19 Fully Funded PhD Programs at University of Bern, Switzerland

Are you holding Master’s degree and looking for PhD positions – Fully Funded PhD Programs in Europe? University of Bern, Switzerland inviting application for funded PhD Programs or fully funded PhD Scholarship. University of Bern is one of the largest university in the world with thousands of employees, students, and research scientists are involved in the innovation of science and technology daily.

University of Bern has huge a campus in Switzerland and widely known as for its contribution in top notch education and research. The contribution of University of Bern is not only limited to natural sciences and engineering but it also offers high quality research as well as higher education in bio-medical sciences, social sciences, humanities, psychology, education, architecture etc.

1. PhD position on “Modeling the energy supply of the brain in health and disease”

Summary of Doctoral Project:

The key energy substrates of the brain are glucose and oxygen. Both are delivered to the brain via an intricate network of blood vessels. Recently, novel datasets resolving the entire vasculature of the mouse brain became available, which offer unique opportunities to study the brain’s energy supply. This requires developing and applying novel numerical methods to simulate blood flow and nutrient transport in large microvascular networks and the surrounding tissue. Job description: The candidate’s work focuses on developing a simulation framework to model transport in large microvascular networks and the surrounding tissue. Moreover strategies on how to quantify the brain’s energy supply in different conditions need to be derived. Both for model development and validation we collaborate with different groups. Thus, the ability to collaborate in an interdisciplinary team, as well as a well-structured working approach and careful data analysis are key for the successful completion of the project.

Last Application Date: Open until Filled

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2. PhD Position in Proteomics, Cell Biology and Cancer Research

Summary of Doctoral Project:

The major histocompatibility complex-I (MHC–I) plays a central role in immune regulation by presenting short peptides of cell-internally degraded proteins on the cell surface to immune-competent CD8+ T-cells. Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is an evolutionary conserved mechanism destroying aberrant mRNA. Somatic mutations accumulate in cancer cells where NMD removes non-functional mRNA. Thus, a large fraction of potential neo-antigens is not produced and presented on the surface of cancer cells. Known inhibitors of NMD could potentially revert this situation and trigger an immune response against cancer cells. Furthermore, MHC–I is abundantly present on EVs. EVs are known effectors of stroke, myocardial infarct or infections – symptoms occurring in hematopoietic stem cell disorders like myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). The candidate will develop a mass spectrometry-based screening method for MHC–I presented neo-antigens on cancer cells and circulating EVs from human blood in order to test the hypotheses that i) NMD inhibition could be a new approach to treat cancer, ii) MHC–I presented peptides could represent new targets for the diagnosis of MDS and/or be used to suppress infection related complications in MDS.

Last Application Date: Open until Filled

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3. PhD position in meteorite research: Potassium isotopes in iron meteorites

Summary of Doctoral Project:

We recently installed a system for the extraction of potassium from iron meteorites. During sample melting, the very small amounts of potassium (pg – ng) are extracted and collected onto filaments by using strong electric fields. Later, the filaments are transferred to a Thermal Ionization Spectrometer (TIMS) and the potassium isotope ratios are measured. We are currently the only laboratory word-wide able to perform such studies.

Last Application Date: 20. August 2022

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4. Research assistant (physician) or PhD student

Summary of Doctoral Project:

The Institute of Primary Health Care of the University of Bern (BIHAM) is looking for a research assistant (physician) or PhD student. The BIHAM is dedicated to train and foster the next generation of primary care physicians and to carry out research in primary health care, epidemiology, and public health. It offers a lively, interdisciplinary environment with excellent methodological support and access to a large network of practicing primary care physicians.

Last Application Date: 31.08.2022

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5. PhD position at University of Bern: Laboratory Analogue for the Surface of Icy Moons

Summary of Doctoral Project:

The vast majority of celestial objects in our outer solar system are bodies with icy surfaces (ice moons, Trans-Neptunian Objects, and comets). The surface of these objects directly interacts with the space environment and thus is open to in-situ or remote sensing investigation. The upcoming JUICE mission of ESA to the Galilean moons Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto will allow us to directly sample the particles ejected from the surface. However, many properties of the particle release from the surface in response to external drivers (particle irradiation, photon irradiation, and others) are still poorly known. However, these inputs are needed for surface and exosphere models which poses a problem for the interpretation of existing and future observations of icy planetary bodies.

Last Application Date: 14 August 2022

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6. PhD Position in Experimental Space Research

Summary of Doctoral Project:

The Space Research and Planetology Division of the University of Bern is seeking a PhD student to join its Space Science Group. The division participates in a large range of international space missions covering many planetary objects of the solar system. The open PhD position is for the ESA’s JUICE mission to Jupiter and its icy moons. We are participating in the JUICE mission with a neutral gas and ion mass spectrometer (NIM) that is part of the particle environment package (PEP) experiment. NIM will measure the chemical composition of the atmospheres of Jupiter’s icy moons: Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. To support the science phase of JUICE several tests, measurements, and calibrations have to be undertaken with the NIM flight spare instrument and the NIM ground reference instrument. This includes measurements with fast neutral beams, and low-energy ion beams emulating the measurement conditions in space. Measurement modes will have to be defined, operations will have to be planned, on the one hand based on modelling of the respective atmospheres and on the other hand considering the actual spacecraft trajectories in the Jupiter system. Existing test and calibration facilities will have to be adapted to the measurement needs.

Last Application Date: 29 July 2022

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7. PhD Student Position: Role of transporters in Trypanosoma cruzi biology and as drug targets: functional, biochemical and biophysical studies

Summary of Doctoral Project:

For a jointly supervised interdisciplinary PhD project at the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine (https://www.ibmm.unibe.ch: Profs. Jürg Gertsch and Dimitrios Fotiadis), we are looking for a highly motivated and talented young researcher with strong interest in parasitology, biochemistry and biophysics. We aim to investigate the role of specific transporters for drug discovery in Chagas disease using established Trypanosoma cruzi cellular infection assays and state-of-the-art Crispr-Cas9 knockout technologies. Chagas disease, also known as American trypanosomiasis, is a potentially life-threatening illness caused by the protozoan parasite T. cruzi and mainly affects the indigenous population in Latin America. Currently, there are no suitable drugs to treat the chronic stage of the disease and new approaches for drug discovery are needed.

Last Application Date: Open until Filled

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8. PhD position: Gut microbiota and immune system development

Summary of Doctoral Project:

The symbiotic microorganisms colonize all mucosal body surfaces of newborns and play a key role in shaping the development and maturation of immune system. In the intestine, the first vigorous immune response to colonizing bacteria after birth occurs at weaning. This response termed “weaning reaction” is critical for generating an immune memory that dictate the tolerance or the susceptibility to multiple inflammatory pathologies later in life (Al Nabhani et al., Immunity 2019, Nature Metabolism 2019). In the framework of ERC starting project, we are seeking to gain knowledge regarding the immunological and microbiological mechanisms behind the weaning reaction. We aim to assess the dietary and microbial components that influence immune memory generation and impact the susceptibility to develop both metabolic disorders and immune-mediated diseases. The successful candidate will work on the project using different transgenic germ-free and gnotobiotics mouse models and acquiring variety of techniques including flow cytometry, scRNAseq, mass spectrometry and shotgun metagenomic sequencing.

Last Application Date: Open until Filled

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9. PhD Student Position in Neuroimmunology/ Brain Barriers Research

Summary of Doctoral Project:

In the group of Prof. Britta Engelhardt, there is an opening for a qualified and highly motivated individual aiming to pursue a PhD thesis in the field of neuroimmunology. The Fidelity Bermuda Foundation funded project entitled “The overlooked role of choroid plexus and the brain barriers in Alzheimer Disease pathogenesis” aims to specifically address the function of the choroid plexus and the brain barriers on cerebrospinal fluid circulation and immune cell entry in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease, employing transgenic mouse in vivo models combined with advanced imaging technologies. The project is a collaborative effort and will involve close interactions with team members of the groups of Dr. Steven Proulx at the Theodor Kocher Institute and Prof. Vartan Kurtcuoglu at the University of Zurich.

Last Application Date: Open until Filled

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10. PhD position in molecular Virology

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Our SNF-funded research project focuses on gaining a fundamental understanding of the Paramyxovirus cell-entry process and the development of next-generation multidomains neutralizing antibodies.

Last Application Date: Open until Filled

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11. Two Open PhD positions in Isotope Geology

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Two PhD positions are available in Isotope Geology at the Institute of Geological Sciences at the University of Bern. PhD project 1: Resolving Earth’s first lead paradox The Pb isotope evolution of Earth’s mantle reflects its changing U-Th-Pb inventory, in response to continuous formation of oceanic and continental crust and its recycling back into the mantle. The present-day average Pb isotope composition of the silicate Earth should fall on the ‘geochron’. However, both the Pb isotope compositions of the continental crust and those of mantle-derived basalts from ridges (MORB) and ocean islands (OIB) plot to the right of the geochron. This observation presents the so-called 1 st Pb paradox and could be solved by a yet unknown reservoir with unradiogenic Pb isotope compositions that balances the radiogenic Pb isotope ratios observed in mantle derived basalts and the upper continental crust. PhD project 2: Constraining subduction fluids through non-traditional stable isotope geochemistry The serpentinised part of the lithosphere is a main carrier of carbon, water, and redox sensitive elements such as sulphur, and a major source of fluids during serpentinite dehydration during subduction. Fluids play a crucial role in many geological processes but are difficult to track and constrain since they are unquenchable. Understanding the mobility of redox-sensitive elements and constraining the composition of fluids in the fore-arc and sub-arc mantle is important for constraining e.g., the redox budget in the slab and mantle wedge, and the early enrichment of Ni-Cu-S in magmas ultimately leading to the formation of Ni and Cu deposits.

Last Application Date: 11th of September 2022

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12. PhD in Deep Learning and Structural Biology

Summary of Doctoral Project:

In the past decade, electron cryo-tomography (cryo-ET) has revolutionized the study of biological machinery. Cryo-ET allows for the direct visualization of cellular complexes with a nanometer resolution. A major obstacle in cryo-ET remains the identification of structures of interest amidst the noisy and crowded cellular environments. The research objectives of this thesis include the development and implementation of Deep Learning models for the segmentation and structural analysis of non-discrete protein assemblies in cells imaged by cryo-ET. The research will be carried out jointly in the groups of Thomas Lemmin and Wanda Kukulski of the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine (IBMM) at the University of Bern, in Bern, Switzerland.

Last Application Date: Open until Filled

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13. Early Career Position in Deformation Processes

Summary of Doctoral Project:

A passion for teaching is required in order to conduct BSc excursions and field courses (in German) as well as classes on rock deformation in our MSc program (in English). Support in supervision of BSc, MSc and PhD students would be highly appreciated. In terms of own research, great flexibility exists but the successful candidate is very welcome to join our innovative research projects investigating seismic vs. aseismic deformation or the link between fluids and deformation. Access to a series of versatile research instruments is granted: www.geo.unibe.ch

Last Application Date: Open until Filled

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14. PhD position in statistical data science with medical applications

Summary of Doctoral Project:

The overarching goal is to help developing a digital medical device App for women in or after menopause. The App will work with data from a smart tracker to drive statistical machine learning models to produce personalized risk assessments of chronic disease development and will issue early warnings (red flags) of potential respiratory tract infections (e.g. common colds, flu, COVID-19), ideally before symptoms begin. Beyond preliminary data handling, analysis and modelling tasks involved in the initial phase, the target will be to develop and implement prediction and warning methods relying on latent models such as inhomogeneous point process models for infectious disease warnings based on various data sources including data-streams from mobile phones and wearables, medical test results, questionnaire responses, and external information such as infection rates of viruses circulating in the population. This diversity of data types will call for creative solutions that may encompass investigating novel classes of kernels.

Last Application Date: Open until Filled

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15. Four PhD positions in Jewish Studies, Christian Theology, Interreligious Studies or Classics

Summary of Doctoral Project:

The debate between Judaism and Christianity in antiquity was in part an exegetical one: The interpretation of biblical scripture was the arena in which connections and demarcations were drawn, developed and discussed. It is therefore obvious to explore the intensely discussed questions of “shared worlds” and “parting of the ways” of Judaism and Christianity with a particular emphasis on exegesis and reception of the Bible in antiquity and early Middle Ages. In this research project, we address the connections, demarcations, and entanglement on the basis of one particular example that has received little attention in previous research: the biblical figure of Samuel. The figure of Samuel was used as a prism through which the social and theological questions of authority were negotiated: such as eligibility for religious office, the summoning of spirits from the death, or the role of prophesy in both Jewish and Christian sources. The project aims at a double comparison: on the one hand between different linguistic communities within Judaism and Christianity, and on the other hand between the two religious traditions.

Last Application Date: Open until Filled

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