We invite prospective candidates for a four-year PhD Studentship funded by ERC grant of Jan Hrcek to explore exciting questions on the interface of population genetics and community ecology.

Workplace: Institute of Entomology, Biology Centre CAS
Department: Department of Ecology
Laboratory: Laboratory of Experimental Ecology
Employment relationship: Employment contract
Job type: Researcher
Researcher profile: R1
Duration: Fixed-term
Job status: Part-time
Job starting date: 1. 3. 2024
Application deadline: 5. 1. 2024


It is increasingly clear that evolution can be rapid, with important traits changing within a few generations. But we are only beginning to understand the consequences of this eco-evolutionary process for dynamics of host – parasite interactions and stability of entire communities. We ask how rapid evolution impacts maintenance of diversity in communities and maintenance of genetic variation in populations – processes which have been mostly studied separately.

To address these questions, our collaborative project uses a novel experimental community model system of wild Drosophila species and their parasitoids from tropical Australia. We are able to perform multigenerational laboratory microcosm experiments and track eco-evolutionary dynamics in fine detail. The candidate will use a combination of the following approaches: laboratory experiments on rapid evolution, and maintenance of species diversity and genetic variation in communities, experimental evolution, population genomics, eco-evolutionary modelling, and field surveys of Drosophila – parasitoid food webs in Australian tropical rainforest. The specific PhD projects will result from a discussion between the candidate and the supervisor. The candidate will take part in the fieldwork in Australia, probably already in the second half of 2024.


A MSc degree is required to enter PhD in Czech Republic.

Following experience is an advantage:

  • Research experience with laboratory experiments
  • Experience with population genetics or molecular ecology
  • Experience in eco-evolutionary dynamics or population genetic modelling
  • Driving licence and fieldwork experience


  • Subsidized lunches in our own canteen
  • Standard health insurance and social security
  • Benefits from Social fund and student benefits
  • Working in a stable, prestigious research institution of international importance
  • Welcome service and further support for foreigners (HR Award)
  • Friendly & stimulating international working environment
  • Work-life balance in a middle-sized university city offering options for outdoor, sport & cultural activities
  • Free language classes (Czech for foreigners, English for Czechs)
  • Opportunity to take part in mentoring programmes as a mentor or a mentee


The successful applicant will join the Laboratory of Experimental Ecology [http://lab.hrcek.net] at the Biology Centre, Czech Academy of Sciences, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic, under the supervision of Dr Jan Hrcek. The laboratory is a multinational team of postdocs, PhD students and technicians. The applicant will thus have the opportunity to work extensively with other team members. The laboratory obtained prestigious high-level funding for five years (ERC Consolidator grant) and therefore can provide substantial resources and support for exceptional research. The laboratory is part of a dynamic international centre for research in species interactions.

Together with the PhD student we will choose a co-supervisor from current international collaborators (listed at the bottom of [http://lab.hrcek.net/people.html] page) or start new collaborations. The position will include a research stay abroad.

The deadline for applications is 5th January 2024. The position can start from March 2024 onwards. The student will receive a salary which comfortably covers living expenses in the Czech Republic. The working language is English and applicants from all countries are eligible.

The Biology Centre CAS holds the HR Award. Our selection process meets European standards for recruitment of researchers (https://www.bc.cas.cz/en/employees/candidates/otm-r/) and we provide our employees from abroad with welcome service (visa application, administration, relocation & settlement support). Gender equality plan (https://www.bc.cas.cz/en/about-us/gender-equality/) has been accepted in 2022.

The Biology Centre is located in České Budějovice (2 hours south of the capital Prague), a middle-sized city with ca. 100K inhabitants, relaxed atmosphere, over 750 years of tradition and a breathtaking countryside around. Both the town and the surrounding countryside provide numerous opportunities for research and leisure activities. There is also a growing international expert community at the Biology Centre CAS (BC CAS, https://www.bc.cas.cz/en/) and the University of South Bohemia (USB, https://www.jcu.cz/en/). In addition, the living costs are still low by international standards. Check out our Guide for Expats (https://www.bc.cas.cz/en/employees/) to read about life in the city and the Czech Republic.


To apply please send one document comprising a motivation letter, CV, and contact details for two references via our official website: https://jobs.bc.cas.cz/en/detail/171.

Informal inquiries can be directed via email to jan.hrcek@entu.cas.cz.