Join us

Why Dresden?


The MPI-PKS is an internationally leading Max Planck Institute for the theory of animate and inanimate matter. It hosts some of the leading groups in theoretical biophysics and condensed matter physics. Besides an excellent research infrastructure the institute provides a stimulating environment due to an active in-house workshop program and a broad range of other research activities. It is embedded into a lively research environment with strong experimental groups in the Max Planck Institute for Cell Biology and Genetics, the Biotechnology Center, and the Center for Regenerative Therapies.

Dresden is beautifully located in the valley of the Elbe river, just a short ride from both Berlin and Prague. The nearby mountains offer opportunities for hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter. The "Florence of the North", as Dresden is often called, offers excellent infrastructure and is famous for its unusually high density of classical and contemporary cultural activity. 

Postdoctoral positions

Positions are available to develop novel theoretical and computational approaches to explore biological processes. 

Our group combines recent technological advances in single-cell biology with methods from non-equilibrium physics to gain mechanistic insight into the processes governing cell fate behaviour. 

Hosting leading researchers at the interface in theoretical physics the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems is an ideal place to conduct excellent research. Dresden provides a strong and collaborative environment with internationally leading researchers in the field of biophysics. Successful candidates will be embedded in local and international collaborations and will benefit from the rapidly expanding community of researchers in Dresden and abroad interested in developing the interface between Physical and Biological/Biomedical Sciences. 

Candidates are expected to have a strong background in self-organisation phenomena in complex systems and will hold (or be about to complete) a PhD/DPhil in Physics, Biological Physics, Mathematics, Bioinformatics or a closely related field.

As well as theoretical biophysicists, the group is interested in the recruitment of researchers with a strong track-record of research in the field of condensed matter theory or applied mathematics, including those who have an interest in, but no experience of, the study of biological systems. For these candidates, a secure knowledge of methods of non-equilibrium statistical mechanics or population dynamics and an aptitude for computer programming is useful.

For inquiries about the research conducted in the Statistical Physics of Living Systems group, and to discuss potential research projects, please contact Steffen Rulands. Applications should be submitted via the Institute's visitors program.

PhD positions

Fully funded PhD positions are available for students from a variety of backgrounds in theoretical physics. Candidates are encouraged to contact Steffen Rulands to discuss potential research projects. To apply for a PhD position, please send your CV to rulands[at]pks.mpg(dot)de and arrange for two confidential reference letters to be sent to the same email address.