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Tech­ni­sche Uni­ver­si­tät Dres­den - Cen­ter for Advan­cing Elec­tro­nics Dres­den

The TU Dres­den is one of ele­ven Ger­man uni­ver­si­ties that were iden­ti­fied as an “excel­lence uni­ver­sity”. TUD has about 36.500 stu­dents and almost 5319 employees, 507 pro­fes­sors among them, and, thus, is the lar­gest uni­ver­sity in Sax­ony, today.

Having been com­mit­ted to sci­en­ces and the engi­nee­ring before the reuni­fi­ca­tion of Ger­many, TU Dres­den now is a multi-disci­pline uni­ver­sity, also offe­ring huma­nities and social sci­en­ces as well as medi­cine.

Post­doc in Theo­re­ti­cal Bio­phy­sics / Sto­chastic Non­linear Dyna­mics

The Junior Research Group “Bio­lo­gical Algorithms” (fun­ded by the Heis­en­berg Pro­gramme of the DFG, headed by PD Dr. Ben­jamin Friedrich, jointly affil­i­ated with the Cluster of Excel­lence “Phys­ics of Life” (PoL)) offers a pos­i­tion as Postdoc in The­or­et­ical Bio­phys­ics / Stochastic Non­lin­ear Dynam­ics (sub­ject to per­sonal qual­i­fic­a­tion employ­ees are remu­ner­ated
accord­ing to salary group E 13 TV-L).

Research area: Inform­a­tion the­ory of cel­lu­lar nav­ig­a­tion in com­plex, time-vary­ing envir­on­ments
Terms: start­ing as soon as pos­sible, fixed-term for 2 years. The period of employ­ment is gov­erned by the Fixed-Term Research Con­tracts Act (Wis­senschaft­szeitver­trags­ge­setz – Wis­sZeitVG). The pos­i­tion offers the chance to obtain fur­ther aca­demic qual­i­fic­a­tion.

Work­ing field:

The Junior Rese­arch Group “Bio­lo­gi­cal Algo­rithms”
Our mis­sion is to theo­re­ti­cally under­stand phy­si­cal princi­ples of cel­lu­lar moti­lity con­trol and self-orga­ni­za­tion in living mat­ter. We com­bine non­linear dyna­mics, sta­tis­ti­cal phy­sics, infor­ma­tion theory, and nume­ri­cal simu­la­ti­ons to under­stand the algo­rithms and mecha­nisms that enable bio­lo­gi­cal sys­tems to per­form their func­tion despite noise and per­tur­ba­ti­ons, often in close col­la­bo­ra­tion with expe­ri­men­tal part­ners. Rese­arch topics include navi­ga­tion of bio­lo­gi­cal micro-swim­mers and pat­tern for­ma­tion in cells, and tis­sues. More infor­ma­tion on our cur­rent rese­arch can be found at

About the pro­ject
The suc­cess­ful can­di­date will deve­lop an infor­ma­tion theory of opti­mal navi­ga­tion in dyna­mic envi­ron­ments in the pre­sence of both sen­sing and moti­lity noise, inspi­red by cel­lu­lar che­mo­ta­xis at micro­scopic sca­les. Che­mo­ta­xis - the navi­ga­tion of bio­lo­gi­cal cells gui­ded by che­mi­cal gra­di­ents - is cru­cial for bac­te­rial fora­ging, immune respon­ses, and gui­d­ance of sperm cells to the egg during fer­ti­li­za­tion. Cel­lu­lar navi­ga­tion rep­res­ents a model sys­tem for the phy­sics of auto­no­mous moti­lity at the microscale and its con­trol by sen­sory cues.
You will estab­lish a gene­ral theo­re­ti­cal frame­work of sequen­tial Baye­sian esti­ma­tion of dyna­mic con­cen­tra­tion fields, and navi­ga­tion the­r­ein e.g. towards hid­den chemoat­trac­tant sources, by com­bi­ning ana­ly­ti­cal and nume­ri­cal approa­ches. As spe­ci­fic bio­lo­gi­cal model sys­tem, this theory can be app­lied by you e.g. to the pro­to­ty­pi­cal case of sperm che­mo­ta­xis in marine spe­cies, where small-scale tur­bu­lence distorts chemoat­trac­tant con­cen­tra­tion fields in their natu­ral ocea­nic habi­tats. Refe­rence:


We are loo­king for a theo­re­ti­cal phy­si­cist (or app­lied mathe­ma­ti­cian), who is intrigued to dis­co­ver algo­rithms of life, and meets the fol­lo­wing requi­re­ments:
  • out­stan­ding uni­ver­sity degree and PhD in Phy­sics, or clo­sely rela­ted field
  • expe­ri­ence in Com­pu­ta­tio­nal Phy­sics (ODEs, PDEs, SDEs), and strong pro­gramming skills (e.g. Mat­lab, Python, C)
  • strong inte­rest in app­ly­ing phy­sics to under­stand life, wil­ling­ness to learn some bio­logy en route
  • strong ana­ly­tic and pro­blem-sol­ving skills, crea­ti­vity
  • an inde­pen­dent, tar­get- and solu­tion-dri­ven work atti­tude
  • strong com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills, espe­ci­ally in cross-disci­pli­nary com­mu­ni­ca­tion
  • flu­ency in Eng­lish – oral and writ­ten
  • expe­ri­ence in sta­tis­ti­cal phy­sics, non­linear dyna­mics, sto­chastic pro­ces­ses; infor­ma­tion theory is a plus.

What we of­fer:

You will join an enthu­si­astic and ambi­tious Junior Rese­arch Group, where you can drive your pro­ject for­ward and bene­fit from inspi­ra­tio­nal inter­ac­tions with like-min­ded rese­ar­chers. The working lan­guage of our inter­na­tio­nal team is Eng­lish and no know­ledge of the Ger­man lan­guage is requi­red.
Dres­den is a European hub for Bio­lo­gi­cal Phy­sics that unites excel­lence in infor­ma­tion and life sci­en­ces. You will be embed­ded in two rese­arch clus­ters, where we con­tri­bute bio-inspi­red algo­rithms of bio­lo­gi­cal infor­ma­tion pro­ces­sing and mole­cu­lar self-assem­bly. As part of the Clus­ter of Excel­lence “Phy­sics of Life”, we enjoy the close pro­xi­mity of col­la­bo­ra­tion part­ners at the Max-Planck Insti­tute of Mole­cu­lar Cell Bio­logy and Gene­tics, the Bio­tech­no­logy Centre, and the new Cen­ter for Sys­tems Bio­logy Dres­den.
For infor­mal enqui­ries, please con­tact PD Dr. Ben­ja­min Fried­rich at
App­li­ca­ti­ons from women are par­ti­cu­larly wel­come. The same app­lies to people with disa­bi­li­ties.

About TU Dres­den
The TU Dres­den is among the top uni­ver­si­ties in Ger­many and Europe and one of the ele­ven Ger­man uni­ver­si­ties that were iden­ti­fied as an ‘elite uni­ver­sity’. As a modern full-sta­tus uni­ver­sity with 18 de-part­ments it offers a wide aca­de­mic range making it one of a very few in Ger­many.

How to ap­ply:

Your applic­a­tion (in Eng­lish only) should include: a motiv­a­tion let­ter, your CV with pub­lic­a­tion list, the names and con­tact details of two ref­er­ences, copy of degree cer­ti­fic­ate, and tran­script of grades (i.e. the offi­cial list of course­work includ­ing your grades). Please include also a link to your Mas­ter’s or PhD thesis. Com­plete applic­a­tions should be sub­mit­ted prefer­ably via the TU Dresden Secure­Mail Portal by send­ing it as a single pdf doc­u­ment quot­ing the ref­er­ence num­ber PD-Bio0220 in the sub­ject header to or by mail to: TU Dresden, cfaed, Junior Research Group “Bio­lo­gical Algorithms”, Herrn PD Dr. Ben­jamin Friedrich, Helm­holtz­str. 10, 01069 Dresden, Ger­many. The clos­ing date for applic­a­tions is 14.02.2020 (stamped arrival date of the uni­versity cent­ral mail ser­vice applies). Please sub­mit cop­ies only, as your applic­a­tion will not be returned to you. Expenses incurred in attend­ing inter­views can­not be reim­bursed.

Ref­er­ence to data pro­tec­tion: Your data pro­tec­tion rights, the pur­pose for which your data will be pro-cessed, as well as fur­ther inform­a­tion about data pro­tec­tion is avail­able to you on the web­site: