PhD candidates, postdocs and research engineers (m/f/d)

Young Researchers Mülheim an der Ruhr
Structural and Cell Biology Chemistry

Job Code: TW013

Job Offer from October 13, 2021

The Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion (MPI CEC) in Mülheim an der Ruhr studies fundamental chemical processes for energy storage in chemical molecules. The newly established research group of Prof. Thomas Wiegand at the MPI CEC and the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) Aachen is looking for enthusiastic PhD candidates, postdocs and research engineers (m/f/d).

The starting date is flexible, temporary positions are open from November 2021.

Background and tasks

We study catalytic processes in biology and chemistry by magnetic-resonance spectroscopy. We are employing and developing solid-state Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) approaches to unravel catalytic reactions (e.g. hydrogenation reactions), self-assembly phenomena in the context of phase separation and protein-nucleic acid interactions for instance in motor proteins fuelled by ATP hydrolysis. A central research theme is the analysis of weak chemical interactions at the heart of molecular recognition events, particularly non-covalent ones, using fast Magic-Angle Spinning (MAS) NMR. The lab located at the Institute of Technical and Macromolecular Chemistry at RWTH Aachen is equipped with NMR spectrometers up to 700 MHz and MAS experiments up to 100 kHz. Our vision is to develop unified concepts in catalysis bridging the gap between biology and chemistry.

  • Development of magnetic-resonance strategies to study hydrogenation reactions (for instance of Frustrated Lewis Pairs) using proton-detected solid-state NMR with fast MAS and Para-hydrogen Induced Polarization (PHIP) experiments.
  • Investigation of cellular organization by phase separation processes in proteins related to neurodegenerative diseases using magnetic-resonance strategies (NMR and EPR).
  • Unravelling protein-nucleic acid binding modes in ATP-fuelled protein engines by magnetic-resonance spectroscopy.
  • Detection and quantification of non-covalent interactions in molecular recognition processes using fast magic-angle spinning experiments (1H and 19F) supported by quantum-chemical calculations of NMR observables.
  • The research engineer deals with the maintenance and development of NMR hardware as well as with the implementation and optimization of modern NMR pulse sequences 


The detailed requirements depend on the specific project and position. Successful PhD/postdoc candidates should have a background in chemistry, biology or physics and a strong interest in spectroscopic techniques and in their applications to materials or biomolecules. Basic experience in NMR is beneficial for the PhD positions and required for the postdoctoral positions.

Successful candidates for the research engineer position should have knowledge at the interface between programming and electronics, and optimally should either be familiar with NMR or high-frequency techniques in general.

Our offer

We offer an international, dynamic working environment in a renowned research institute, family-friendly jobs and flexible working hours. Remuneration is according to TVöD (federal government), in line with your qualifications and professional experience. In addition, the usual social benefits of the public service (federal service) are granted. Salary and working hours for the PhD positions are in accordance with the funding guidelines of the Max Planck Society for junior scientists.

The Max Planck Society is committed to increasing the 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.


If you are interested in working on challenging interdisciplinary projects in structural biology and materials science, please send your complete application with the reference code TW013 until the 30th of November, 2021 by e-mail to .

Your application should contain a curriculum vitae (CV) and the names of two professional references whom we may contact. We are looking forward to getting to know you!

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