CRC 235 Emergence of Life

Breadcrumb Navigation


PhD in Biological Physics


Join the team of Prof. Karen Alim at the TUM Campus Garching to investigate how life emerged due to flows accumulating organic compounds in the early earth ocean. We are looking for a PhD student (m/f/d) to start at the TUM this July or later.

Your task: Hydrothermal vents where hot minerals stream into the ocean water are likely the cradle of life. Their caves and tunnels allow reactants to accumulate at catalytic sites to start the reactions at the origin of life. How do these catalytic sites form and grow within the vents? You will grow two-dimensional hydrothermal vents on a microfluidic chip and quantify the vent geometry from your data. You will assess how geochemical mineral composition and inflow rate determine vent morphology and where organic molecules accumulate. Measurements will inform your numerical simulations of vent remodeling and transport within the vent. Your project is embedded in the interdisciplinary collaborative research center on Emergence of Life situated in Munich. Direct exchange with marine biologist collaborator will allow to transfer your insights to three-dimensional fully formed vents as observed in the deep ocean and help unravel how life emerged on earth.


Your Requirements: As a suitable candidate, you have an outstanding Master's degree or comparable degree in physics or a related discipline. You have experimental experience in soft matter, fluid physics, biological physics or a related discipline. You enjoy working in interdisciplinary and international teams and have basic programming skills. In addition, you are able to express yourself confidently both orally and in writing in English.

What we offer: We offer a three-year contract with the possibility of extension (TV-L E13 75%) in a highly motivated team combing on equal footing experimental and theoretical research. Professional education complementing your scientific research is offered via the TUM Graduate School and the CRC235. As an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer, TUM explicitly encourages applications from women as well as from all others who would bring additional diversity dimensions to the university’s research and teaching strategies. Preference will be given to disabled candidates with essentially the same qualifications.

Your application: We are looking forward to receiving your application documents, which include your CV, your list of publications, transcript of record, a motivation of your research interests (max. 1 page) and the contact details for two letters of recommendation in one PDF document. Please send them under the subject ”PhD Biological Physics” by e-mail to Prof. Dr. Karen Alim (k.alim(at) by 30.04.2022. She will also be happy to provide you with further information in advance.