Doctoral Position in Neurobiology / Collective Behaviour

(part-time 65%, E 13 TV-L)

Reference No. 2021/203. The start date is Jan 1st, 2022 or by agreement. The position is available for three years (with possibility for 6 month extension).

The University of Konstanz is one of eleven Universities of Excellence in Germany. Since 2007 it has been successful in the German Excellence Initiative and its follow-up programme, the Excellence Strategy.

The PhD candidate will join our interdisciplinary team at the Neurobiology Department and the Centre for Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour to study neural circuits underlying sensory integration and decision-making in group-living insects.

Background: Group-living animals have the potential to benefit from pooling their own acquired information with information from others. By monitoring the behaviour of conspecifics, individuals may be able to make faster, more accurate assessment of their environment. In this DFG funded project, we will combine behavioral experiments, functional imaging, and electrophysiology in gregarious insects (cockroaches and/or locusts) to investigate how social cues (i.e smell or movement of conspecifics) are integrated and impact behavioral decisions. We will ask how sensory processes are modulated according to animals’ internal state and the social environment.

Your responsibilities

  • Design, conduct and analyze behavioral experiments in virtual and ‘real’ insect groups.
  • Learn, implement and further develop imaging and electrophysiology techniques to map circuits, monitor and manipulate neural activity in sensory and premotor areas.
  • Be an excellent team member, joining us in exploring and implementing new technologies to push the boundaries of neuroscience in nonmodel organisms.

Your Competencies

  • MSc in neuroscience or a related field.
  • Proficiency in at least one programming language (Matlab, Python), or a strong willingness to learn one.
  • Strong written and oral communications skills in English are essential
  • Familiarity with multiphoton calcium imaging, electrophysiology and instrumentation control for behavioural neuroscience is beneficial.

We Offer

  • A highly interdisciplinary and motivated team.
  • Professional infrastructure and support for conducting research at the neurobiology department, the interdisciplinary Excellence Cluster and the Max Planck Institute for animal behaviour.
  • Ability to work with worldleading scientists on a new and exciting research field.

For further information please contact Dr. Einat Couzin-Fuchs via email:

We look forward to receiving your application (including a CV, a short research statement with your background, experience, interests and goals and details of two referees) until 01.10.2021 via our Online application portal.

The University of Konstanz is committed to ensuring an environment that provides equal opportunities and promotes diversity as well as a good balance between university and family life. As an equal opportunity employer, we strive to increase the number of women working in research and teaching. We also support working couples through our dual career programme ( Persons with disabilities are explicitly encouraged to apply. They will be given preference if appropriately qualified (contact + 49 7531 88–4016).



Back to overview Online application