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Scientific Director of the Centre for Artificial Intelligence - Public Health Research (ZKI-PH) (all genders) (12/21)

closing date:
February 28, 2021
start of work:
as soon as possible

Our offer

Founded in 1891, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) is one of the world's oldest biomedical research institutions.

Today, the RKI is Germany's national public health institute. It employs more than 1,300 people, provides excellent research infrastructure and pursues a modern approach to its scientific work.

We are looking for a scientific director as head of the newly-established Centre for Artificial Intelligence - Public Health Research (ZKI-PH) at the Robert Koch Institute in Wildau near Berlin. The ZKI-PH aims to provide cutting-edge, evidence-based public health research and relies on state-of-the-art, data-based technologies in its work. It is Germany’s only and thus prime federal centre for AI-based public health research. As scientific director you will build the new centre in a future-oriented way, combine existing competencies in the field of digitalisa-tion and interlink public health research with topics such as bioinformatics, computational epidemiology, modern data visualisation and big-data and systems analysis. The ZKI-PH will comprise various departments with 40 permanent scientific staff positions. With the expected acquisition of third-party funds, the centre is expected to have a staff of approximately 100 persons.

We are offering the position for a

Scientific Director of the Centre for Artificial Intelligence - Public Health Research (ZKI-PH) (all genders)
(salary dependent on qualifications and experience in accordance with German public sector wage scale provisions [BBesG] up to grade B3)
The contract is unlimited. The position will be filled as soon as possible.

Job Title

Scientific Director (all genders)


  • developing, managing, implementing and organising the prime high-level AI centre of national and international relevance, including operational and strategic planning
  • development and strategic support of progress in the field of public health research using data science at the RKI (e.g. machine learning, deep learning, image analysis, natural language processing, cognitive and mathematical modeling, visualisation, simulation)
  • executive management, including HR responsibility for an approximately 100-strong staff
  • recruitment, retention and support of highly qualified staff for the establishment of the new up-and-coming AI centre
  • steering and coordination of inter- and transdisciplinary public health research at the centre by developing, acquiring and implementing new research and development projects
  • planning and further development of research cooperation with strategic partners at national, European and global level
  • responsibility for strategic, institute-wide scientific networking and professional exchange and acquisition of relevant collaborations and competitive funding opportunities
  • capacity building, including the promotion of young researchers, especially doctoral students and early to mid-career researchers
  • responsibility for scientific quality assurance and a high-ranking publication strategy at the centre

Your profile

  • university degree (master's or university diploma) with a PhD or equivalent in a relevant technical or scientific subject with proven qualifications in the technical field
  • proven management and leadership experience in connection with complex inter- and transdisciplinary projects as well as additional research experience through publications and third-party funding, ideally acquired in the context of managing scientific departments and/or institutions
  • several years of proven research expertise in the STEM field, especially in the development of computer-aided procedures, data analysis or software solutions using big data and AI
  • experience in data-based public health or biomedical research
  • knowledge of the regulatory framework for health data use, including applicable cybersecurity and data protection rules
  • proven experience in the strategy-led development and/or establishment of research units and/or institutions, including the acquisition of high-level third-party funding on national (e.g. DFG) or international level (e.g. ERC, Horizon 2020, NIH)
  • several years of experience on scientific or governmental committees as well as in collaboration with external research institutions
  • several years of experience in the training of young professionals
  • required language skills (CEFR level): English C1 at minimum (expert knowledge); knowledge of German is desired, but not a prerequisite
  • willingness to undergo an extended safety inspection in accordance with Section 9 of the Safety Inspection Act (SÜG)

Your decisions are clear and based on facts. You are flexible and adjust easily to new situa-tions. You approach complex problems from various angles.

You make an effort to find solutions and to take steps which are suitable for the objectives and the parties involved. To accomplish goals, you use your strong influencing skills or strategic arguments. Starting out from objectives, you design workflows and activities and plan re-sources and concepts for their implementation. You create work processes that are conducive to teamwork.

Appointment as a civil servant is possible up to grade B3, depending on qualifications and experience, and provided that legal career requirements are met. Alternatively, we offer employment up to pay grade E15 TVöD.

Our offer

  • Flexible working hours and various part-time models
  • 30 vacation days per year
  • Possibility for mobile work
  • Excellent equipment and infrastructure
  • Family service
  • A wide range of sports activities
  • Interdisciplinary institute activities
  • Living diversity and inclusion

We guarantee workplace equality. Disabled candidates with the same qualifications and suitability will be given hiring preference.

Within the scope of its supervisory powers, the Federal Ministry of Health may examine application documents on a case-by-case basis. Your data will be deleted after the application procedure has been completed.

Application procedure

Submit your application via the public service job portal Interamt at by February 28, 2021.

Please note the position identification number: 640637/Kz. 12/21.