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Advertising division: IBG-3 - Agrosphere
Reference number: 2018D-001

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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 Simulation Sciences, Ecological Sciences, Hydrology, Agricultural Engineering

Your Job:

This PhD position is part of a bilateral collaboration between Forschungszentrum Julich and the University of Melbourne, Australia. Tasks involve the application of land surface models and crop models describing processes in the soil-vegetation-atmosphere system including crop production. The aim of the PhD-project is to explore the feasibility of predicting crop yield with help of medium-range and seasonal meteorological forecasts, and the incorporation of measurement data like remotely sensed soil moisture, soil moisture measured by cosmic ray neutron sensors and vegetation state as detected by satellite, in land surface and crop models using data assimilation. The predictions will be evaluated with available experimental data. Study areas are in Germany and Australia. The PhD-project is associated with a one year stay in Australia.

Your Profile:

  • MSc degree (or equivalent) in simulation sciences, ecological sciences, hydrology, agricultural engineering or other geosciences 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 cooperation with the University of Melbourne, good communication and organisational skills are essential

Our Offer:

  • Vibrant international and interdisciplinary work environment at one of biggest European research campuses, ideally situated within the city triangle 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 a bilateral collaborative project with the University of Melbourne
  • One year stay at the University of Melbourne, Australia and attendance of international conferences
  • Specialized courses, summer schools, seminars by renown experts
  • A comprehensive further training programme
  • Flexible working hours and various opportunities to reconcile work and family life
  • A part-time job with 19,5 hours per week
  • 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.

For further information visit our website http://www.fz-juelich.de/ibg/ibg-3/EN/Home/home_node.html

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 2018D-001: career@fz-juelich.de
Please note that for technical reasons we cannot accept applications via email.