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Job advertisement Research associate (PhD candidate) in Biochemistry

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European Geosciences Union

Research associate (PhD candidate) in Biochemistry

Research associate (PhD candidate) in Biochemistry

Thünen Institute of Climate-Smart Agriculture logo

Thünen Institute of Climate-Smart Agriculture

The Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute, Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries – Thünen Institute in brief – consists of 15 specialized institutes with socioeconomic, ecological and technological expertise. The Thünen Institute conducts research and policy advice related to rural areas, agriculture, forests and fisheries.


Braunschweig, Germany


Relevant division
Biogeosciences (BG)


Entry level

See 'Terms of employment'

Required education

Application deadline
3 April 2023

15 March 2023

Job description

The Thünen Institute of Climate-Smart Agriculture of the Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute, Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries in Braunschweig (Germany) invites applications for a Research associate (f/m/d) with a ckground in agricultural, soil, geological or environmental sciences with 65% of the regular weekly working time in the integrated research project “DeniDrain“. The position is to be filled earliest to 01.06.2023 and limited until 31.03.2027.

Denitrification in soil has been intensively studied for more than 100 years, but previous experimental studies and thus also the parameterization of the models refer almost exclusively to the deep vadosezone. Together with the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), the Thünen Institute is investigating denitrification in the unsaturated drainage zone below the root zone. The aim of this collaborative project is to
quantitatively determine the mitigation of nitrate inputs to groundwater by the degradation of nitrate to N2O and N2 by denitrification in the deep vadose zone. After a suitable site selection, current denitrification rates of these sites and effects of different control variables will be investigated in the laboratory. At BGR, the data obtained will then be used to test and improve models.


  • Assistance with site selection and soil sampling
  • Conducting laboratory experiments on denitrification and nitrate leaching
  • Scientific data analysis and statistical evaluation
  • Publication of results in scientific journals
  • Presentation of results at national and international conferences

Professional requirements:

  • Good degree in agricultural, soil, geosciences or environmental sciences or comparable dis-ciplines with a scientific background (Master, Diplom)
  • Knowledge in the field of nitrogen turnover in agricultural soils
  • Experience in field and/or laboratory work in the field of agriculture/soil science desired
  • Good statistical knowledge

Personal requirements:

  • Independent and self-reliant scientific way of working
  • High level of motivation and enjoyment of scientific work, willingness to learn new meth-ods, technical skills
  • Excellent communication skills in English, good German language skills necessary
  • Driving license class B desirable

We offer an exciting job in a project on a current and highly relevant research topic. You will work on interesting, challenging and practice-oriented topics in a dynamic research institute character-ized by lively interdisciplinary exchange.

We support the compatibility of work and family and are the holder of the audit berufundfamilie certificate. In order to support the compatibility, the Thünen Institute offers, among other things, flexible working time models, home office and teleworking within the scope of the official possibil-ities. Part-time employment is generally possible.

The employment relationship is based on the provisions of the collective agreement for the public service (TVöD). Salary payment is in accordance with pay group 13 of the TVöD.

The Thünen Institute promotes professional equality between women and men and therefore expressly welcomes applications from women.

The Thünen Institute is committed to inclusion. Applications from people with severe disabilities are therefore expressly welcome. They will be given special consideration in the selection process.

For further inquiries please contact Dr. Caroline Buchen-Tschiskale (

How to apply

Please send your application (electronically as one document) with a letter of motivation, a curricu-lum vitae in tabular form with an overview of your training and career path and copies of certifi-cates and two references (if possible) using the reference code 2023-052-AK-DeniDrain by 03.04.2023 to:
Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut
Institut für Agrarklimaschutz
Bundesallee 65
38116 Braunschweig