PhD position in hydrogeophysics

As a member of the Helmholtz Association, Forschungszentrum Jülich makes an effective contribution to solving major challenges facing society in the fields of information, energy, and bioeconomy. It focuses on varied tasks in the area of research management and utilizes large, often unique, scientific infrastructure. Come and work with around 6,100 colleagues across a range of topics and disciplines at one of Europe's largest research centres.

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 offer a competent and interdisciplinary working environment, as well as an excellent framework in the areas of experiments and modelling.

We are offering a

PhD position in hydrogeophysics

Activities and responsibilities

Your Job:

The cultivation of date palms is widespread in the Mediterranean region and exclusively depends on high-frequency irrigation. Within the context of the German-Israelian cooperation in the area of water technology, the BMBF funded PALM-IRRI project aims to combine sap flow and electrical impedance tomography (EIT) measurements to obtain improved estimates of transpiration and stem water content of date palm. Together with project partners at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, this novel sensor combination will be used to calibrate a soil-plant-atmosphere model for irrigation scheduling.

Your tasks in detail:
  • Establish relations between electrical properties, stem water content, and radial variability of sap flow using laboratory experiments to allow stem water content estimation and upscaling of point-scale sap flow measurement to the tree scale
  • Perform and analyze field experiments to quantify internal trunk water storage and dynamics of date palms in response to deficit irrigation using optimized EIT data acquisition techniques 
  • Contribute to an international research team, publish in international journals and present results at international conferences

Qualification profile

Your Profile:
  • University degree (Master) in geophysics, environmental or agricultural engineering, or geosciences
  • Experience with geoelectrical methods or soil-plant-atmosphere models is an asset
  • Demonstrated ability for advanced data processing (e.g. Matlab, Python) 
  • 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
  • Willingness to travel to Israel and to perform field work


Our Offer:
  • Vibrant international and interdisciplinary 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
  • Outstanding scientific and technical infrastructure – ideal conditions for successfully completing a doctoral degree
  • Continuous, professional support by your scientific supervisor
  • Further development of your personal strengths, e.g. via a comprehensive further training programme
  • Pay in line with 75 % of pay group 13 of the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (TVöD-Bund)
  • Usually a contract for the duration of 3 years
Forschungszentrum Jülich aims to employ more women in this area and therefore particulary welcomes applications from women.

We also welcome applications from disabled persons.

Send application to

We look forward to receiving your application, preferably via our online recruitment system on our career site, quoting the reference number 2019D-134.

Questions about the vacancy?

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number 2019D-134:
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About Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH

Das Forschungszentrum Jülich leistet als Mitglied der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft wirksame Beiträge zur Lösung großer gesellschaftlicher Herausforderungen in den Bereichen Information, Energie und Bioökonomie. Es bearbeitet vielfältige Aufgaben im Forschungsmanagement und nutzt große, oft einzigartige wissenschaftliche Infrastrukturen. Arbeiten Sie zusammen mit rund 5.900 Kolleginnen und Kollegen...
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