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Advertising division: IBG-3 - Agrosphere
Reference number: 2018-277


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 looking to recruit a

PhD student with a degree in Biology, Natural Sciences, Engineering, Physics, Applied Mathematics

Your Job:

This PhD position is part of the DFG funded priority program (PP) “rhizosphere spatiotemporal organization – a key to rhizosphere function" (
The PhD student will have to investigate the impact of the rhizosphere processes (root hairs and mucilage) on soil-plant water relations and drought tolerance in maize.
The PhD is part of a nationwide, interdisciplinary community project on rhizosphere research. The project will be conducted in close collaboration with the university of Bayreuth and with the Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ Leipzing/Halle. The anticipated start is September, 2018.

Your Profile:

  • MSc degree (or equivalent) in biology, soil science, engineering, physics or applied mathematics
  • Experience in soil physics, plant physiology, measurements and modelling of water movement through the soil- plant-atmosphere continuum would be an advantage
  • Flexibility to attend regular project-internal meetings in Germany, to participate in international scientific conferences and to conduct some of the planned analyses at cooperation partners in Germany
  • Ability to work independently in the lab and in the field and motivation to work in an interdisciplinary team
  • Good written and oral communication skills in English
  • Experience with image techniques, image processing and modelling is welcome

Our Offer:

  • Working in an interdisciplinary environment as well as excellent facilities for hydrogeophysical research and numerical simulation and inversion studies
  • Opportunities to being part of the national and international scientific community
  • PhD students are encouraged to attend international conferences and a three months research stay abroad with a cooperating partner is planned
  • Specialized courses, summer schools, seminars by renown experts
  • A comprehensive further training Programme
  • Limited for 3 years
  • The anticipated start is September 2018
  • Salary and social benefits in conformity with the provisions of the Collective Agreement for the Civil Service (50% TVöD EG 13). Depending on the candidate\'s profile and the subject of his/her PhD thesis an additional allowance may be granted (up to 65% TVöD EG 13).

For further information visit our website:

or contact Prof. Jan Vanderborght, Phone: +49 2461 61-2281, e-mail: or Prof. Mathieu Javaux, Phone: +32 10 47 3708, email:

Forschungszentrum Jülich aims to employ more women in this area and therefore particulary 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 2018-277:
Please note that for technical reasons we cannot accept applications via email.