PhD student (f/m/d)

Leibniz-Zentrum für Agrarlandschaftsforschung (ZALF), Müncheberg

The mission of the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) as a nationally and internationally active research institute is to deliver solutions for an ecologically, economically and socially sustainable agriculture – together with society. ZALF is a member of the Leibniz Association and is located in Müncheberg (approx. 35 minutes by regional train from Berlin-Lichtenberg). It also maintains a research station with further locations in Dedelow and Paulinenaue.

The Research Area 1 Landscape Functioning of ZALF (RA1) investigates the functioning of agricultural landscapes and aims at contributions to the United Nations’ Sustainability Goals (SDGs) Zero Hunger, Climate Action, and Life on Land. The BMEL funded project of the working group Isotope Biogeochemistry and Gas Fluxes “Rhizosphere traits to improve crop breeding for enhanced P efficiency under water limitation” aims to identify root and rhizosphere traits to be considered in plant breeding for the development of climate-ready, resource-efficient cereal cultivars. The methods cover field trails as well as approaches under controlled conditions, investigating the plant-soil-system. The project includes a cooperation with the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), Tsukuba, Japan and BOKU Vienna (Rhizosphere Ecology and Biogeochemistry Group).

We are offering a 65% position temporarily limited for 36 months at our location in Müncheberg as

PhD student (f/m/d)

Your tasks:

  • Performing field experiments and pot experiments with different wheat varieties at ZALF, Müncheberg
  • Conducting field experiments at JIRCAS, Tsukuba, Japan (approx. 6 month stay at JIRCAS)
  • Project-related lab work incl. sample preparation, plant and root carbon/phosphorus analysis, as well as metabolomics analysis of root exudation and soil microbial community analysis
  • Statistical data analysis
  • Presentation of results on national and international conferences
  • Publication of results in peer-reviewed scientific journals

Your qualifications:

  • Master of science in the field of agricultural, ecological or geological sciences
  • Experience in experimental laboratory work
  • Excellent communication skills (incl. English)
  • A substantial interest in science and willingness to learn new methods
  • Willingness to travel within Germany and abroad


  • Practical experiences with plant experiments and radiotracer techniques
  • Advanced knowledge in statistics

We offer:

  • An interdisciplinary working environment that encourages independence and self-reliance
  • Classification according to the collective agreement of the federal states (TV-L) E 13 (including special annual payment)
  • A collegial and open-minded working atmosphere in state-of-the-art facilities
  • Family-orientated work
  • Possibility to achieve a doctoral degree
  • Participation in national and international conferences
  • Membership in ZALF’s graduate program (incl. benefit from skill training courses)
  • Scientific and personal exchange with the project partners at BOKU (Austria) and JIRCAS (Japan)

Women are particularly encouraged to apply. Applications from severely disabled persons with equal qualifications are favored.

Please send your application preferably by e-mail (one PDF file, max. 5 MB; packed PDF documents, archive files like zip, rar etc. Word documents cannot be processed and therefore cannot be considered!) with the usual documents, in particular CV, proof of qualification and certificates, stating the reference number 86-2021 until December 31, 2021 toBewerbungen(at)zalf.de.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us: Dr. Maire Holz, Tel. +49 (0) 33432/82-127;maire.holz@zalf.de.

For cost reasons, application documents or extensive publications can only be returned if an adequately stamped envelope is attached.

If you apply, we collect and process your personal data in accordance with Articles 5 and 6 of the EU GDPR only for the processing of your application and for purposes that result from possible future employment with the ZALF. Your data will be deleted after six months.

You can find further information at www.zalf.de/en/ueber_uns/Pages/Datenschutzerklaerung.aspx.