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Technical University of Munich

Technical University of Munich

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PhD in Biological Physics of Behaviour

02.05.2022, Wissenschaftliches Personal

Join the team of Prof. Karen Alim at the TUM Campus Garching to investigate how the complex organism-scale behaviour in the slime mould Physarum polycephalum arises from the interactions of cell nuclei within its gigantic cell. We are looking for a PhD student (m/f/d) to start at the TUM this summer or fall.

Your Task

The network-forming slime mould Physarum polycephalum is renowned for solving complex tasks despite its simple make-up consisting of only one giant cell that harbors millions of cell nuclei. You will investigate the role of nuclei as information processors and how nuclei dynamics coordinate solving complex tasks. To this end you will perform fluorescence microscopy on nuclei populations and quantify their dynamics while challenging Physarum to mount a behaviour. Relating nuclei dynamics to morphological changes in the organism’s network architecture you will find out how nuclei information processing leads to emergent organism-scale behaviour. Your work is embedded in our interdisciplinary environment with biologists and applied mathematicians as collaborators.


As a suitable candidate, you have an outstanding Master's degree or comparable degree in biology, physics or a related discipline. You have experience in quantitative biology, experimental soft matter, or experimental biophysics. You enjoy working in interdisciplinary and international teams and have programming skills. In addition, you are able to express yourself confidently both orally and in writing in English.

What we offer

We offer a three-year contract with the possibility of extension (TV-L E13 75%) in a highly motivated team combing on equal footing experimental and theoretical research. Professional career development complementing your scientific research is offered via TUM Graduate School. As an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer, TUM explicitly encourages applications from women as well as from all others who would bring additional diversity dimensions to the university’s research and teaching strategies. Preference will be given to disabled candidates with essentially the same qualifications.


We are looking forward to receiving your application documents, which include your CV, your list of publications, transcript of record, a motivation of your research interests (max. 1 page) and the contact details for two letters of recommendation in one PDF document. Please send them under the subject ”PhD Behaviour” by e-mail to Prof. Dr. Karen Alim (k.alim@tum.de) by 30.05.2022. She will also be happy to provide you with further information in advance.

The position is suitable for disabled persons. Disabled applicants will be given preference in case of generally equivalent suitability, aptitude and professional performance.

Data Protection Information:
When you apply for a position with the Technical University of Munich (TUM), you are submitting personal information. With regard to personal information, please take note of the Datenschutzhinweise gemäß Art. 13 Datenschutz-Grundverordnung (DSGVO) zur Erhebung und Verarbeitung von personenbezogenen Daten im Rahmen Ihrer Bewerbung. (data protection information on collecting and processing personal data contained in your application in accordance with Art. 13 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)). By submitting your application, you confirm that you have acknowledged the above data protection information of TUM.

Kontakt: k.alim@tum.de

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