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Advertising division: IBG-2 - Plant Sciences
Reference number: 2019D-163

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The research will explore synergies between photosynthetic and photovoltaic energy conversion and will be, thus, executed in a collaboration between the Institute of Bio- and Geosciences (IBG-2,Plant sciences) and the Institute of Energy and Climate Research (IEK-5 Photovoltaics), both belonging to the Forschungszentrum Jülich https://www.fz-juelich.de/portal/EN/Home/home_node.html

Specific focus of this particular position will be at sensing of plant photosynthesis. It is the process that uses solar energy to produce organic matter from water and from carbon dioxide. Photosynthesis is decisive for sustaining life on Earth. Cycles of water, atmosphere, and of nutrients as well as food and feed availability are largely determined by this principal process and the newest technologies must be used to exploit fully its potential to deal with global challenges. The present project that is funded by the program Bioeconomy International of the German Federal Ministry of Research and Education aims at developing novel optical sensing methods for optimization of plant cultivation in greenhouses of the next generation.

We are offering a

PhD position in plant science

Your Job:

We are looking for candidates interested in joining our international team to perform exciting research towards developing new optical sensors to better understand plants. Plants will be stimulated by dynamically changing light; we shall capture their complex response and develop mathematical models to decode it by systems identification. The work will be highly multidisciplinary, based in biology but using essential tools of physics as well as mathematical modelling.

The primary tasks will be:

  • to study photosynthetic processes by measuring optical proxies, such as chlorophyll fluorescence emission or light absorption, in dynamically changing light
  • to analyze the observed dynamic behavior of plants by systems identification tools
  • to construct mathematical models explaining the dynamic behavior
  • to use the experimental results as well as models for optimizing regime of greenhouse control by means of optical sensing

Your Profile:

  • Completed studies (Master), preferably in Physics, Computer Science, or Biology
  • Experience in photosynthesis research by biophysical and biochemical methods, particularly by fluorometry and spectroscopy will be considered as advantage
  • Interest in mathematical models will be favored


Our Offer:

  • Outstanding scientific and technical infrastructure – ideal conditions for successfully completing a doctoral degree at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf
  • Creative and international team that conducts research at the frontiers of science
  • The Jülich Research Center is one of the largest research centers in Europe, with excellent scientific equipment including the fastest supercomputer in Europe, is located on a green campus, and near the cultural centers Cologne and Düsseldorf and Bonn
  • A highly motivated group as well as an international and interdisciplinary working environment at one of Europe’s largest research establishments
  • Chance of participating in (international) conferences
  • Continuous scientific mentoring by your scientific advisor
  • Further development of your personal strengths, e.g. via a comprehensive further training Programme
  • A contract for the duration of 3 years
  • Pay in line with 50 % of pay group 13 of the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (TVöD-Bund) pay higher than the basic pay may be possible


Forschungszentrum Jülich aims to employ more women in this area and therefore particularly welcomes applications from women.

We also welcome applications from disabled persons.

Additional Information

We look forward to receiving your application, preferably online via our online recruitment system on our career site, quoting the above-mentioned reference number.

Questions about the vacancy?
Contact us by mentioning the reference number 2019D-163: career@fz-juelich.de
Please note that for technical reasons we cannot accept applications via email.