43,000 students and 8,000 employees in teaching, research and administration, all working together to shape perspectives for the future – that is the University of Münster. Embedded in the vibrant atmosphere of Münster with its high standard of living, the University’s diverse research profile and attractive study programmes draw students and researchers throughout Germany and from around the world.

The Department of Behavioural Biology in the Faculty of Biology at the University of Münster, Germany, is seeking to fill the position of a

Doctoral Research Associate (Wissenschaftliche*r Mitarbeiter*in, salary level TV-L E 13, 65%)

to complete a mouse project in applied animal welfare science (e.g. reduction of behavioural disorders, welfare of ageing mice). We are offering a part-time position (65% FTE) for 3 years commencing on 1 September 2024.

Your tasks:

We are seeking a highly motivated candidate interested in behavioural biology, animal welfare, the refinement of animal experimentation, experimental design and data analysis. Using mice as a model species, the aim of the PhD project is to study the development and maintenance of abnormal repetitive behaviours (e.g., barbering behaviour), to develop and validate practicable and effective strategies to improve the welfare of laboratory mice and identify suitable housing systems for (ageing) mice in animal experiment facilities. The PhD candidate will be involved in all stages of the scientific method, including the experimental design, project coordination, data collection and analysis, and delivery of results to the research community. This position is tied to working towards a doctoral qualification

Our expectations:

  • A graduate degree (MSc or an equivalent degree in biology, the life sciences, biomedicine, neuroscience, biosciences, animal sciences or biostatistics) is required.
  • A strong interest or expertise in experimental design and/or data analysis is advantageous.
  • Experience and interest in behavioural biology and animal welfare science are advantageous.
  • Further training in laboratory animal science is desirable.
  • Good organizational, writing and presentation skills, as well as the ability to work well both independently and in a team environment, are advantageous.
  • Very good knowledge of spoken and written English is mandatory.
  • German language skills would be advantageous but are not a requirement.

Research environment

The Department of Behavioural Biology at the University of Münster offers a mind-stimulating and interdisciplinary research environment. Current research projects relate to, for example, (1) stress, stress avoidance and animal welfare, (2) the role of inter-individual differences in welfare questions, (3) the behavioural ecology of optimism/pessimism, and (4) the reproducibility of animal experiments. The PhD student will be embedded in a graduate program.

The University of Münster strongly supports equal opportunity and diversity. We welcome all applicants regardless of sex, nationality, ethnic or social background, religion or worldview, disability, age, sexual orientation or gender identity. We are committed to creating family-friendly working conditions.

We actively encourage applications by women. Women with equivalent qualifications and academic achievements will be preferentially considered unless these are outweighed by reasons which necessitate the selection of another candidate.

If you have any questions, please contact Prof Helene Richter ( / +49 (0)251 8321014) or Prof apl Sylvia Kaiser ( / +49 (0)2518324676)

Are you interested? Then we look forward to receiving your application. Applications may be written in German or English, and should include a cover letter, CV, list of publications (if any), degree certificates and the names of two referees. Applications should be received via e-mail by 23 June 2024 (all documents combined into one PDF file) at

University of Münster

Department of Behavioural Biology

Prof Helene Richter/Prof apl Sylvia Kaiser

Badestraße 13,48149 Münster, Germany


Phone: +49(0)251 8321014


Reference number: 2024_05_18

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