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Dr. Rurainski Postdoctoral Fellowships at DKFZ


The DKFZ in Heidelberg invites highly motivated scientists interested in cancer epigenetics research to apply for a three-year fully-funded Postdoctoral Fellowship supported by the Dr. Rurainski Foundation to work at one of the leading Cancer Research Centers worldwide. As Germany's largest biomedical research institute, the Center offers exciting opportunities for postdocs in basic, computational, epidemiological, prevention and translational cancer research. Located on the biomedical campus of Heidelberg University, in close vicinity to other top research institutions, DKFZ provides an interdisciplinary working environment that builds on scientific exchange and excellence.

The Call for Applications for the Dr. Rurainski Postdoctoral Fellowships at DKFZ is currently closed.

Funding and duration

Fellows of the Dr. Rurainski Fellowships at DKFZ will be awarded 300 000 Euros over a duration of 3 years to cover their own salary (basis on a TV-L E13 contract, including employer contributions) and costs related to the project (material, service, and travel costs).


  • A qualification equivalent to a PhD or MD is a prerequisite for all applications.
  • Candidates should document their successful previous research endeavors with publications.
  • Candidates should intend to work on a research project in the field of cancer epigenetics (projects currently offered can be found on the research profiles site)
  • The candidates should be at an early stage of their career
  • The fellowship is not open for internal candidates unless they have been recruited to DKFZ no longer than 6 months before the application deadline.

Application Documents


DKFZ International Postdoc Program
German Cancer Research Center
69120 Heidelberg


Please compile the following required documents into one single pdf and upload it on the application portal.

Applications need to be submitted in English.

  1. One-page motivation letter (including research goals in the medium and long-term)
  2. Names of the groups that you would like to interview with (check the research profiles site for a non-exhaustive list of offered projects).
  3. Curriculum vitae
  4. Publication list
  5. Copy of degree certificates (originals, transcripts and translations if applicable)
  6. Two letters of recommendation

Note:  Candidates are encouraged to contact division heads and group leaders at the DKFZ Heidelberg before application to discuss potential projects. 



Application Guideline

Download our Application Guide (PDF document) containing detailed information on the DKFZ International Postdoc Program and the DKFZ Postdoctoral Fellowships. Furthermore you will find info on how to prepare and submit your fellowship application and on the different steps of the selection process.

Selection criteria

The most important selection criterion is academic quality, demonstrated by outstanding publications. Previous experience in epigenetic research is not a must but will be an advantage.

Other criteria that will be considered during the selection process include research prizes and awards, demonstration of mobility, or successful application for research funding.

Although it is not mandatory that applicants contact a research group before applying, showing a clear idea about the future research focus is of great advantage. Here is a non-exhaustive list of research projects offered at the DKFZ.

What happens after you submit your application?

The selection procedure for the DKFZ Postdoctoral Fellowship is composed of multiple steps which are highlighted below.

Selection Process


  • All application documents submitted will be evaluated by the Postdoc Selection Committee during a competitive selection process.
  • We will then invite shortlisted candidates who have successfully passed this first selection step for a visit to the DKFZ in Heidelberg.* Letters of invitation will be provided for VISA application if necessary.

 Step 2:

  • About 8-10 weeks after the application deadline, a two-day DKFZ Postdoctoral Fellowship Symposium (incl. interviews) will be held in Heidelberg*. Up to 6 shortlisted candidates will be invited to this event.
  • Applicants will have the opportunity to meet with individual division heads and research group leaders to discuss about potential research projects.
  • On the second day, all candidates will meet with members of the Postdoc Selection Committee to give a 15-minute presentation about their recent work which will be followed by a short panel discussion.

Step 3:

  • Applicants will be informed about the outcome of the selection process shortly after the symposium.
  • Start dates for fellowships will be mutually agreed upon after acceptance of the offered fellowship contract. Fellowship positions should be filled within 6 months after the fellowship has been awarded.

* Important note: restrictions may apply due to visa application delays. In case it will not be possible for candidates to attend the selection event on-site, we will invite them to participate virtually at the event.

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