Part-time PhD position for a vet on the artificial feeding of ticks, FU-Berlin, Germany


The Institute for Parasitology and Tropical Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Freie Universität Berlin invites applications for a PhD position on the artificial feeding of ticks (vacancy number WE13/OAKS). This is a part-time (50%) position with an envisaged starting date of August 2013. The remuneration will be paid according to E13 TVL FU Berlin.

Job description:

The successful candidate will work within the framework of  BMBF-funded research project titled ‘Optimization and automation of the artificial feeding of ixodid ticks’ (Acronym OAKS: Optimierung und Automatisierung der künstlichen Schildzeckenfütterung). Ticks are bloodfeeding ectoparasites which have worldwide medical and veterinary importance as vectors of a wide variety of pathogens. Since ticks require blood for their development and reproduction, the use of experimental animals is often inevitable in tick and tick-borne disease research. An artificial feeding method for ticks could in many instances replace the use of experimental animals, or lead to a reduction thereof. However, all methods developed thus far result in poor feeding- and reproduction ratios in comparison to ticks fed on animals. They are also laborious, which has hampered the adaptation of these techniques in the field. This project focuses on the optimization of these parameters by investigating critical steps in the artificial tick feeding process in more detail. Methods to simplify and automatize the artificial feeding of ticks will be investigated, as well as several applications of artificial tick feeding.


We are looking for an enthusiastic, creative and flexible person. She or he will have a veterinary degree, an interest in parasitology and vector-borne diseases and good organisational, communication, and research skills. Experience in cell culture, molecular techniques and statistics are advantageous. Oral and written fluency in English and German are required, as well as a category B driving license.

The successful candidate will be enrolled as a PhD student at the FU-Berlin at the Dahlem Research School and is expected to complete the studies in accordance with the valid regulations for the PhD degree program.

Informal enquiries are encouraged and should be made to Ard Nijhof on +49 (0)30 838 62326. Please submit your electronic application in German or English as one entire PDF with a letter of motivation, CV, certificates and name and email address of two referees by 1 July 2013 to: Dr. Ard Nijhof, Institute for Parasitology and Tropical Veterinary Medicine, Freie Universitaet Berlin, Koenigsweg 67, D-14163 Berlin, Germany. E-mail: