Rainer Riemann received the diploma in psychology and the Ph.D. degree from Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany, in 1981 and 1987, respectively. In 1993 he received the venia legendi (Habilitation) in Psychology from the Faculty of Psychology and Sport Science in Bielefeld. He was ad interim Professor for Differential Psychology and Psychological Assessment at the universities of Tübingen, (1994), Frankfurt/Main (1997), and Jena (1997-98). In 1999 he was appointed as Professor of Personality Psychology and Psychological Assessment at the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany. He was executive director of the department of psychology from 2001-2003. Since 2009 he has been Professor for Differential Psychology, Personality and Psychological Assessment at Bielefeld University. During 2012-2014 he was dean of the Faculty of Psychology and Sport Science. From 2000-2008 he was member of the executive committee of the European Association of Personality and president of this society between 2004 and 2006. He was member of the executive board of the German Psychological Association (2010-2012) and congress president of the 48th congress of the German Psychological Association.
His major field of research is behavior genetics of personality, attitudes, and abilities. He was member of the DFG research group "Discrimination and tolerance in intergroup relations" and is principal investigator (with M. Diewald and F.M. Spinath) of the DFG funded interdisciplinary longitudinal study "Genetic and social causes of life chances. A genetically informative, longitudinal study of the life course and individual development (TWINLIFE)" www.twin-life.de. In 2015-16 together with M. Diewald he was convener of the research group "Genetic and social causes of life chances" at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (Bielefeld, University).