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PhD student: Characterization of a plant climate chamber for atmospheric chemistry studies

Advertising institute: IEK-8 - Troposphere
Reference number: D026/2013, Chemistry, Physics

For a research project at the Institute of Energy and Climate Research – Troposphere, IEK-8, we are seeking a

PhD student
for a 3 year position.

With 4400 staff members Forschungszentrum Jülich is the largest interdisciplinary research center in Germany focusing its research in the fields of health, environment and energy, and information technology. At IEK-8: Troposphere simulation chamber experiments, experimental field studies, and model calculations are used to investigate the processes that control the chemical transformation and spatial distribution of trace compounds, and their ultimate removal from the atmosphere. About 60 scientists, engineers, technicians, and doctoral students are currently working at the institute in the field of atmospheric chemistry. Oxidation processes of biogenic emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have recently been discussed as key uncertainties for current descriptions of both the atmospheric self cleaning capacity and the formation of secondary organic aerosol. A key challenge in developing a comprehensive knowledge of VOC oxidation mechanisms is the huge number of individual VOCs emitted from plants. We therefore develop a new plant climate chamber (PLUS) as a source for natural mixtures of biogenic VOCs to study atmospheric oxidation under controlled conditions in our simulation chamber SAPHIR.

Science and Experiments within the PhD thesis
We have an immediate opening for a PhD student focusing on the characterization of a newly developed plant climate chamber. The candidate will determine optimal working parameters for the plant climate chamber and measure the VOCs emitted from plants with mass spectrometric techniques (GC-MS, PTR-MS). Reproducibility of emission patterns and representativeness for atmospheric conditions will be determined in experiments studying the formation of secondary organic aerosol from biogenic emissions.


  • M. Sc. (or equivalent) in chemistry, physics, or a related discipline.
  • Experience in mass spectrometry and/or gas chromatographic measurement techniques are a pro
  • Interest in atmospheric chemistry
  • Excellent technical and organizational skills
  • Willingness to communicate research results and to interact within an international research environment

For further information visit our website at or contact Dr. Astrid Kiendler-Scharr, e-mail:

Equal opportunity is a cornerstone of our staff policy. Applications from disabled persons are welcomed. Payment of the PhD fellow will be based on salary grade 13/2 Collective Agreement for the Civil Service (TVöD). Depending on the candidate's profile and the subject of his/her PhD thesis an additional allowance may be granted.

Please send your application - quoting the reference number - with the relevant documentation to:

Mr. K. Beumers
Institut für Bio- und Geowissenschaften
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
52425 Jülich