PhD Position - Multi-scale high resolution near surface geophysics to image the soil-root zone of agricultural plants

Jülich Research Centre (FZJ)

Jülich, Germany

Work group:

IBG-3 – Agrosphäre

Area of research:

PHD Thesis

Job description:

Your Job:

  • The successful candidate will deal with the development and application of high resolution time-lapse GPR imaging methods (e.g., full-waveform inversion) at multiple scales to enhance the understanding of the soil-root system.
  • The aim is to find links between non-invasive geophysical monitoring, 3D root-soil modelling and the availability of N in the soil.
  • By investigating different scales from the root-system scale up to the field scale, the goal is to improve the small-scale process understanding controlling soil-plant interactions and to extend the gained understanding to the large scale to be used in precision agricultural management.
  • A significant part of the position consists of applying and analyzing GPR at the different scales ranging from soil column to horizontal boreholes at the plot-scale and field-scale.
  • The project offers the unique opportunity to connect novel processing and inversion techniques to real data from different scales and link the findings to relevant processes of the soil-plant system.

Your Profile:

  • University degree (Master) in geophysics, physics, geoscience, computational geoscience, or related natural sciences with an overall grade of at least “good”
  • Experience in programming (e.g., matlab, phyton, C/C++) and parallel computing
  • Advanced knowledge of numerical methods
  • Geophysical fieldwork experience, preferably with GPR
  • Strong English writing skills
  • Since the work involves interdisciplinary cooperation with several researchers and technicians, good communication and organizational skills are essential

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
  • A large research campus with green spaces, offering the best possible means for networking with colleagues and pursuing sports alongside work
  • 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:
  • Targeted services for international employees, e.g. through our International Advisory Service

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.

This research center is part of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers. With more than 42,000 employees and an annual budget of over € 5 billion, the Helmholtz Association is Germany’s largest scientific organisation.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: 2022D-060