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Advertising division: JSC - Jülich Supercomputing Centre
Reference number: D071/2018, Physics

PhD Student (w/m) in the field of theoretical biophysics (RNA simulation and structure prediction)

The Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC) operates one of the most powerful computer systems for scientific and technical applications in Europe and makes it available for research purposes to scientists at Forschungszentrum Jülich, in Germany, and throughout Europe. The NIC Research Group “Computational Structural Biology” located at JSC uses these extraordinary HPC resources to quantitatively understand the structural and dynamical properties of biomolecules.

Scientific Context:
Understanding the function of biomolecules requires knowledge of their structures. Some of these structures are experimentally difficult to measure. This is especially true for RNA, one of the hottest research areas in molecular biology and medicine. We have developed structure predictions methods for RNA by applying methods from theoretical physics to analyze their abundantly available sequential information. Our methods allow to accurately predict spatial contacts within these biomolecules, which then guides their structure prediction.

Your tasks:

  • Improving statistical methods for detecting spatial adjacencies in RNA
  • Improve the quality of structure prediction methods for RNA
  • Application of methods on large databases by using supercomputers
  • Presentation of Results in scientific conferences
  • Publication of Results in peer-reviewed scientific journals


  • Diploma or master in physics or related fields
  • Interest in an interdisciplinary topic in the field of computational simulation and modelling
  • Excellent knowledge in statistical physics or machine learning
  • Strong command of written and spoken English, command of German is helpful but not mandatory
  • Strong programming knowledge (C/C++, python)
  • Knowledge of Linux-based operating systems is an advantage but not a requirement
  • Knowledge of methods in computational biology is an advantage but not a requirement

Our offer:

  • The position is for 3 years with salary and social benefits in conformity with the provisions of the Collective Agreement for the Civil Service (3/4 position TVöD)
  • embedding into the interdisciplinary environment of the NIC research group “computational structural biology”
  • potential to develop your personal strengths, e.g. by comprehensive training in the field of high-performance computing by renowned experts

If you have any questions, feel free to contact

Dr. Alexander Schug
Head of NIC research group “Computational Structural Biology”
Jülich Supercomputing Centre
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
52425 Jülich


Your application should contain a convincing letter of motivation, your CV including a list of professional references, and copies of recent certificates and should be send to the above email.