Professional profiles

Research fellow

The scientific staff members are the essential resource of any research institution. Their major tasks are research and development. With their knowledge and creativity, they have to find solutions to problems by developing innovative technologies.

Experienced research fellows who have already been proven as project leaders can work their way up, for example to become a head of unit.

As a head of unit, their responsibilities grow. In addition to research and development tasks they are also responsible for leadership, budget management and acquisition of third-party funds.

A unit typically has between 5 and 10 employees.

To work as a research fellow you have to meet the following requirements:

  • general qualification for university entrance
  • completed academic studies (diploma, master)
  • optionally: conferral of a doctorate

The professional aptitude is determined by the requirements of the job.


The specializations and capabilities of biotechnologists are very diverse. Following the acquisition of basic skills during academic studies, specialized knowledge can be obtained in the fields of chemistry and bioreactors, immunochemistry, enzyme technology, bioprocess technology, pharmaceuticals, ecology of microorganisms, technical biochemistry, genetics, disease and treatment of organs, clinical testing of drugs, cell culture technology, and legal foundations of biotechnology.

Another domain of biotechnologists is quality assurance and quality management. The Fraunhofer IZI is equipped with a modern GMP manufacturing facility where projects in the field of drug manufacture and quality control can be realized in accordance with the quality standards of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP).

In particular, these tasks comprise maintenance and further development of existing quality management systems in accordance with the European GMP guidelines for medical products and the coordination of validation and qualification work. Further tasks include the handling of projects around the GMP-compliant manufacture and quality control of cell therapeutics and the design of manufacturing processes and quality controls. Preparing required documentations, writing standard operating procedures (SOPs), as well as practical laboratory work is also part of the job.

As a biotechnologist you work in a team together with the head of unit and the technical assistants who support the practical routine work in the laboratory. The position offers a mix of technical and biological contents, combined with practical work in the laboratory. However, it should not be forgotten that the position is associated with very high demands on documentation. Therefore, you should have excellent organizational skills and a high degree of reliability and accuracy.

Professional training

Biotechnology can be studied in colleges and universities. The study course can be chosen as an independent branch of study or as a specialization within agriculture, biology, chemical engineering and other courses.

Laboratory / technical assistant

Laboratory technicians handle the different working methods for analyzing organisms – plant, animal or human. For example, they isolate cells, get them growing on special culture media and examine them. They further compare and examine the structure of viruses or bacteria with the help of microscopes.

In biochemical experiments, they put cells, proteins and blood or tissue samples in chemical solutions and test their reaction. They also breed parasites and pests in order to study them. In animal studies, they prepare animals for surgery, take blood and tissue samples or inject the animals with drugs.

Experiments in the field of genetic engineering can be one of their further tasks. If they work in pharmacology, they deal with the interaction between drugs and organisms.

In safety pharmacology, they test side effects of drugs in the development phase. Laboratory technicians use laboratory-specific computers for planning their studies and analyzing the test results.

Laboratory technicians are required to have good organizational skills and to work independently and reliably.

Professional training

The education of a laboratory / technical assistant is regulated in the Vocational Education Law (Berufsbildungsgesetz). It is controlled nationwide and takes 3 1/2 years. Practical trainings are offered by companies and research institutions. As the educational structure is very flexible it is possible to choose between several professional qualification units. Even a school education is possible.

Medical-technical laboratory assistants

Medical-technical laboratory assistants conduct examinations of tissues and body fluids such as blood, emiction and gastric juice. The results are used to detect diseases at an early stage, to treat or to prevent them. Medical-technical laboratory assistants carry out such investigations in the fields of clinical chemistry, hematology / serology, histology / cytology and microbiology.

They take samples and prepare them for examination, thereby assisting physicians and doctors. For example, they create tissue or pathogen cultures and centrifuged liquids.

Furthermore they carry out tests and measurements on samples, for example to test their quality or to test them for potential pathogens. The chemical and medical analyses are the basis for clinical diagnostics. Therefore, they check the progress of investigations and document the results with the utmost care. They also care for the observance of hygiene rules and sterilize equipment and instruments.

Medical-technical laboratory assistants are required to have good organizational skills and to work independently and reliably.

Professional training

The training of Medical-technical laboratory assistants is regulated in the Vocational Education Law (Berufsbildungsgesetz). It is controlled nationwide and takes three years. Practical trainings are offered from companies and research institutions.

Animal care supervisor (m/f) – clinical and research setting

The Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology in Leipzig develops new therapeutic approaches that can be applied in modern medicine. These include, for example, new drugs and cell-based procedures for the treatment of cancer, stroke and chronic inflammatory diseases. Furthermore, the institute develops new vaccines for human and veterinary medicine. To this end, the Fraunhofer IZI runs a state-of-the-art animal experimentation center. Highly qualified members of staff are required to provide optimal, species-appropriate care to the animals besides ensuring that the Animal Welfare Legislation in force across the EU is adhered to and that the animals' state of health is monitored.

Core tasks

Animal care supervisors in a research and clinical setting are responsible for the health and welfare of the animals.

  • Caring for and monitoring the different animal species in the research and / or clinical facility
  • Meeting and maintaining hygiene standards in the animal quarters besides documenting, inspecting and operating high-tech equipment; all such tasks are to be carried out in line with the German Animal Welfare Act

In performing this role, animal care supervisors will work in a team together with other animal care supervisors, veterinarians and research staff from the different units within the institute.


  • High sense of responsibility as hygiene standards have to be observed
  • Broad interest in biology, for instance in the fields of behavioral science or animal rearing

Professional training

The role of animal care supervisor in a clinical and research setting is a recognized occupation requiring formal training which is consistently regulated across Germany.

Training takes three years and is offered at the Fraunhofer IZI.

Office management assistant (m/f)

The Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI investigates and develops solutions to specific problems at the interfaces of medicine, life sciences and engineering. An excellent, service-oriented science infrastructure is required in order to implement such developments. By working as office management assistant, you will have direct contact to the researchers and will be able to participate in new developments.

Core tasks

Office management assistants work in companies and operations of various sizes in both the private and public sectors of the economy. You core activities will include:

  • Organizing, coordinating and conducting processes related to office, project and contract work
  • Supporting specialist operational activities (e.g. handling procurement procedures, using booking systems and accounting tools, resolving issues pertaining to human resources management, organizing events)


  • Organizational talent
  • Interest in a broad range of subjects
  • Able to work independently and also as part of a team
  • Business mindset and analytical skills
  • Highly expressive oral and written style
  • Happy to use a foreign language

Professional training

The role of office management assistant is a recognized occupation requiring formal training which is consistently regulated across Germany.

It is possible to specialize in a certain area based on a qualification attained in an elective training module. Training takes three years and is offered at the Fraunhofer IZI.