PhD or Postdoctoral Position on Chemical Synthesis of Small-Molecule Fluoresent Probes for Optical Nanoscopy


Job Code: 01/2019 Job Offer from January 21, 2019

At the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, one of the 83 institutes of the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science, physicists, chemists and biologists create knowledge of long-term relevance to life and basic medical sciences.

The Department of Optical Nanoscopy (Prof. Dr. Stefan W. Hell) at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Heidelberg, invites applications for a Ph.D. or Postdoctoral position dedicated to the development of fluorescent probes for far-field optical imaging beyond the diffraction resolution limit of light. This breakthrough accomplishment earned Stefan W. Hell a Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2014).

The project aims at developing the appropriate synthetic methodology and preparation of novel fluorophores and small-molecule fluorescent probes suitable for imaging in living cells and tissues using the latest nanoscopy approaches such as STED and MINFLUX. The evaluation of the probes will be performed in close collaboration with the physicists and biologists from the Department of Optical Nanoscopy at the MPI for Medical Research.

Candidates should have an excellent track record, high motivation, broad scientific interests and will join a multidisciplinary and international team. They should hold at least a Master’s (Ph.D. or equivalent for postdoctoral candidates) degree in chemistry, with emphasis on synthetic organic chemistry, and enjoy working in the lab. Practical experience with metal complex catalysis, C–H activation chemistry, photochemistry, electrochemistry or computational chemistry will be highly appreciated. The working language of the project will be English. We offer excellent laboratory facilities tailored to the needs of the project. Payment is based on the TVöD guidelines.

Ph.D. candidates will have the opportunity to participate in one of several interdisciplinary Ph.D. programs in collaboration with the University of Heidelberg or Göttingen and learn new skills in adjacent disciplines. The position is limited to three years with a possibility of extension. Exceptionally qualified applicants may be considered for membership in the Max Planck School “Matter to Life” (see and, a new elite graduate program that comes with a salary equivalent of a full position.

For postdoctoral applicants, the position is limited to two years with a possibility of extension.

The Max Planck Society is committed to increasingthe number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals. Furthermore, the Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in those areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply.

For further information, please contact Prof. Dr. Stefan W. Hell ([email protected]).

For general questions, please contact Ms. Sabrina Giacalone (0049 6221 486 – 305), or Mrs. Fabienne Höfer-Elfner (00496221 486 – 311) from human resources.

Please submit your application, including a cover letter (explaining background and motivation), your CV, complete transcripts (for Ph.D. applicants) or past research summary with a list of publications (for postdoctoral applicants) via e-mail as a single PDF file with the above reference preferably until March 31, 2019 (excellent applications will be considered year-round).

Max Planck Institute for Medical Research 
Human resources 
Post Office Box 10 38 20 
69028 Heidelberg 


email: [email protected]

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