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Advertising division: IBG-3 - Agrosphere
Reference number: 2020D-002

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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 are offering a

PhD position in plant modelling – model development

Your Job:

The work will be part of the program from the German Ministry for Education and Science (BMBF) “Plant roots and soil ecosystems: Importance of the rhizosphere for the bioeconomy” in the framework of the “National Research Strategy Bioeconomy 2030”. The CROP project aims at estimating the beneficial impact of combining contrasted root phenotypes within a single field.
We will evaluate the benefit of the combination of water, carbon and nitrogen flow, microbial communities, and yield. To achieve this goal, we will use a set of complementary experimental and modelling tools. On the modelling side, experimental results will be integrated into a microbial model and a plant model. These two models (currently in development in the different teams of the consortium) will be coupled into a single framework.

You will be responsible for the development of the plant model and the integration of the data from the experimental platforms. Furthermore you will also take part in the coupling with the rhizosphere model.

Your tasks in detail:

  • Implement plant model for wheat plants
  • Implement coupled plant and microbiome model
  • Analyze simulations results
  • Present and publish results at international conferences and peer reviewer journals

Your Profile:

  • Masters degree in bioengineering, plant sciences, computer science or environmental sciences
  • Ability to understand, modify and create computer code
  • Programming skills with Python, C/C++
  • Knowledge of plant biology
  • Ability to work independently as well as collaboratively in an international, interdisciplinary team across institutes
  • Very good communication and organizational skills
  • Very good command of the English language



Please do not let lack of some skills make you feel you are ineligible for the position. If some skills are missing, they can generally be taught.

Our Offer:

  • Competent and interdisciplinary working environment, as well as an excellent framework in the areas of experiments and modelling.
  • Vibrant international work environment on an attractive Research campus, ideally situated between the cities of Cologne, Düsseldorf, and Aachen
  • Attendance at national and international conferences and workshops
  • Possibility for further scientific and technical training through international experts
  • Exceptional research infrastructure
  • Contract for the duration of 4 years
  • Pay in line with 75% of pay group 13 of the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (TVöD-Bund). Pay higher than the basic pay may be possible
  • Information on employment as a PhD student at Forschungszentrum Jülich can be found here http://www.fz-juelich.de/gp/Careers_Docs


Forschungszentrum Jülich promotes equal opportunities and diversity in its employment relations.

Additional Information

The job will be advertised until the position has been successfully filled. You should therefore submit your application as soon as possible. We look forward to receiving your application via our
Online-Recruitment-System!

Questions about the vacancy?
Contact us by mentioning the reference number 2020D-002: career@fz-juelich.de
Please note that for technical reasons we cannot accept applications via email.