PhD-Position - Hydrological modelling in the context of forest ecosystems and climate change (IBG-3)

At the the Institute of Bio- and Geosciences – Agrosphere (IBG-3) we conduct research to improve our understanding of hydrological and biogeochemical processes in terrestrial systems. With more than 140 employees (of which 40+ are PhD students), the research conducted in IBG-3 contributes to the sustainable and resource-conserving use of soil and water. Within this framework, modeling of the terrestrial system in supercomputer environments together with the analyses of large data sets constitute central components of scientific and applied research. IBG-3 is also a member of the Centre of High-Performance Scientific Computing in Terrestrial Systems (HPSC TerrSys), Geoverbund ABC/J, Germany ( ). IBG-3 and HPSC TerrSys together, maintain a leading position in the development and application of parallel software technologies in geosciences. For further information visit our website at:

We are offering a

PhD-Position - Hydrological modelling in the context of forest ecosystems and climate change

Your Job:

As PhD-candidate in this position you will be engaged in the large and collaborative project MW³ (Standardized monitoring of growth responses of important forest tree species to climatic extreme events) that is funded by WaldKlimaFonds ( ) and aims at developing a forest monitoring system to detect growth responses of important forest ecosystems in Central Europe to climatic extreme events. Within this project, the PhD project deals with the characterization of the impact of climatic extreme events on the water balance of forest ecosystems.

More specifically, the successful candidate will:

  • Analyze comprehensive soil and tree physiological data from a range of forest ecosystems in Germany.
  • Set-up and perform hydrological simulations of the MW³ forest test sites by using the land surface model CLM5.
  • Extent the capability of CLM5 to differentiate between different tree species, in collaboration with cooperation partners at the UFZ.
  • Perform and analyze model predictions of the interaction between soil water balance and tree transpiration and growth.
  • Work and cooperate with the partners of the MW³ project.

Your Profile:

  • MSc degree (or equivalent) in geosciences, hydrology, ecology, environmental engineering, computer sciences or comparable subject with high grades.
  • Strong background and interest in hydrology and/or numerical modelling.
  • Knowledge of a programming language (e.g. R, Python) and experience in scientific publication is an advantage.
  • Proficiency in written/oral English and very good organizational and communication skills.

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:

  • Vibrant international and interdisciplinary work environment at one of the largest European research centers, close to the cities of Cologne and Aachen
  • Outstanding scientific and technical infrastructures including access to Europe`s leading supercomputing center of Jülich
  • 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:
  • You will be encouraged to attend international conferences and can be selected and funded for a three-month research stay abroad
  • Continuous formation through summer schools, specialized courses, and seminars held by renowned experts
  • Continuous and professional support by your scientific supervisors
  • Flexible work (location) arrangements e.g. remote work to a degree
  • Pay 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“) is offered to attract high-profile candidates.
  • A contract for the duration of 3 years.

To apply, please submit a complete CV, a letter of motivation, the graduation certificates (both Bachelor`s and Master`s) and two letters of reference through the link provided on the website.

Further information on doctoral degrees at Forschungszentrum Jülich including our other locations is available at:

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

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: 07.11.2023