PhD opportunity Soil Science (+Data Sciences)

Updated: 2 months ago

PhD opportunity at TUM – Chair of Soil Science

You’re interested in digging deeper into how soils store organic carbon and why a picture of that could be worth a thousand words? Then this PhD opportunity is for you!

The project is part of a strategic program of the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) to promote data competences in sciences. The growing development of digital research approaches and the amount of available data provides ample opportunities for applications for specific questions in particular research fields, like soil sciences. To strengthen the data competences in future research, this program enables to bring together data scientists with specific partners to work jointly on interdisciplinary approaches.

Our project aims to contribute to a better understanding of organic carbon storage in soils, which is specifically relevant in times of changing climate. For this we will process data on soil microstructures from a technique called nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS). In collaboration with the data partner, we will apply approaches of spatial data mining, which are not yet established in soil sciences. This involves advancing image analytical tools and platforms, devoted to the FAIR data guiding principles. The novel approaches will be related with functions of carbon cycling and soil fertility at the microscale to better understand to which extent these are governed by the concerted activities of physical, chemical and biological processes at the microscale.

The Chair of Soil Science at the Technical University of Munich invites applications for a 3-yr doctoral position focusing on the soil process perspective based on the new method approaches. The starting date is planned on 1st of November 2022, a later starting date could be negotiated. Please note that the position is currently still subject to the final funding decision after its positive evaluation.

Candidate profile: We are looking for a highly motivated, co-operative person with a strong background in soil biogeochemistry or soil physics, and – as far as possible – data analytical tools. The ideal candidate has demonstrated his/her ability to successfully carry out research and communicate the results. Experience in publishing in scientific journals is desirable. Moreover, the ideal applicant should have some background in the application of data analytical tools, or be keen to learn about and utilize these methods. A strong command of English is indispensable. For international candidates, knowledge of German would be beneficial. Salary is the German standard for doctoral students (TV-L E13 65%). The Technical University Munich is an equal opportunity employer and encourages women to apply. Disabled applicants with equal qualification and aptitude will be given preferential consideration.

Your application should include a letter of motivation, a CV, academic transcripts (non-official copies are acceptable) and contact details of two academic references. Please send your application as a single PDF by email with the subject “PhD position TheSoilCarbonHack” by September 30th , 2022 to . Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. For any questions related to the project you can contact Dr. Steffen Schweizer ( ). 

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