ImProVIT - Multiple PhD Positions

We are an interdisciplinary consortium of the Translational Alliance in Lower Saxony (TRAIN) composed of immunologists, clinicians and data scientists located at the Hannover Medical School (MHH), TWINCORE, the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research (HZI) and the Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology University Library (TIB). In context of the project “Transforming big data into knowledge: for deep
immunoprofiling in vaccination, infectious diseases, and transplantation (ImProVIT)”, we aim to create a knowledge graph that is based on data sets from different immunological methods and clinical data combined with knowledge encoded in biomedical ontologies and open source databases. For this project, we are looking for several PhD candidates starting as soon as possible. The project is funded by the Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur (Ministery for Science and Culture of Lower Saxony) and the VolkswagenStiftung (Volkswagen Foundation) for three years.

The candidate’s competence area should be squarely rooted in Computer Science or related fields, he/she should be able to think creatively, grasp new knowledge quickly, be able to combine abstract reasoning with concrete problem solving and be interested in mastering complex challenges.


  • A Master’s degree in a relevant field (Computer Science, Bioinformatics, Mathematics, Information Science)
  • Interest in contributing to the solving immunological questions
  • Proficiency in modern programming languages and modern software engineering methodologies
  • Interest in mastering and applying formal methods
  • Familiarity with Semantic Technologies, Big Data Management, Databases, Knowledge Graphs, Natural Language Processing, Data Analytics and Biomedicine
  • Excellent proficiency in spoken and written English. Proficiency in German is a plus
  • Social competence and excellent team skills
  • Motivation and flexibility, a high degree of dedication and productivity
  • Readiness to work and communicate in a collaborative, interdisciplinary, dynamic and international environment

What we offer: We provide a scientifically and intellectually inspiring environment with an entrepreneurial mindset embedded in an interdisciplinary and collaborative consortium. You will work in a unique supervision setting consisting of data scientists, immunologists and clinicians. For the creation of a knowledge graph in context of the project ImProVIT, we offer topics which include:

  • Training in relevant immunological topics for transplantation, vaccination and infection research
  • Scientific Data and Knowledge Graph Management
  • Semantic Data Integration
  • Query Processing
  • Question Answering Infrastructures

Further information will be provided by Dr. Annett Ziegler (

Please address your CV, a letter of reference and a two page motivational statement (incl. research and technology interest) to Dr. Annett Ziegler ( until 30.09.2019. Please do not send emails larger than 10 MB.