PhD position at TU Dresden
The Cluster of Excellence ‘Center for Advancing Electronics Dresden’ at TU Dresden offers a fixed-term PhD position in the area of information theory and biology

The Cluster of Excellence ‘Center for Advancing Electronics Dresden’ (cfaed) at TU Dresden offers a fixed-term

PhD position (E 13 TV-L )


How cells compute biochemical signals

cfaed Investigators:

Prof. Marino Zerial , Prof. Frank Jülicher , Prof. Gerhard Fettweis

cfaed Research Area:

Biological Systems Path


100% position, start asap, limited until 31.10.2017

The period of employment is governed by the Fixed Term Research Contracts Act (Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz – WissZeitVG).


Position and Requirements

Today's communication and computing systems are becoming more powerful and more complex with each generation. However, the need to cope with the demand for increasing computing performance and satisfying additional requirements like energy efficiency and adaptivity requires highly optimized system design. On the other hand, biological systems are the most complex, energy efficient and adaptive information processing systems that exist. Thus, the natural question arises, if we can learn from biological systems how to design technical information processing systems.

This is exactly the aim of our project. We want to study the information processing within the cell. Cells receive instructions (e.g. to divide) in the form of signaling molecules that bind to receptors on the surface and transduce information to the nucleus. Cells integrate multiple signals over time, filter noise and reliably compute a fate decision. Remarkably, signaling ligand-receptor complexes are packaged in endosomes at constant amount, which can be viewed as an analog-to-digital conversion. Obviously, many of these processing steps are well known from technical information processing systems.

Thus, we want to apply communication and information theory to analyze such an endosomal network. This includes the development/identification of appropriate information theoretic channel models based on the analysis of experimental data. Based on such an information theoretic study our aim is to understand the information processing (quantization, fusion, etc.) of the cellular system.

We aim at attracting the best talent in the respective research fields and expect the following: a very good Master’s degree (or equivalent) in electrical engineering or related; high grades in Probability, Signal Processing, System Theory, and Digital Communications related classes and excellent mathematical skills; a solid background in Information Theory and a strong interest to pursue theoretical research; outstanding academic performance in previous studies and some research experience; mobility; independent and target- and solution-driven; inter- and multidisciplinary thinking; high motivation and interest to join one of the most ambitious interdisciplinary research clusters; an integrative and cooperative personality with excellent communication and social skills; fluency in English – written and oral.

What we offer

You will join a team of enthusiastic scientists who pursue creatively their individual research agenda inspired by the cluster’s innovative approach and support. Your PhD-research will be fostered by the cfaed philosophy to promote young researches which includes: access to state of the art research of leading academic institutes; international postgraduate program; individual supervision by a Thesis Advisory Committee; possibility to earn (seed) grants of up to € 10.000; promotion of gender equality and family-friendly work environment.

Informal enquiries can be submitted to Dr. U. Schneider, tel +49 (351) 463 41016; e-mail: [email protected] .

Applications from women are particularly welcome. The same applies to disabled people.

Application Procedure

Your application (in English only) should include: motivation letter, CV, copy of degree certificate, transcript of grades (i.e. the official list of coursework including your grades) and proof of English language skills. Complete applications should be submitted preferably by e-mail as a single pdf-document quoting the reference number: PhD1304-I4 in the subject header to: [email protected] ( Please note: We are currently not able to receive electronically signed and encrypted data.) or alternatively by post to: TU Dresden, cfaed, A. Eichner, 01062 Dresden, Germany . The closing date for applications is 04.03.2014 (stamped arrival date of the university central mail service applies).


About cfaed

cfaed is a cluster of excellence within the German Excellence Initiative. It brings together 200 researchers from TU Dresden and ten other research institutions in the areas of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Materials Science, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Mathematics. cfaed addresses the advancement of electronic information processing systems through exploring new technologies which overcome the limits of today’s predominant CMOS technology.

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’ in June 2012. As a modern full-status university with 14 departments it offers a wide academic range making it one of a very few in Germany.