Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ)

PhD position (m/f/x)

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ)

Leipzig, Germany

The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) with its 1,100 employees has gained an excellent reputation as an international competence centre for environmental sciences. We are part of the largest scientific organisation in Germany, the Helmholtz association. Our mission: Our research seeks to find a balance between social development and the long-term protection of our natural resources.

The UFZ is a partner in the World Water Quality Alliance led by the UN Environment Programme with the challenging task to compile a World Water Quality Assessment by 2023 on current and future freshwater quality. Part of the process is the development of an Analysis and Service platform within the BMBF funded project GlobeWQ. The UFZ Department of Computational Hydrosystems (CHS) is involved in the model-based assessment of present and future water quality parameters in case study areas (in Europe, America, Africa and Asia).

PhD position (m/f/x)

Subject: Towards improved model-based assessment of regional scale water quality status under current and future conditions

Project start / start of employment: 01.02.2020 .Working time 65% (25,35 hours per week), limited to 3 years

Your tasks:
Excessive nitrate surpluses – arising from large usages of agrochemicals (inorganic fertilizers) – are one of the main problems in agricultural areas, leading to subsurface pollutions (soil and groundwater) and eventually deterioration of the surface/subsurface water quality. Assessing the present level of subsurface contamination and providing future projections require an understanding of legacy components (the past trajectories), hydrologic and biogeochemical turnover processes through both data and mechanistic modelling approaches. To this end, we seek to provide improved system understanding of nitrate turnover process to ultimately improve model-based assessment of water quality status within the GlobeWQ project. Main tasks for this position include:

  • Collection, processing and harmonization of input datasets for nitrate modelling (e.g., fertilizer, livestock, crop yield, in-stream N-concentration)
  • Establishment/Enhancement of a nitrate model coupled to the existing multiscale Hydrologic modelling system (mHM).
  • Understanding/synthesising the past (legacies) and future fate of Nitrate across the different terrestrial compartments (soil/groundwater/surface water).
  • Active initiation of peer-review papers and preparation of publications as well as reports for the project.
  • Representation of the project and its research at national and international meetings/conferences (e.g. EGU, AGU).

Your profile:

  • Master degree in hydrological or water-related environmental sciences/engineering or Physics, Mathematics or Informatics
  • Experience in hydrologic modelling activities with knowledge on subsurface biogeochemical (nitrate) processes
  • Demonstrated programming skills (e.g., Fortran, Python, R)
  • Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment
  • Competences in communication, teamwork and scientific synthesis
  • Excellent written and spoken English skill

We offer:

  • Top level interdisciplinary research at a research centre which enjoys an excellent reputation within Germany as well as internationally
  • Excellent technical facilities
  • Work in inter-disciplinary and multinational teams
  • Excellent links to national and international research networks
  • Support and optimal training courses by our graduate school (HIGRADE)
  • Remuneration in accordance with the TVöD public-sector pay grade 13 (65%)

The UFZ has a strong commitment to diversity and actively supports equal opportunities for all employees regardless of their origin, religion, ideology, disability, age or sexual identity. We look forward to applications from people who are open-minded and enjoy working in diverse teams.

Your contact for any questions you may have about the job:
Prof. Sabine Attinger

Dr. Rohini Kumar

Dr. Fanny Sarrazin
Please submit your application via our online portal with your cover letter, CV (please omit your photo, age, or marital status) and relevant attachments.

Closing date for applications:

Place of work: Leipzig

Please apply via our online portal. Apply here

More information about jobs at the UFZ:

Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung GmbH – UFZ
Permoserstraße 15
04318 Leipzig, Germany

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: 1801