Bacteria, including pathogens, can enter and leave dormant states to survive stress and changes in their environment. The viable but non-culturable state is one such state, and recent advances have shown its contribution to foodborne diseases and its impact on food production and clinical environments. Within the framework of the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Detection and Reduction of Dormant bacteria (CD-DeReD) our group aims at a mechanistic understanding of the VBNC state and at applying the knowledge to problems and challenges posed by bacteria in this dormant state. The project will focus on the cellular and molecular processes that enable bacteria to enter, maintain and exit the VBNC state, and the cellular and molecular changes that give bacteria in the VBNC state their unique highly resistant phenotype.

For this project we are seeking two highly motivated Ph.D. candidates who would like to be part of a dynamic Research Group studying bacterial dormancy states.

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What we offer:

• an exciting academic environment with access to various technologies including enzymatic studies, next-generation sequencing, cell phenotyping, virulence assays, cell viability assays, and fluorescent imaging approaches;

• salary paid according to the standard personal cost scheme by the university collective bargaining agreement 2023 (;

• a time-limited contract (3years, 30 hours a week) for the successful applicant


Required qualifications:

• Completed studies in biology or other relevant studies in the field of natural sciences and advanced doctorate/PhD in the relevant subject area

• Basic knowledge of Microbiology

• Good knowledge of English (B2)


What we expect:

• An open-minded and proactive candidate who is interested in solving problems;

• Knowledge of basic microbiology and molecular biology techniques;

• Ability to do simple math, especially calculus for preparing the required chemical solutions and for setting-up enzyme/substrate reactions;

• Self-reliance when planning experiments, meticulous recording of data, and the ability to independently evaluate experimental results;


Starting date: 01.04.2024

Please, apply by E-mail to: Patrick-julian.mester(at), including the cv and a motivational letter.

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