Job ID: 115248

Ph.D. position (m/f/d) in molecular mechanisms of drug addiction

Position: Ph.D. Student

Deadline: 30 November 2023

City: Mannheim

Country: Germany

Institution: Central Institute of Mental Health



The Institute of Psychopharmacology and Department for Molecular and Cellular Cognition Research at the Central Institute of Mental Health (Mannheim, Germany) offer a:

Ph.D. position (m/f/d) in molecular mechanisms of drug addiction

As part of the DFG Transregio TRR 265 – Losing and Regaining Control over Drug Intake (, our laboratories will investigate the molecular mechanisms that underlie drug addiction. The successful candidate will use virus-mediated tools to target mechanisms associated with addiction using a translationally-relevant drug administration model. We will apply state-of-the-art methodology (virus-mediated gene delivery, rodent surgeries, and behavioral testing) in an attempt to reverse maladaptive drug responding. The Heidelberg/Mannheim region is a scientific hub that houses several internationally renowned research institutes with research groups committed to studying Neuroscience at various levels. This region further offers access to several state-of-the-art core facilities.

The candidate should be highly motivated and self-driven and must hold (or be close to complete) a M.Sc. in neuroscience or a related field. The ideal candidate should have a strong interest in addiction research, and solid theoretical and practical background in neurobiology. Candidates with prior experience in animal research and molecular biology are particularly encouraged to apply. Fluency in English (written and spoken) and the ability to work in an international environment is required.

Employment, payment and social benefits are according to the German salary scale TV-L E13 (65%). The position is for four years with the possibility of extending and is expected to start at the earliest possible date.

Applications written in English including (1) a cover letter explaining your motivations to this position and previous work, (2) a CV with a list of publications, and (3) contact details for two references (in one PDF document) should be sent by email to both Dr. Rick E. Bernardi ( and Dr. Ana M.M. Oliveira (


Further reading:

Pohořalá V., Enkel T., Bartsch D., Spanagel R., Bernardi R.E. (2021). Sign- and goal-tracking score does not correlate with addiction-like behavior following prolonged cocaine self-administration. Psychopharmacology, 238(8): 2335-2346.

Cannella N, Oliveira AMM, Hemstedt T*, Lissek T, Buechler E, Bading H, Spanagel R (2018). Dnmt3a2 in the Nucleus Accumbens Shell is required for reinstatement of cocaine seeking. Journal of Neuroscience. 38(34): 7516-7528

Zillich L, Poisel E, Frank J, Foo JC, Friske MM, Streit F, Sirignano L, Heilmann-Heimbach S, Heimbach A, Hoffmann P, Degenhardt F, Hansson AC, Bakalkin G, Nöthen MM, Rietschel M, Spanagel R, Witt SH (2022). Multi-omics signatures of alcohol use disorder in the dorsal and ventral striatum. Transl Psychiatry, 12(1): 190