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PhD Student (m/f/d) in the field of Cancer 3D modelling

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Heinrich Kovar Group


To strengthen our excellent research team, which is focused on research of innovative approaches to pediatric cancer modelling for pre-clinical drug testing, we are looking for a PhD Student (m/f/d) in the field of tumor (molecular) biology. In this role, you will have the unique opportunity to be part of a multidisciplinary competence center for pediatric oncology and to have a direct influence on the development of new cancer therapies.

The Kovar group tackles unresolved questions of pediatric solid tumor origin, pathogenesis and progression with a focus on bone sarcomas in order to identify new treatment options. In this project funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF, we will establish innovative 3D models of solid tumors in their lung metastatic niche to recapitulate the full complexity of tumor/microenvironment interactions. These models shall be used in high-throughput pre-clinical studies to personalize drug selection for patient treatments. This project, will employ an array of state-of-the art technical approaches, including single-cell (sc)RNA-seq, spatial transcriptomics, organoids, and 3D-bioprinting. 


As a PhD student, you will

  • Enroll in the PhD program “Malignant Diseases” at the Medical University of Vienna
  • Join an exciting, multi-disciplinary and highly collaborative environment with a strong support for your personal and professional development from your supervisor, team, and peers
  • Be part of an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional research project on metastatic tumor-niche interactions of various pediatric solid tumors
  • Learn to take on ambitious research in close collaboration with experimental and clinical researchers
  • Contribute from the start, including planning of experiments and data acquisition
  • Provide thorough and creative thinking that makes these projects a success
  • Monitor the literature and community resources to keep abreast with latest developments and to identify information, data, and methods to integrate in your own work
  • Write papers, present your research at conferences, apply for fellowships, and contribute to grants

Your profile

  • Master’s degree in a relevant subject (biology, molecular biology, pharmacy or similar)
  • Laboratory experience, especially in molecular and cellular tumor biology-related technologies is preferred
  • Motivation to pursue an ambitious research agenda
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English (German not required)
  • Self-motivated, enthusiastic, and eager to learn
  • Good team player, commitment, and creative
  • Scientific mindset, problem solving attitude

Our offer

  • A meaningful, inspiring, and international environment
  • An outstanding working atmosphere in a strong team with excellent research and development opportunities
  • Access to state-of-the-art infrastructure
  • Flexible working hours, discounted lunch and other great benefits
  • Great location in the center of Vienna, a capital of biomedical research in Europe with excellent quality of life
  • A fair and attractive salary package according to the Austrian Science Fund FWF (

Who we are

The St. Anna Children’s Cancer Research Institute (CCRI), located in the center of Vienna, the world’s most livable city and one of Europe’s most important places for biomedical research and life sciences, is an international and multidisciplinary competence center striving to improve treatment of children and adolescents with cancer by connecting translational and clinical research with open-minded exploration of basic disease mechanisms. Through close cooperation between clinic and research, the CCRI provides an ideal environment for cutting-edge research and its translation into clinical practice. To achieve our ultimate goal of advancing the well-being of patients, the CCRI constantly pushes scientific boundaries and strongly promotes close collaboration and exchange with external institutions like the Medical University of Vienna, CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA) and the Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP).

The CCRI is an equal opportunity employer. We value diversity and are committed to providing a work environment of mutual respect to everyone without regard to ethnicity, religion, national origin, age, gender identity or expression, disability, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws, regulations and ordinances.

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Your application

We are looking forward to your application! Applications should at least contain your Curriculum Vitae, a cover letter, list of publications (please mark / explain your three top contributions), and the contact details of three references.