, with English as our working language
  • Membership within the International PhD Programme (IPP) on Gene Regulation, Epigenetics & Genome Stability, a lively community of more than 190 PhD students from 44 different countries
  • Advanced training in scientific techniques and professional skills
  • Access to our state-of-the-art Core Facilities and their technical expertise
  • Fully funded positions with financing until the completion of your thesis


Are you an ambitious, young scientist enthusiastic about RNA Biology and looking forward to interacting with colleagues from multiple disciplines and cultures? Then joining our “4R RTG” is your opportunity to give your scientific career a flying start!

All you need is:

  • Master or equivalent
  • Interactive personality & good command of English
  • 2 letters of reference

For more details on the projects offered and how to apply via our online form, please visit The deadline for applications is 19 April 2023. Interviews will take place at IMB in Mainz on 19-21 June 2023.

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