University of Neuchâtel

PhD in Natural Product Chemistry / Comparative Metabolomics

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The University of Neuchâtel (UniNE) is located in the French speaking part of Switzerland, in a city that enjoys a central location.

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The Institute of Chemistry at the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland) invites applications for a PhD studentship (assistant-e doctorant-e) in natural product chemistry / comparative metabolomics. The position is located at the Laboratory of Bioanalytical Chemistry, a small research unit supervised by Prof. Stephan von Reuss, that provides an inspiring work environment with excellent conditions for state-of-the-art research ( For our international team, we are looking for a self-motivated researcher with a background in natural products chemistry or life sciences and expertise in comparative metabolomics. 

Job starts: available immediately (open till filled)

Term: 4 years (+1 year if required; renewable each year)

Location: Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Salary: 34’800 – 41’135 CHF / year (50% of LI01-LI04;


Our research at the Laboratory of Bioanalytical Chemistry is focused on secondary metabolism and small molecule signaling in nematodes (roundworms). Aiming to elucidate molecular structures, biosynthetic pathways, and the ecological significance of novel nematode-derived natural products, we combine a diversity of techniques, including large scale cultivation of nematodes, chromatographic fractionation of nematode metabolomes, structure elucidation of isolated natural products using MS and NMR techniques, confirmation of structure assignments by total synthesis, MS-based comparative metabolomics and stable isotope labelling, as well as functional bioassays.

Potential research topics for the open PhD position include: PROJECT 1 - the systematic analysis of lipogenesis and lipid metabolism in the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans using comparative lipidomics / metabolomics and reverse genetics; or PROJECT 2 - the systematic analysis of secondary metabolism in bacterivorous nematodes using comparative metabolomics and molecular networks.

For further information please contact Prof. Stephan von Reuss (


Selection process

Complete applications include (i) a cover letter with a statement of motivation and research interests, (ii) a detailed CV, (iii) contact details of two academic references who could be contacted for additional information about the candidate (no need to include reference letters), (iv) a transcript of grades obtained in Bachelor’s and master’s programs, and (v) the candidate’s master dissertation (as a separate file). Applications should be sent as a single pdf file to with the subject name “PhD application - [your surname]”. Review of applications will start immediately and proceed regularly until the position is filled. Only complete applications will be considered. Short-listed applicants will be contacted for online interviews. For further information please contact Prof. Stephan von Reuss (


Offer Requirements


Chemistry: Master Degree or equivalent


ENGLISH: Excellent



Qualified applicants hold a Master’s degree in Organic Chemistry (or a closely related field) and have demonstrated practical experience in mass spectrometry (MS)-based comparative metabolomics. Required skills in microbiology and nematology techniques can be acquired on the job. Additional project-related requirements include:

For PROJECT 1 general understanding of biosynthetic pathways, especially lipogenesis, is required. Basic understanding of reverse genetics using deletion mutants and/or gene silencing by RNAi is highly desirable.

For PROJECT 2 practical experience in the isolation and structure elucidation of natural products using NMR and MS techniques is required. Experience in molecular networks is highly desirable.

Candidates are expected to demonstrate a high potential to acquire high-quality research results, which demands an excellent command of English (written and spoken). Furthermore, all PhD students (assistant-e doctorant-e) participate in the supervision of practical laboratory courses for bachelor students at the Institute of Chemistry, which requires basic French. 

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Job details

PhD in Natural Product Chemistry / Comparative Metabolomics
Avenue du 1er-Mars 26 Neuchâtel, Switzerland
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About the employer

The University of Neuchâtel (UniNE) is located in the French speaking part of Switzerland, in a city that enjoys a central location.

Visit the employer page

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