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Advertising division: IBG-3 - Agrosphere
Reference number: 2020D-001


The Institute of Bio- and Geosciences – Agrosphere (IBG-3) conducts research to improve our understanding of biogeochemical and hydrological processes in terrestrial systems. Specific studies focus on environmental controls on biogeochemical cycling of elements, the analysis of exchange processes and nutrient dynamics in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. A combination of experiments, modelling and innovative observation technologies is used to bridge the gap between model, process and management scale. Its research contributes to the sustainable and resource-conserving use of soils and water and to the quantification of the effect of climate and land use change on terrestrial ecosystems.

We are offering a

PhD position in plant modelling – experiment performance and data analysis

Your Job:

The work will be part of the program from the German Ministry for Education and Science (BMBF) “Plant roots and soil ecosystems: Importance of the rhizosphere for the bioeconomy” in the framework of the “National Research Strategy Bioeconomy 2030”. The CROP project aims at estimating the beneficial impact of combining contrasted root phenotypes within a single field. We will evaluate the benefit of the combination of water, carbon and nitrogen flow and cycling, on microbial activity, and yield. To achieve this goal, we will use a set of complementary experimental and modelling tools. On the experimental side, we will perform experiments in lab (columns) and field (lysimeters, minirhizotrons) conditions. We will use isotopic monitoring and labeling techniques to determine the flows of water, carbon, and nitrogen in the system. We will use non-destructive in-situ imaging methods (zymography) and molecular techniques to determine microbial activity and abundance.

You will be responsible for performing the experiments and analyzing the plant-related data on the different platforms.

Your tasks in detail:

  • Setup and run the experiments on the different platforms (laboratory columns and chambers, lysimeters, and field rhizotrons)
  • Collect and analyze the experimental data
  • Present and publish results at international conferences and peer reviewer journals

Your Profile:

  • Masters degree in bioengineering, plant sciences, computer science or environmental sciences
  • Knowledge of plant biology
  • Ability to work independently as well as collaboratively in an international, interdisciplinary team across institutes
  • Very good communication and organizational skills
  • Very good command of the English language

Please do not let lack of some skills make you feel you are ineligible for the position. If some skills are missing, they can generally be taught.

Our Offer:

  • Competent and interdisciplinary working environment, as well as an excellent framework in the areas of experiments and modelling.
  • Vibrant international work environment on an attractive research campus, ideally situated between the cities of Cologne, Düsseldorf, and Aachen
  • Attendance at national and international conferences and workshops
  • Possibility for further scientific and technical training through international experts
  • Exceptional research infrastructure
  • Contract for the duration of 4 years
  • Pay in line with 75% of pay group 13 of the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (TVöD-Bund).
  • Information on employment as a PhD student at Forschungszentrum Jülich can be found here

Forschungszentrum Jülich promotes equal opportunities and diversity in its employment relations.

Additional Information

The job will be advertised until the position has been successfully filled. You should therefore submit your application as soon as possible. We look forward to receiving your application via our

Questions about the vacancy?
Contact us by mentioning the reference number 2020D-001:
Please note that for technical reasons we cannot accept applications via email.