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Advertising division: IBG-3 - Agrosphere
Reference number: 2018-234


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 offer a competent and interdisciplinary working environment, as well as an excellent framework in the areas of experiments and modelling.

We are offering a

PhD position with a degree in Geo Sciences / Ecological Sciences or Simulation Sciences

Your Job:

This PhD position is part of the EU-funded project “ResilientForest”. Tasks involve the application of a land surface model (LSM) describing processes in the soil-vegetation-atmosphere system and the implementation of methods for optimally combining hydrological and ecological measurement data with the LSM. The LSM will be applied for different long term ecological research sites in Europe, including the sites of project partners in Spain, Portugal and the Wüstebach site in Germany. The aim of this study is the analysis of long-term changes in hydrological and ecological states at the sites across Europe, and the projection of future states, with a special focus on the role of forest management.

Your Profile:

  • MSc degree (or equivalent) in geosciences, ecological sciences or simulation sciences with a good overall grade (among 30% best students)
  • Good background and interest in (mathematical) statistics
  • Knowledge about land surface processes, hydrology and plant physiology are of advantage
  • Experience in mathematical modelling and programming are of advantage
  • Since the work involves interdisciplinary cooperation with several national and international partners, good communication and organisational skills are essential

Our Offer:

  • Vibrant international and interdisciplinary work environment at one of biggest European research campuses, ideally situated between the cities of Cologne, Düsseldorf, and Aachen
  • Excellent facilities for numerical simulation and experimental studies, including access to high-performance scientific computing infrastructure at one of Europe's leading supercomputing centres
  • The thesis is embedded in an international EU project
  • PhD students are encouraged to attend international conferences and can be selected for a three months research stay abroad
  • Specialized courses, summer schools, seminars by renown experts
  • A comprehensive further training programme, including English language courses
  • Limited for 3 years
  • Salary and social benefits in conformity with the provisions of the Collective Agreement for the Civil Service (TVöD).

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

We also welcome applications from disabled persons.

For further information visit our website or contact Prof. Harrie-Jan Hendricks-Franssen, Phone: +49 2461 61-4462, e-mail: