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PhD position “QUINOA DIVERSITY – Quinoa Phenotypic and Genotypic Diversity for Yield and Composition“

Advertising institute: IBG-2 - Plant Sciences
Reference number: 2017-175

The Institute of Bio- and Geosciences - Plant Sciences (IBG-2) develops integrated concepts of sustainable intensification of plant and biomass production based on molecular, physiological and ecological expertise towards a knowledge based bioeconomy. We conduct research to improve understanding of biological systems and processes to contribute to a sustainable resource use.

We are offering a

PhD position “QUINOA DIVERSITY – Quinoa Phenotypic and Genotypic Diversity for Yield and Composition“

Your Job:

The project ‘Quinoa Diversity’ funded under the ‘Bioeconomy International’ funding scheme (German Minsitry of Research) will provide an insight into quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) diversity in cooperation with partners in Chile. Adaptability and yield stability of genotypes to cultivation environments characterized by low water availability and high salinity will be a focus. In addition, the characterization of the composition of seeds and other plant organs for secondary metabolites that confer undesired properties for human consumption will be essential for exploiting the findings in view of product development for the food industry. At the same time, the results of this project will be essential for evaluating the alternative use of these compounds in novel extraction processes that could benefit different industries. Within this project we will characterize genetically and phenotypically a diverse collection of quinoa lines from Chile. This will provide an unprecedented insight into potential genomic adaptations and will together with the quinoa genome usher quinoa into the modern breeding age.

This PhD-project will be focused on the phenotypic characterization of quinoa germplasm in controlled environment experiments (growth, physiology), with specific interest in root distribution and architecture. The data acquired in controlled experiments will complement field research conducted in Chile by our project partners. Seed composition with particular focus on characterization of diversity in phenolic compounds the quinoa panel complements the program.

Methods: Root phenotyping in artificial media or soil, physiological characterization in controlled environment experiments of diverse plant material (i.e., plant growth analysis based on destructive methods, gas exchange measurements), and/or GC/MS, HPLC/capillary electrophoresis.

Your Profile:

  • background or interest in Agronomy, Plant Physiology and Ecophysiology, or Chemical Analytics
  • Master degree (or equivalent) in the above-mentioned disciplines with an overall grade of at least ‘good’
  • strong English writing and communication skills, a working knowledge of Spanish language is a plus
  • basic experience in conducting experiments involving plant cultivation in various settings (from controlled environment, greenhouses and filed) is required
  • basic experience in one or more of the abovementioned methods is desirable

Our Offer:

  • working in an interdisciplinary environment as well as excellent facilities for biologic and biotechnical research
  • Exciting working environment on an attractive research campus, ideally situated between the cities of Cologne, Düsseldorf, and Aachen
  • Opportunities to being part of the national and international scientific community
  • PhD students are encouraged to attend international conferences and visits abroad with a cooperating partner are planned
  • Specialized courses, summer schools, seminars by renown experts
  • A comprehensive further training programme, including English language courses
  • Flexible working hours and various opportunities to reconcile work and family life
  • Limited for 3 years
  • Salary and social benefits in conformity with the provisions of the Collective Agreement for the Civil Service (TVöD). Depending on the applicant's qualifications and the precise nature of the tasks, salary grade 13 (50%) TVöD-Bund


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

We also welcome applications from disabled persons.

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

Contact Human Resource Development
Anja Schurf
Tel.:+49 2461 61 9700


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