PhD Student Position on Microbial Interactions

University of Bern
June 30, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Negotigation
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PhD Student Position on Microbial Interactions

Starting 1st September 2023, for three years, 100%.

The Institute for Infectious Diseases performs tasks in teaching and research as well as in diagnostic microbiology in the fields of virology, bacteriology, mycology, parasitology and serological infection clarification. It is the only university institute in Switzerland that combines all microbiological specialties in the field of clinical microbiology under one roof.

The Institute for Infectious Diseases, University of Bern, Switzerland, invites applications for a PhD position funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation for a project on “Microbial interactions in the human respiratory tract” in the group of PD Dr phil Lucy Hathaway.


Bacterial pneumonia, such as that caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, is a major cause of death globally. Treatment can be complicated by antibiotic resistance and new treatments are required. The aim of the project is to understand the role of commensal bacteria in the human nasopharynx in shielding the host from colonization by pathogens which have the potential to cause pneumonia, and so to identify potentially useful commensals to prevent disease. Methods encountered during this project will include: bacterial and eukaryotic cell culture, sequencing and analysis of immune responses.

The project involves a collaboration between the Institute for Infectious Diseases, University of Bern, Dr. Felix Dube, University of Cape Town, South Africa and Prof Mirco Schmolke, University of Geneva, Switzerland.


Applicants should have a master's degree in a relevant subject and have a high motivation to succeed with a strong interest in microbiology. The working language is English, German language is an advantage but not a requirement. The project is based in Bern but will involve multiple stays in South Africa.

Information about the application

The successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of the University of Bern (GCB). Applications (as a single pdf file) should be sent to [email protected] by 30th June 2023 and include:

  • CV
  • Copies of grades, diplomas and letters of reference
  • Letter describing your motivation to work on this project
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