PhD Position - Developing balloon-based hydrogen measurements in the upper troposphere and stratosphere

The Institute for Energy and Climate Research - Stratosphere (IEK-7), studies chemical, microphysical and dynamical processes in the upper troposphere and stratosphere and the role they play in the climate system. We are seeking a new PhD Student in the ``Water vapor & Cloud`` group to establish and perform balloon borne measurements of hydrogen (H2) with the AirCore technique. The PhD work will be performed within a three-year program of the Graduate School HITEC. The aim of this doctoral thesis is to develop a measurement system based on Gas Chromatography with Helium Ionization and Electron Capture Detection (GC-HID-ECD) that is able to quantify hydrogen in atmospherically relevant concentration ranges (50-700 parts per billion, ppb) with high precision. At the same time, this system should be able to determine the distributions of other important trace gases such as methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). This is important in order to better characterize the origin and global relevance of the measured air masses samples with respect to H2.

Your Job:

  • Characterization and optimization of a lab-based GC-HID-ECD instrument to measure H2, CH4, N2O and SF6

  • Construction and characterization of an AirCore to sample air masses without disturbance of the target trace gases

  • Conducting regular balloon launches with AirCores in Jülich and analysis of collected air samples with the GC-HID-ECD system

  • Investigate the climate impact of the measured H2 profiles in collaboration with our modeling department

Your Profile:

  • MSc in meteorology, physics, chemistry, environmental sciences or a related field with good final grade (German system equivalent 2.0 or better)

  • Very good experimental skills are essential

  • Experience with AirCores, GC systems, Balloon observations are desirable

  • Solid programming skills (e.g. Python) for data analysis are helpful

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:

  • A highly motivated working group as well as an international and interdisciplinary working environment at one of Europe’s largest research establishments

  • Outstanding scientific and technical infrastructure

  • Opportunity to participate in (international) conferences and project meetings

  • Continuous scientific mentoring by your scientific advisor

  • Flexible work (location) arrangements, e.g. remote work

  • Ideal conditions for balancing work and private life, as well as a family-friendly corporate policy

  • 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

In addition to exciting tasks and the collaborative working atmosphere at Jülich, we have a lot more to offer (

The position is for a fixed term of 3 years. Pay in line with 67,5% 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.

Letzte Änderung: 24.05.2024