PhD student position on developing artificial biofilms

The INM research group Bioprogrammable Materials is looking for an enthusiastic PhD student with a background in biomaterials or experimental biophysics with experience in handling bacteria. We have an exciting project on developing hydrogel-based artificial biofilms for studying the effects of physical confinement on bacterial behavior. The project is highly inter-disciplinary involving collaborations with partners in biophysics, microbiology, materials science and medicine. For this, we are seeking to fill a 3-year PhD student position.

Major duties/responsibilities

  • Fabrication and mechanical characterization of hydrogels with a range of viscoelastic properties.
  • Culturing and encapsulating different types of bacteria in these hydrogels
  • Studying bacterial behavior within these hydrogels through various biochemical and microscopy techniques, including image processing
  • Processing the data and correlating bacterial behavior with hydrogel mechanical properties through mathematical models
  • Active participation in the research activities of the group in close collaboration with other team members and external partners
  • Publish scientific papers resulting from this research and present results at international meetings

We are seeking a person with a degree in materials science, experimental biophysics or related fields, with practical experience in handling bacteria. Candidates should be self-motivated, have good interpersonal, communication and presentation skills, and a demonstrated ability to interact effectively with staff at all levels. The ability to work as a member of an international, multi-disciplinary team is a critical asset, and proficiency in English is mandatory. Since we work on application-oriented research, candidates with entrepreneurial interests are appreciated.

Interested candidates should submit their complete application by email to Dr. Shrikrishnan Sankaran ( with the following:

  • Motivation letter (included in the text of the email – max. 1 page)
  • CV (max 2 pages)
  • Publication list (if applicable)
  • Academic transcripts (B.Sc. and M.Sc. certificates)
  • Contact details of 2 references

The deadline for submission is May 15th, 2021.

The INM is an equal-opportunity employer with a certified family-friendly policy. We promote professional opportunities for women and strongly encourage them to apply.

The INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials is located in Saarbrücken/Germany, at the heart of the German/French/Luxembourg/Belgian Greater Region. We are an internationally leading center for materials research, a scientific partner to national and international research institutions, and a provider of research and development for companies throughout the world.  The INM is an institute of the Leibniz Association and has about 250 employees.

2021 Bioprogrammable Materials_SFB1027 PhD Apr