GP2-funded PhD Studentship at DNZE, Tübingen

We are inviting applications for a PhD Studentship: “Identifying genes for familial Parkinson’s disease.” The PhD will be based within the ASAP-GP2 Monogenic Disease Core at the DZNE Tübingen (German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases) in Germany and supervised by Peter Heutink.

Although several genes for familial Parkinson’s disease (PD) have been identified, the genetic causes for the majority of families remains poorly understood. As part of ASAP-GP2, the PhD will join a global initiative integrating clinical and genetic data from families with PD worldwide. There will be opportunities for collaboration with leaders in PD genetics across the GP2 network.  

Find the project overview below for further information, a person specification, funding notes, and application guidelines. The application deadline is 23:59 UTC, November 27, 2020. 

PhD Studentship: Identifying genes for familial Parkinson’s disease


Prof. Peter Heutink and Prof. Thomas Gasser


This PhD will form part of the Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s (ASAP) Initiative – Global Parkinson’s Genetics Program (GP2). 

In our preliminary work we have identified a number of genes that cause familial forms of Parkinson’s disease (PD). These findings have been fundamental for our understanding of the disease process and have been central in the current efforts to develop therapeutic approaches for the disease. However, the genetic causes for the majority of families still remain poorly understood.

As part of the ASAP-GP2 initiative we launched a global initiative to collect families with PD worldwide with the goal to identify novel genes that can cause familial PD.

The PhD project will combine the analysis of Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) data including the novo genome assemblies, but would also include interpreting family pedigrees and clinical reports of patients for linkage and haplotype analysis.  

This will be a collaborative project, based within the ASAP-GP2 Monogenic Disease Core at the DZNE Tübingen in Germany and supervised by Peter Heutink and Thomas Gasser. A training period at other sites within the ASAP-GP2 consortium would be encouraged (depending on traveling restrictions). 

Funding notes

Three-year funded PhD studentship starting in January/February 2021 to cover university fees, salary (65% E13 according to German National regulations (TVöD-Bund) for scientific personnel) and benefits. 

The PhD studentship is available to international students, including applicants from regions of the world that are underrepresented in research. However, the successful applicant would be expected to study in Tübingen, Germany.

About ASAP-GP2

The Global Parkinson’s Genetics Program (GP2) is an ambitious five-year program to further understand the genetic architecture of Parkinson’s disease (PD). There is still much to learn about genetic risk factors and the path to further understanding requires working collaboratively and openly sharing data, processes, and results.

Person specification

Essential criteria

  • Master degree in a relevant discipline
  • Strong interest in understanding neurodegenerative disease genetics
  • Computer literate
  • Able to understand data management and analysis 
  • Able to work as part of a local and global collaboration
  • Excellent written communication skills with the ability to train in writing scientific papers and a PhD thesis
  • Excellent oral communications skills with the ability to deliver research presentations 

Desirable criteria (training will be provided as part of the PhD program)

  • Experience in bioinformatics and statistics
  • Experience in data processing and coding languages e.g., R, Python


Application process

Deadline23:59 UTC, November 27, 2020

Please submit applications to [email protected] in the following format:

  1. A CV or biographical sketch (2 pages maximum) with the file name convention: Last name, first name(s), CV.
  2. Completed application form (download here) with the file name convention: Last name, First name(s), DNZE Application. The form includes:
    1. Statements outlining (i) why you are applying for this project, (ii) what makes you the ideal candidate, (iii) what training experience you have had to date.
    2. Name and contact details for at least one person who could be approached as a referee.

Shortlisted candidates will be notified in early December. For more information about the project please email [email protected]