Postdoctoral Microbiological Lab Manager (m/f/d) in Theoretical Microbial Ecology

Friedrich Schiller University Jena
Jena, Thüringen (DE)
July 19 2021
Organization Type
All Industry

Friedrich Schiller University is a traditional university with a strong research profile rooted in the heart of Germany. As a university covering all disciplines, it offers a wide range of subjects. Its research is focused on the areas Light—Life—Liberty. It is closely networked with non-research institutions, research companies and renowned cultural institutions. With around 18,000 students and more than 8,600 employees, the university plays a major role in shaping Jena’s character as a cosmopolitan and future-oriented city.

The new professorship Theoretical Microbial Ecology, Prof. Rosalind Allen, at the Faculty of Biological Sciences  seeks to fill the position of a

Postdoctoral Microbiological Lab Manager (m/f/d)

in Theoretical Microbial Ecology

The anticipated start date is September 1st, 2021, or as soon as possible thereafter. The new professorship is part of the Cluster of Excellence Balance of the Microverse ( The Cluster combines expertise in life, material, optical and computational sciences to elucidate fundamental principles of the interactions and functions in microbial communities in diverse habitats. We aim to identify the shared characteristics of disturbed or polluted ecosystems as well as infectious diseases on the microbiome level, and develop strategies for their remediation by targeted interventions.

The research group investigates microbe-environment interactions – how microbes survive, grow and interact in complex and changing environments. The group combines experimental microbiology with biophysical analysis and mathematical modelling. Areas of particular interest in the group include the physiology of antibiotic action, evolution of antibiotic resistance, biofilms and other types of microbial interaction in both clinical infections and environmental settings. Once established at the Friedrich Schiller University the group is expected to encompass 10-15 postdocs and PhD students performing microbiological experiments, as well as undergraduate and masters-level project students, working in collaboration with further group members who will perform mathematical modelling. The lab of approximately 235 square metres will function at levels S1 and S2 and include microbiological culture equipment (including plate readers, spectrophotometers, continuous culture and biofilm growth), microscopes, and potentially tissue culture and anaerobic growth facilities.

We are looking for a postdoctoral-level lab manager and researcher to support the international research activities of our group. As our lab manager, you will oversee the establishment and day to day running of our lab, as well as supporting the group by performing microbiological or biophysical experimental research. The position is expected to involve approximately 50% lab management functions and 50% research. The lab management functions will involve ordering and management of equipment, day-to-day lab management including ordering consumables, training students and supervising a full-time technician, and establishment and maintenance of biological safety procedures and documentation at S1 and S2 levels. The research part of your role will involve establishing new projects in collaboration with other groups (locally and internationally) as well as collaborating on diverse projects with other group members, including performing experimental research to support our theoretical predictions. You will also be required to train and supervise other researchers within the group.

Your responsibilities:

  • Assist the PI in setting up the new lab, ordering equipment and consumables, etc.
  • Organise repair, servicing and maintenance of the group’s lab equipment.
  • Establish and maintain lab rules, and take responsibility for biological safety protocols, training, inspections and documentation.
  • Manage the lab space to ensure efficient and orderly usage by the group.
  • Manage media supply and waste disposal, in coordination with a technician, and order consumables for the group.
  • Train and supervise lab users, including those with little or no microbiology experience.
  • Curate and manage strain collections and frozen stocks; ideally including the construction of novel strains where needed.
  • Develop, coordinate, support, manage and publish research projects in several of the following areas: microbial physiology, antibiotic response, microbial evolution, biofilms, microbial ecology, environmental or infection microbiology.
  • Supervise and support PhD students, Masters students and undergraduate project students.
  • Develop new project directions in collaboration with other groups in Jena, nationally and internationally.
  • Collaborate productively with theoretical researchers.
  • Present research results at internal meetings and external conferences.
  • Support faculty teaching within the microbiology and other masters’ programmes at the Friedrich Schiller University.
  • Work towards scientific qualification will be expected

Your profile

  • A completed university degree and PhD in Microbiology, Microbial Ecology, Microbial Biophysics, Infection Biology, or related discipline. Postdoctoral research experience is highly advantageous.
  • Specialist knowledge and practical expertise in standard microbiological techniques. Ideally, you also have expertise in one or several of: microscopy, molecular biology, biochemistry, microbial ecology, infection biology, medical microbiology, microbial evolution, biofilms, biophysics.
  • A track record in management of microbiology, microbial ecology or biophysics labs.
  • Practical experience in establishment and maintenance of biological safety procedures and documentation.
  • Track record of developing, managing, performing, presenting and publishing high-level scientific research.
  • Track record of successful supervision and training of junior researchers.
  • Fluency in English is required, both written and spoken. Fluency in German is highly advantageous.
  • Enthusiasm and talent for working on a variety of projects in parallel and for interdisciplinary research.
  • Excellent communication skills, ability to work as a team and to interact with people from diverse scientific backgrounds.
  • Strong motivation, excellent organisation skills and ability to contribute to a friendly and collaborative working environment.

We offer:

  • A highly communicative atmosphere within an energetic scientific network
  • A comprehensive continuing education programme and individual qualification and development measures
  • Jena – City of Science: a young and lively town with a vibrant local cultural agenda
  • A family-friendly working environment with a variety of offers for families: University Family Office ‘JUniFamilie’ and flexible childcare (‘JUniKinder);
  • University health promotion and a wide range of university sports activities;
  • Attractive fringe benefits, e.g. capital formation benefits (VL), Job Ticket (benefits for public transport), and an occupational pension (VBL)
  • Remuneration based on the provisions of the Collective Agreement for the Public Sector of the Federal States (TV-L) at salary scale E 13 — depending on the candidate’s personal qualifications—, including a special annual payment in accordance with the collective agreement.

The full-time position (40 hours per week) is initially for two years with the possibility to be extended subject to suitability. The Friedrich Schiller University Jena is an equal opportunity employer and part-time contracts can be discussed.

To promote gender equality in science, applications by woman are especially welcome. Candidates with severe disabilities will be given preference in the case of equal qualifications and suitability.

Applications in English should comprise a cover letter, a detailed curriculum vitae, copies of academic certificates and a list of publications. Please submit your application by email as a single PDF file, stating the vacancy ID 252/2021 by 15th August 2021 to:

Since all application documents will be duly destroyed after the recruitment process, we ask you to submit only copies of your documents.
For further information for applicants, please also refer to (in German)
Please also note the information on the collection of personal data at