PhD student (m/f/d) comprehensive physical and chemical characterization of primary and secondary aerosols

Helmholtz-Center München - German Research Center for Environmental Health (HMGU) - HMGU - Helmholtz Association

Munich, Bavaria, Germany

Work group:


Area of research:

PHD Thesis

Starting date:


Contract time limit:


Job description:

As German Research Center for Environmental Health, Helmholtz Zentrum München pursues the goal of developing personalized medical approaches for the prevention and therapy of major common diseases such as diabetes mellitus, allergies and lung diseases. To achieve this, it investigates the interaction of genetics, environmental factors and lifestyle.

The AeroHEALTH Helmholtz International Lab is a German-Israeli research initiative, addressing the health effects of fresh and atmospherically aged anthropogenic and biogenic aerosol emissions. The most relevant anthropogenic aerosol sources include biomass burning, traffic as well as industrial emissions. Important natural emissions comprise e.g. gaseous biogenic emissions, wildfires or abrasive (desert) dust. In the atmosphere new aerosol particles are formed (e.g. secondary organic aerosol, SOA) and the primary particles are chemically and physically transformed. The AeroHEALTH research approach is based on simulation of the polluted atmosphere and the photochemical transformation of aerosols in atmospheric simulation chambers or photochemical reactors. In addition to a thorough physical and chemical characterisation the aerosols are subjected to biological systems such as human lung cell cultures using special exposure systems for mimicking the lung situation. The biological and toxicological responses are characterized by advanced molecular biological approaches (incl. omics technologies). Bio informatics and modern data science is applied to link the complex exposure situation with the biological outcomes and human health data.

The international research network  "AeroHealth" focuses on the impact of atmospheric aerosols on human health. The overall concept will integrate a comprehensive chemical and physical analysis of artificial generated and ambient aerosols with biological responses based on bioinformatics.

Therefore, the cooperation group Comprehensive Molecular Analytics (CMA) is seeking for a PhD Student, preferably as of April 2019, for the basic and mass spectrometric characterization of aerosols with state-of-the art on- and offline analytical techniques.

PhD student (m/f/d) comprehensive physical and chemical characterization of primary and secondary aerosols

Job Description

Improvement and development of innovative and novel aerosol characterization techniques for a comprehensive chemical and physical characterization of aerosols.Improvement and deployment of state-of-the-art chromatographic and mass spectrometric analytical techniques (e.g. comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography, high resolution mass spectrometry) Application and adaption of MS based online-methods and their integration to cell exposure systems (e.g. single photon ionization mass spectrometry, laser based analytical techniques)Aerosol chemistryStatistical and chemometric data analysisParticipation in international measurement campaigns in Israel and GermanyIntercultural and interdisciplinary cooperationWriting of publications and third party funding

Your Qualifications

Master’s degree or diploma in (analytical) chemistry or equivalent degreeVerified practical skills in chromatographic and (or) mass spectrometric analysis of organic compoundsExperiences in sampling and common preparation techniques for trace analysis of organic compounds Strong motivation, flexibility and social competenceWillingness to cooperate in an interdisciplinary team (e.g. with biologists, chemists, physicists, engineers)Very good skills in spoken and written English

Our Offer

At the Helmholtz Zentrum München, you can contribute together with leading researchers to the investigation of the development, prevention and treatment of environmental diseases such as diabetes, chronic lung diseases and allergies. In order to further promote your professional development, we offer extensive and targeted research training and career programmes. We support the reconciliation between work and private life with flexible working time models, occupational health management, day care facility for children, a childcare subsidy, Elder Care, as well as other counseling and support services.

Remuneration and benefits are in accordance with the collective agreement for the public service (EG 13 50% TV EntgO Bund). In addition, there is also the possibility of granting an allowance amounting to 15% if the necessary conditions are fulfilled.

The position is (initially) limited to three years.

You have the possibility for PhD graduation at the University of Rostock.

The activity involves special knowledge and experience specific to own scientific skills.

As a holder of the Total E-Quality Award, we promote equality of opportunity. Applications from women are welcome. Qualified applicants with physical disabilities will be given preference.

We are looking forward to receiving your comprehensive online application until January the 26th 2019.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: Helmholtz-2018/0597