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PhD Student Epidemiology (f/m) for the area of "Cognitive, Neural and Clinical Correlates of Oculomotor Function"

The German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE). Bonn, 26.01.2018


The German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) is a unique non-university research center which is dedicated to the subject dementia and all its areas, as well as other neurodegenerative diseases. The center compasses the full spectrum of fundamental research through population sciences to health care research. The DZNE stands for excellence in research and science management, translation of scientific results into practice, interdisciplinarity and internationalization. It is a research center within the Helmholtz Organization of German research centers. With over 1000 employees from 55 nations, spread over 9 sites, the DZNE is one of the national and international leading research centers in its research field.
Within the area of Population Health Sciences in Bonn we are looking for a

PhD Student Epidemiology (f/m)
for the area of “Cognitive, Neural and Clinical Correlates of Oculomotor Function”

Code 1535/2018/1

Population Health Sciences at the DZNE aims to study determinants of normal and pathological mental and physical function over the adult life course, with a special emphasis on neurodegenerative diseases. To this end we have established the Rhineland Study, a prospective population based cohort study that will include up to 30,000 people aged 30 years and over and is designed to run for decades. Study facilities currently encompass two examination centres equipped with state-of-the art apparatuses including video-based eye-trackers, 3T MRI scanners, advanced bio-banking facilities and large data storage and computational resources.
An important research topic focuses on the assessment of cognitive function and its changes over the adult life course.

Your tasks:
The main research question of the PhD project is to identify the cognitive and neural correlates of different types of eye movements in the Rhineland Study cohort. To do so, neuropsychological and magnetic resonance imaging data will be drawn upon. Additionally, the clinical relevance of oculomotor measures will be investigated by analyzing further health-related data from this cohort.
The scientific work will include the supervision of the eye-tracker data collection within the Rhineland Study, data analysis and preparation of manuscripts for publication in international journals.
Your profile:
We are looking for a highly talented, motivated, enthusiastic and ambitious researcher. Successful candidates hold a degree in epidemiology, psychology, medicine or other relevant discipline. Demonstrable interest in quantitative research, strong analytical skills, ability for independent and critical thinking, and excellent communication and writing skills in the English language are a prerequisite.
We offer:
  • Interesting and challenging work in a research centre that works on the forefront of health research
  • Working in a team to help direct the efforts of the Rhineland Study to address pressing health issues related to aging
  • The position is initially limited to two years with the possibility of extension
  • Job location is Bonn, Germany. Common languages at work are English and German.
  • Employment, payment and social benefits are consistent with those at other research institutes
Successful candidates will be supervised jointly by Prof. Monique M.B. Breteler (DZNE) and Prof. Ulrich Ettinger (University of Bonn). Primary affiliation will be with the DZNE. Support and mentoring will be available at every step along the way. The PhD position will be integrated into the Bonn International Graduate School Clinical and Population Science ( with regular seminars as well as supportive mentoring and other research infrastructure. Training in general scientific methods as well as more specialized methods employed by the research unit will be provided. Active participation in local, national and international conferences is expected. Successful candidates will be awarded a PhD or MD/PhD depending on prior qualifications.
You will obtain special skills and knowledge for your scientific qualification during your activities at DZNE. The DZNE is an equal opportunity employer. It especially welcomes and encourages disabled individuals to apply.
Please apply via the following link:
Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.