The Working Group Photobiotechnology of the Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology is looking for a 

PhD student (m,f,x) in protein complex engineering for sustained H2 production in collaboration with Osaka University, Japan for 3 years, 25,8895 hours per week, TVL E13

The imminent climate change requires fundamentally novel concepts for the generation and use of energy forms that do not harm the environment and climate. The Photobiotechnology group at the Faculty for Biology & Biotechnology at Ruhr University Bochum ( focuses on the characterization and application of hydrogen (H2) producing enzymes (hydrogenases). To understand the working principles of these sophisticated and efficient redox catalysts, we apply a multitude of advanced (bio)chemical, biophysical and spectroscopic techniques. We also investigate the natural H2 metabolism of microalgae, which can employ photosynthesis for light-dependent H2 production. Based on the in-depth characterization of the mechanism and diversity of natural hydrogenases, we optimize the natural enzymes and pathways and design artificial biocatalysts.

For a novel project in which we aim to boost microalgal H2 production through protein complex engineering we are looking for a motivated doctoral candidate. The three-year PhD project (TV-L E13 65 %) will integrate biochemistry and biotechnology and aims at characterizing and re-designing biological protein complexes for the sustainable production of molecular hydrogen. This research is part of a collaborative project in the framework of the EIG Concert Japan initiative. With partners from France, Belgium and Japan we aim to optimize pathways that generate molecular hydrogen in microalgae. The doctoral student will have the opportunity to conduct experiments at the world's largest third-generation synchrotron radiation facility together with the Japanese partners at the Institute of Protein Research, Osaka University.

extent: part-time
duration: temporary
beginning: as soon as possible
application deadline:

Your tasks:

  •  Cloning and manipulating sequences for heterologous expression
  • Purification of recombinant proteins
  • Characterization of recombinant proteins on the catalytic and spectroscopic level
  • Preparing proteins for structural analyses
  • Structural analyses at Osaka University, Japan
  • Evaluating results and developing research plans
  • Literature research and hypothesis building

Your profile:

  • You must have a diploma or Master of Science degree in chemistry, biochemistry or biology. You should be experienced especially in molecular biology, biochemistry and enzyme catalysis. We welcome enthusiastic team players who enjoy international journeys, especially to Japan, and interdisciplinary work.

Our offerings:

  • Challenging and varied tasks with a high level of personal responsibility
  • Qualified familiarisation
  • Support from and cooperation with competent colleagues
  • Team-oriented cooperation in a committed, international and appreciative team
  • an open working atmosphere

Additional information:

At the request of the applicant (m,f,x), the staff council may be involved in selection interviews.

The load of teaching will be calculated according to § 3 of Lehrverpflichtungsverordnung (state of North Rhine-Westphalia).

The Ruhr-Universität Bochum is one of Germany’s leading research universities, addressing the whole range of academic disciplines. A highly dynamic setting enables researchers and students to work across the traditional boundaries of academic subjects and faculties. To create knowledge networks within and beyond the university is RUB’s declared aim.

The Ruhr-Universität Bochum stands for diversity and equal opportunities. For this reason, we favour a working environment composed of heterogeneous teams, and seek to promote the careers of individuals who are underrepresented in our respective professional areas. The Ruhr-Universität Bochum expressly requests job applications from women. In areas in which they are underrepresented they will be given preference in the case of equivalent qualifications with male candidates. Applications from individuals with disabilities are most welcome.

Contact details for your application:

Prof. Dr. Thomas Happe, Phone: +49234 32 27026

Travel expenses for interviews cannot be refunded.

For information on the collection of personal data in the application process see:

Please sent your application in a single pdf file with the specification ANR: 1701 until 10.04.2023 to Thomas Happe (

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