City:  Kaiserslautern
Date:  May 9, 2024

PhD student in the field of "Optimisation for pandemic preparedness"

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft ( currently operates 76 institutes and research institutions throughout Germany and is the world’s leading applied research organization. Around 30 800 employees work with an annual research budget of 3.0 billion euros. 

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft( currently operates 76 institutes and research facilities in Germany and is the world's leading organisation for application-oriented research. Around 30,800 employees work on the annual research volume of 3.0 billion euros.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics (ITWM) is the world's largest institute for industrial mathematics and is one of the top employers in Germany. In the Optimisation department, we use multi-criteria optimisation methods to develop innovative solutions for the diverse challenges faced by our customers from a wide range of industries. The results of our research work are of direct benefit to industry and society. Examples of this include the optimised irradiation of tumours and the planning of ground-mounted photovoltaic systems.

The COVID-19 pandemic caught Germany off guard. It is important to have appropriate measures in place to tackle future pandemics that may arise due to changes in human and animal habitats. For instance, decisions on vaccine procurement should be made early on, even with limited information on the pathogen. The use of model-based interactive decision support tools can help to demonstrate the correlation between vaccine usage and the resulting disease burden.”


What you will do

As part of your doctorate, you can investigate the following questions:

  • How can a cohort-based, epidemiological model be mathematically optimised using multiple criteria?
  • How can the sensitivity to individual unknown parameters be demonstrated?
  • How can helpful, interactive software tools be designed to support decision-making?


What you bring to the table

  • You have an above-average university degree in mathematics, computer science or physics
  • You have a high level of abstraction and mathematical creativity
  • You enjoy applied mathematical optimisation and would like to implement your models and algorithms in software
  • Ideally, you have previous knowledge of mathematical modelling and numerical methods, for example from non-linear optimisation
  • You are willing to familiarise yourself with new topics and concepts
  • You can communicate complex issues clearly in German and English


What you can expect

  • We work in small, agile project teams on innovative mathematical problems that you help to shape yourself
  • You will gain insights into the requirements and challenges of industrial practice while researching your doctoral topic free from project obligations
  • We support you in acquiring domain knowledge and IT skills as part of your familiarisation phase
  • We offer a comprehensive training programme on various mathematical methods, IT topics and soft skills
  • You will have the opportunity to publish scientific papers and take part in conferences
  • We support your individual work-life balance with a flexible working model


We value and promote the diversity of our employees' skills and therefore welcome all applications - regardless of age, gender, nationality, ethnic and social origin, religion, ideology, disability, sexual orientation and identity. Severely disabled persons are given preference in the event of equal suitability. 

With its focus on developing key technologies that are vital for the future and enabling the commercial utilization of this work by business and industry, Fraunhofer plays a central role in the innovation process. As a pioneer and catalyst for groundbreaking developments and scientific excellence, Fraunhofer helps shape society now and in the future. 


This is a doctoral scholarship. The remuneration is based on the guidelines for awarding scholarships of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft


Interested? Apply online now. We look forward to getting to know you!

If you have any questions, please contact:

Dr. Neele Leithäuser:

Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM 


Requisition Number: 73131                


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