TALENTS has a single recruitment call, which opened 25th February 2023 and closed 15th May 2023, 20:00 CET.

It offers 15 PhD positions, fully funded for 3 years, at Saarland University. The PhD projects are described below. A candidate can apply for maximum three projects.

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Our offer

Each DC will get an employment contract from Saarland University, including health and social security insurance (i.e., unemployment, accident, long-term care and pension) according to German standards. Monthly gross salary is 2840,-€ flat. We have 39.5 working hours/week and 30 days annual leave. The USAAR semester fee, which includes Saarland-wide free public transport is covered, as well as possible costs for visa application.

PhD projects

Project cluster 1: Microbiota and Natural Products

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Doctoral position # 1

“Impact of the lung microbiome on epithelial cell biology in preclinical models”

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Doctoral position # 2

“New treatment options for oral biofilm dysbiosis and diseases caries and periodontitis”

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Doctoral position # 3

“Genome engineering of the GI microbiota to unlock their biosynthetic potential for production of bioactive metabolites”

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Doctoral position # 4

“Exploring the human oral microbiota for metabolites with microbiota-modulation potential”

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Doctoral position # 5

“Identification and characterization of novel natural products from the gastrointestinal microbiota with gut protective features”

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Doctoral position # 6

“Characterization of Natural Products with Anti-infective Properties originating from human microbiota”

Project cluster 2: Pathoblockers as Novel Anti-infectives

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Doctoral position # 7

“Design and synthesis of novel inhibitors of LasB”

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Doctoral position # 8

“Development of pathoblockers targeting the lectin EclA from Enterobacter cloacae

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Doctoral position # 9

“Exploring inter-kingdom cross-talk as a new strategy for the modulation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections”

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Doctoral position # 10

“Development of murine infection models for the in vivo testing of novel pathoblockers in clinically relevant settings”

Project cluster 3: Drug Delivery and Biological Barriers

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Doctoral position # 11

In vivo testing of novel drug delivery systems in murine infection models”

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Doctoral position # 12

“Bacterial biofilm targeting with elasticity-controlled nanoparticles”

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Doctoral position # 13

“Next-generation editing and interventional reshaping of skin microbiota in health and disease – paving the way to the postantibiotic era in medicine”

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Doctoral position # 14

“Extracellular vesicles as pathobiochemical regulators and antibacterial delivery vehicles”

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Doctoral position # 15

“Development and application of bioanalytical workflows in the context of microbiome and infection research”


Our single recruitment call had opened on 25th February 2023.  

Closing date – 15th May 2023 at (20:00 CET). The selection process will take approximately 16 weeks.

Schedule for job interviews

The date of the job interviews for each Ph.D. position are as follows:

The successful candidates will be informed in Juli/August 2023 and have sufficient time to arrange relocation to the host country to start their projects in the period from October 2023 to latest 1. January 2024.

Guide for Applicants

In this document we provide the following information:

  • Introduction to the programme
  • Terms and conditions of employment
  • Eligibility criteria
  • Application documents
  • Submission portal
  • Description of the evaluation and selection process
  • Guidance on preparation of the application documents including examples
  • Info section (contact, appeal and redress, GDPR)


All applications are to be entered via the dedicated online portal hosted at award force.

Any queries on the submission system should be directed to the TALENTS office (

Selection process

The candidate selection is done in the following steps:

  1. Eligibility check: meeting all eligibility criteria (R1 Researcher, mobility rule, doctoral candidate with academic entry degree) and timely, complete application submission
  2. Remote evaluation: short-listing of most qualified candidates based on the application documents
  3. Online interviews: selecting primary candidate from the four short-listed applicants based on the presentation and discussion
  4. Notification of the results

Detailed information about the eligibilty and application documents is found in the Guide for applicants, page 10-11. Our scoring system is detailded on page 11-12 in the Guide for applicants, as well as the content of the job interview.

Frequently asked Questions

How can I apply for more than one TALENTS PhD project?

You fill your personal data in the online submission portal and upload the documents for the first project. Then you can copy the application and edit/exchange the documents you want to adjust according to the applied position (e.g., letter of motivation, project proposal).

What is the correct entry in the field “application name”?

This field is obligatory in the online system, however, we do not require specific content here. You can decide what you want to enter. Most applicants give the title of the PhD project they apply for. Your name or the title of your project proposal would be fine as well.

How should applicants who do not have their master certificate yet deal with the obligatory upload of the master certificate?

Applicants who are obtaining their master certificate soon, since it is a requirement for issuing a contract) are welcome to apply. Please ask your master supervisor for a letter confirming you performed the master thesis and telling the expected time of the master’s defense. This letter should be uploaded instead of the master certificate.

Do I have to get a new English certificate when the expiring date has passed?

We accept English certificates (e.g., IETS) beyond the expiring date.

Can University studies in English language suffice for justifying English command?

Yes. In this case, please provide a certificate or transcript showing this, or ask the University for a letter stating English language as the teaching language and upload the letter to replace the English language certificate.