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CSC-Tübingen PhD Program: Project 14-15/2024:
We offer the following PhD project (depending on the interest, background and preferences of the candidate)
• Actionable heterogeneity of SASP (senescence-associated secretory phenotype) and surfaceome in hepatocellular carcinoma therapy-induced senescence
• Induction of senescence in AML (acute myeloid leukemia) augments NK cell cytotoxicity via inflammasome priming

Topic Description:
Innate immunity plays a critical part in the host defense against infection but also in cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, metabolic and malignant diseases. Primary regulators of innate immunity are the so-called pattern recognition receptor (PRRs) which sense internal or external danger and trigger molecular and cellular responses that lead to immunological effector responses. Our lab has a strong track record in PRR signaling pathways and has been contributing insightful results in the areas of microbial recognition, initiation of inflammation and oncogenesis. Recently, we have focused on the effect of cellular senescence induced by therapeutic agents (therapy-induced senescence, TIS) on innate signaling pathways and immune cells in either hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) or acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Our focus is to investigate how senescence affects well-known PRR pathways, the cellular surfaceome and the way in which senescent tumor cells can be targeted by immunotherapies (e.g. targeting antibodies or NK cells).

Faculty: Faculty of Medicine
Institute/Section/Subject: Interfaculty Institute of Cell Biology, Department of Immunology, Section Innate Immunity (from 1 Oct 2023: Department of Innate Immunity).
Supervising Professors: W3-Professor Alexander N. R. Weber, PhD

About the Supervisors: Professor Alexander N. R. Weber is trained biochemist (training in Tübingen, Cambridge UK and Heidelberg) and expert in innate immunity with a focus on the recognition of microbes and endogenous threats by so-called pattern recognition receptors; see CV (

We are a dynamic research group with a solid track record, and located in an excellent scientific environment, the Department of Immunology located on the campus of the University of Tübingen, one of Germany’s Excellence Universities. In our well-funded laboratory you would find a friendly, well-connected and international (English-speaking) environment, and a firm commitment to good supervision and professional development.

Requirements for the application:
Required Degrees: Masters degree (or equivalent) in biological sciences or medicine, some research experience in molecular/cellular biology, microbiology/virology, protein biochemistry and/or immunology; high motivation to work independently and as part of a team;
Language Requirements: Certified very good command of the English language (both written and spoken, e.g. IELTS of 6.5 or higher); the applicants will be supported to attend German courses but German skills are not required to apply successfully.
Notes: For more information, please visit our website on

For further instructions on how to apply, more information on the program and contact details please see below.


CSC-Tübingen PhD Program
The China Scholarship Council (CSC) and the University of Tübingen have established a PhD Program which supports Chinese nationals inside and outside of China wishing to carry out all or part of their PhD study in Tübingen.


  • providing high quality research training to qualified students from Chinese universities
  • developing education and research collaborations between the University of Tübingen and Chinese universities and research institutions

Target group:
Excellent postgraduate and doctoral students from the People's Republic of China.

Funding line A - Full time fellowship:
  • postgraduate students who want to carry out their complete doctoral studies at the University of Tübingen
  • up to 48 months
  • degree conferred by the University of Tübingen
  • Annual living allowance as prescribed by the Chinese Government (which includes Overseas Student Health Cover)

Funding Line B - Part time fellowship (sandwich model):
  • doctoral students who want to carry out their research and studies alternatively at their home universities and the University of Tübingen. They follow a schedule set in advance by both the Chinese supervisors and supervisors at the University of Tübingen
  • 6-24 months in Tübingen
  • degree conferred by the Chinese home university
  • Annual living allowance as prescribed by the Chinese Government (which includes Overseas Student Health Cover) for 6-24 months

Funding for both Funding lines includes:
  • Return airfare to Germany
  • Visa application fees
  • Support for the attendance of international conferences during the second and third year (up to 1000€ granted to successful applicants)

Benefits for both funding lines:
  • Tuition waiver
  • Option to take German language classes provided by the University of Tübingen during the first year
  • Accommodation offered in Tübingen student dormitories depending on availability
  • Opportunities to gain additional teaching and research experience as well as economic benefits from the University of Tübingen from the second year onward (depending on the ability of the applicant and the situation of the respective institute)

Application Process:
  • Jan 15: Application deadline. Applications must be handed in through the online application system of the University of Tübingen
  • by March 10: Successful applicants will be officially informed
  • by March 31: Invited applicants have to register with the CSC according to the regulations of the CSC.
  • by May 31: Final decisions about the allocation of scholarships will be made by the CSC
  • by Oct 1: Program participants arrive in Tübingen
  • Successful candidates must return to China upon completion of their studies.

How to Apply:
In order to apply you need to upload the following documents combined in 1 PDF
  • Cover/Motivation letter
  • CV
  • Research proposal (3-5 pages)
  • Academic transcripts* (if you have not yet completed your Master's studies, please submit a confirmation of studies and an up-to-date transcript of records)
  • Proof of proficient English language skills (i.e. comprehension of a wide range of demanding, longer texts as well as fluent and spontaneous expression allowing a flexible and effective language use for social, academic and professional purposes.) - TOEFL iBT 95 or IELTS 6.5 or equivalent

*List of required Academic transcripts (including official translation into German or English for documents issued in Chinese)
1) Bachelor’s Degree Award Certificate / Bachelor Gradverleihungsurkunde (学士学位证书 xueshi xuewei zhengshu)
2) Bachelor's Degree Certificate/ Abschlusszeugnis (毕业证书 biye zhengshu) für das Bachelorstudium (本科 benke)
3) Transcript of the subjects and marks / Fächer- und Notenübersicht (成绩表 chengjibiao) for your Bachelor’s degree/ für das Bachelorstudium (本科 benke)
4) Master’s Degree Award Certificate / Master-Gradverleihungsurkunde (硕士学位证书 shuoshi xuewei zhengshu)
5) Master’s Degree Certificate/ Abschlusszeugnis für das Masterstudium (硕士研究生毕业证书 shuoshi yanjiusheng biye zhengshu)
6) Transcript of the subjects and marks for your Master’s Degree / Fächer- und Notenübersicht für das Masterstudium (硕士研究生成绩表 shuoshi yanjiusheng chengjibiao)

For questions please contact:
(Ms) Tetyana Tonkoshkur
Dezernat II – Forschung
Internationale Forschungskooperation
+49 7071 29-750005
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