Panel: Academic faculty positions in Europe

Computer globe with graduation cap
Interested in a faculty position in Europe? Want to hear the personal experiences of former UCSF postdoctoral scholars that are now in faculty positions in the UK, Austria, Germany, and Switzerland?


Join us for online discussion with panelists Elaine Emmerson, Iris Gratz, Dirk Baumjohann, and Lukas Jeker, four former UCSF postdoctoral scholars that are now in faculty positions at different institutions in Europe.


Discussion Topics:

Elaine, Iris, Dirk, and Lukas will share their personal experience around 4 main topics, listed below.

  1. What strategy they had as a postdoc to prepare for a faculty position in Europe.
  2. How they tailored their application materials to different institutions.
  3. What tips and successful practices they would like to share for getting hired at their current institution.
  4. What the interview and negotiation process was like for them.


Dates and Times:

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Register through Eventbrite to receive the link to watch the panel discussion live!


Missed the panel discussion?

UCSF students and postdocs: Email Allyson Spence at [email protected] to receive the YouTube link to watch the recording of this program.


About the panelists:

Elaine Emmerson, B.Sc. Ph.D.
Chancellor’s Fellow and Group Leader
Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, The MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine
The University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh, UK


Elaine completed her B.Sc. (Hons) in Genetics at The University of Liverpool in 2004. Following that she worked as a research technician for 2 years. After that she undertook a Ph.D. in Cell Biology at the University of Manchester, graduating in 2010. She then worked as a postdoctoral research associate in a similar field and neighbouring lab at the same university for 2 years. In 2013 moved to UCSF as a postdoctoral research fellow where she worked for 4 years. In mid 2016 she was awarded a Chancellor’s Fellowship at the University of Edinburgh and moved back to the UK in early 2017 to start her new position.

In the UK the academic hierarchy is structured as follows: Fellow (if predominantly research) or Lecturer (if predominantly teaching) → Senior Fellow/Senior Lecturer → Reader → Professor. Hers is a tenure track position and following successful completion (~year 4-5) of the predetermined aims set up by her director and herself in her first few months she will be given a permanent position and the Senior Fellow title.


Iris Gratz, PhD
Assistant Professor
Immunology, Department Molecular Biology
University of Salzburg
Salzburg, Austria


The principal goal of Iris Gratz' research is to investigate the mechanisms of immune regulation in the skin. Iris received her PhD from the University of Salzburg. During her first Postdoc at the University Hospital Salzburg, Austria, she developed approaches to induce antigen-specific immune tolerance to skin antigens. During her second Postdoc with Professor Abul Abbas at the University of California, San Francisco, she then established novel mouse models to study T cell mediated immune responses and regulatory processes in the skin. She started her independent research group at the University of Salzburg, Austria, in 2014 and since then the team has developed unique humanized mouse models to study and manipulate T cells within human skin. Recently, the group has started to study the role of specialized T cells in skin tissue-repair using these humanized mice. The overall goal in this work is to understand basic mechanisms of skin immune regulation and inflammation and to lay the groundwork for novel therapeutic strategies to treat chronic and debilitating inflammatory skin conditions.

In Austria, Germany, and Switzerland (and probably other countries) a “Habilitation,” a specific postdoctoral thesis and defense, is part of the academic career. In Iris Gratz’ situation it is a requirement to become Associate Professor at the University of Salzburg, which is a tenured position. This step is planned in fall 2018 - prior to her tenure-track evaluation in spring 2019.


Dirk Baumjohann, PhD
Emmy Noether Research Group Leader
Institute for Immunology, BioMedical Center
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) München
Munich, Germany


Dirk studied Molecular Medicine in Germany and earned his PhD degree in Cell Biology/Immunology in Switzerland. In 2010 he joined K. Mark Ansel’s lab at UCSF for his postdoctoral work on the cellular and molecular regulation of T helper cell differentiation. Since 2014 he is an independent Emmy Nother Research Group Leader at the LMU in Munich. This position is equivalent to an assistant professor position and is directly funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG). In his current work, he continues to study T helper cells in health and disease.
Lukas Jeker, MD, PhD
Tenure track Assistant Professor
Molecular Immune Regulation, Department of Biomedicine
University of Basel
Basel, Switzerland


Lukas received his MD and PhD from the University of Basel, Switzerland where he studied thymic epithelial cell development and its role in immunologic tolerance. He then worked as a resident in internal medicine and transplantation immunology & nephrology. In 2007 he moved to UCSF for postdoctoral work on miRNAs in regulatory T cells in the lab of Jeff Bluestone. After 3.5 years he was promoted to Assistant Adjunct Professor at the Diabetes Center at UCSF. During his time as a faculty he applied to US and Swiss grants and returned to Basel in 2014, sponsored by a non-tenure track Professorship from the Swiss National Science Foundation (Förderprofessur) to continue his work in molecular immune regulation. After the habilitation in 2016 he became tenure track assistant professor of experimental transplantation immunology & nephrology in 2017. Lukas’ work is currently funded by the Swiss National Science foundation and the NIH.


For questions, please contact Allyson Spence, [email protected]

To find out more about our Academic Career Programs, please visit:

To receive future announcements, join the PFF listserv