PhD Position (Ecosystem Functioning Simulations)

Forschungszentrum Jülich

Jülich, Germany 🇩🇪

At the Institute of Bio- and Geosciences – Agrosphere (IBG-3) we conduct research to improve the understanding of hydrological and biogeochemical processes in terrestrial systems. A combination of experiments, modeling, and innovative observational technologies are used to bridge the gap between model, process, and management. Our research contributes to sustainable and resource-efficient use of soils and water, and to quantify the impacts of climate and land use change on terrestrial ecosystems. For more information on our mission, click here:

Institute issuing the offer: IBG-3

external id: 2022D-118

Your Job:

In a current project we are aiming to model a forest ecosystem based on long-term and experimental data. In general, nutrient cycling in forest ecosystems includes nutrient inputs (litter production and decomposition, atmospheric deposition, weathering of primary minerals), nutrient uptake and storage in vegetation, changes of nutrient speciation, and nutrient export (leaching from soil, gaseous transfers). We will therefore develop a holistic model able to cope with the water and nutrient fluxes, storage and release of C, N, and P, and forest growth. The new model will be an extension of AgroC, developed in IBG-3, to simulate forest stands.

Your specific tasks will be:

  • Support in the integration of a forest growth component into the existing AgroC model
  • Data mining for existing data from different sampling campaigns of our experimental forest site
  • Testing and validation of the new forest growth module on existing data

Your Profile:

  • Master’s degree in environmental sciences, hydrology or any related natural science
  • First experience in the use of hydrological and/or crop models
  • Basic knowledge of a programming language (Matlab, R, or Phyton)
  • Ability to cooperate in an interdisciplinary and international team
  • Strong English writing and communication as well as organization skills

Our Offer:

We work on the very latest issues that impact our society and are offering you the chance to actively help in shaping the change! We offer ideal conditions for you to complete your doctoral degree:

  • Working in an interdisciplinary environment as well as excellent facilities for experimental and numerical simulation studies
  • Opportunities of being part of the national and international scientific community. PhD-candidates are encouraged to attend international conferences
  • Possibility for further scientific and technical training through international experts
  • An exceptional research infrastructure
  • Special services for international employees, e.g. through our International Advisory Service
  • Further development of your personal strengths, e.g., through an extensive range of training courses; a structured program of continuing education and networking opportunities specifically for doctoral researchers via JuDocS, the Jülich Center for Doctoral Researchers and Supervisors:

The employment of doctoral researchers at Jülich is governed by a doctoral contract, which usually has a term of three years. Pay is in line with 75% of pay group 13 of the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (TVöD-Bund) and additionally 60% of a monthly salary as special payment („Christmas bonus“). Further information on doctoral degrees at Forschungszentrum Jülich including our other locations is available at:

We welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds, e.g. in terms of age, gender, disability, sexual orientation / identity, and social, ethnic and religious origin. A diverse and inclusive working environment with equal opportunities in which everyone can realize their potential is important to us.