27 Fully Funded PhD Programs at Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany

Are you holding Master’s degree and looking for PhD positions? Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany inviting online application for funded PhD Programs / fully funded PhD positions. 

Interested and eligible applicants may submit their online application for PhD programs via the University’s Online Application Portal.

1. PhD Position in Organic Electrochemistry: Catalyzed Synthesis of Value-added Compounds

Summary of PhD Program:

You will be part of the Electrocatalysis research department (https://www.hi-ern.de/hi-ern/Electrocatalysis), which research area is an investigation of fundamental aspects of the electrolyte-electrode interface during applied processes of reversible interconversion of electrical and chemical energy. The department’s scientific interests are aimed on the development of an efficient methodology for the electrochemical transformation of readily available feedstock to value-added products.

Organic electrosynthesis, as nowadays proven powerful tool for preparation of substances of desired composition, has been recently added to the profile of scientific interests of the department. Commonly used offline analytical methods are found to be insufficient in the testing of variety of catalytic materials, therefore in the department of Electrocatalysis, a unique platform for online (real-time) analysis of electrochemical processes is developed, providing a powerful analytical support for the conducted research.

Last Application Date: 16.10.2022

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2. PhD Position in Influence of interfaces in solid state Lithium-Ion Batteries their performance

Summary of PhD Program:

Nowadays, Lithium-Ion batteries are inevitable in our daily life. But still, safety hazards remain an issue and incidents of burning electric vehicles and laptops are reported. The main reason for this is the usage of inflammable organic liquid electrolytes. Solid state electrolytes provide the option to increase not only the safety, but also the long term stability and energy density. The challenge in solid state batteries are the interfaces, as a solid-solid contact is more difficult to maintain during cycling.

The interfaces are exposed to mechanical stress but also chemical reactions and diffusion may occur. In the framework of the US-German project „Interfaces and Interphases in Rechargeable Li Based Batteries: Cathode/Solid Electrolyte – Phase 2 ” (CatSE²) the influence of “internal” (grain boundaries) and “external” (Solid Electrolyte – Cathode) interfaces on the ionic conductivity should be evaluated by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy.

The correlation to microscopic investigations including diffraction to evaluate the local crystallographic structure and spectroscopic techniques for local chemical analysis (Energy dispersive X-ray Spectrocops (EDS) and Electron Energy-Loss Spectroscopy (EELS)). If possible microscopic impedance of selected interfaces will reveal, how the structure and chemistry at the interfaces influences the ion transfer. The analysis of pristine and cycled cells should reveal the origin for the degradation of the electrochemical performance and yield to the development of more powerful solid state batteries.

Last Application Date: 25.10.2022

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3. PhD Position in Applied hydrologic sciences

Summary of PhD Program:

The BMBF funded OrganoRice project aims to support the production of organically produced rice in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. Therefore, an interdisciplinary team analyses the current state of the economic, social, and environmental conditions, monitors changes during the transition from conventional to organic rice production and will provide recommendation for future planning.

The successful candidate will analyze pesticide residues in irrigation water and paddy rice fields in the landscape to provide information about the current pesticide background and will monitor pesticide concentrations in soil and water after transition to organic rice production.

Last Application Date: 15.11.2022

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4. PhD Position in Non-destructive detection of nitrate in soils

Summary of PhD Program:

At the Institute of Bio- and Geosciences – Agrosphere (IBG-3) we conduct research to improve our understanding of biogeochemical and hydrological processes in terrestrial systems. Specific studies focus on environmental controls on biogeochemical cycling of elements, the analysis of exchange processes and nutrient dynamics in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum.

A combination of experiments, modelling and innovative observation technologies is used to bridge the gap between model, process and management scale. Its research contributes to the sustainable and resource-conserving use of soils and water and to the quantification of the effect of climate and land use change on terrestrial ecosystems.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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5. PhD Position in Nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems

Summary of PhD Program:

In a current project we are aiming to model a forest ecosystem based on long-term and experimental data. In general, nutrient cycling in forest ecosystems includes nutrient inputs (litter production and decomposition, atmospheric deposition, weathering of primary minerals), nutrient uptake and storage in vegetation, changes of nutrient speciation, and nutrient export (leaching from soil, gaseous transfers, export by erosion).

We will therefore develop a holistic model able to cope with the water and nutrient fluxes, storage and release of C, N, and P, and forest growth. The new model will be an extension of AgroC, developed in IBG-3, to simulate forest stands. Additionally, we aim at investigating the contribution of colloidal transport of elements in nutrient cycling as this is still scarcely explored and not covered by modeling.

Understanding controls of colloid transport, especially after major events like heavy rain, is elementary to integrate particle transport into numerical modeling, which in turn is indispensable for describing and predicting elemental fluxes of critical nutrients in ecosystems.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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6. PhD Position in Nutrient cycling and transport modelling in terrestrial ecosystems

Summary of PhD Program:

In a current project we are aiming to model a forest ecosystem based on long-term and experimental data. In general, nutrient cycling in forest ecosystems includes nutrient inputs (litter production and decomposition, atmospheric deposition, weathering of primary minerals), nutrient uptake and storage in vegetation, changes of nutrient speciation, and nutrient export (leaching from soil, gaseous transfers, export by erosion).

We will therefore develop a holistic model able to cope with the water and nutrient fluxes, storage and release of C, N, and P, and forest growth. The new model will be an extension of AgroC, developed in IBG-3, to simulate forest stands. Additionally, we aim at investigating the contribution of colloidal transport of elements in nutrient cycling as this is still scarcely explored and not covered by modeling.

Understanding controls of colloid transport, especially after major events like heavy rain, is elementary to integrate particle transport into numerical modeling, which in turn is indispensable for describing and predicting elemental fluxes of critical nutrients in ecosystems.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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7. PhD Position in Ecosystem functioning simulations

Summary of PhD Program:

In a current project we are aiming to model a forest ecosystem based on long-term and experimental data. In general, nutrient cycling in forest ecosystems includes nutrient inputs (litter production and decomposition, atmospheric deposition, weathering of primary minerals), nutrient uptake and storage in vegetation, changes of nutrient speciation, and nutrient export (leaching from soil, gaseous transfers). We will therefore develop a holistic model able to cope with the water and nutrient fluxes, storage and release of C, N, and P, and forest growth. The new model will be an extension of AgroC, developed in IBG-3, to simulate forest stands.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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8. PhD Position in Model Compression, Transfer Learning and Local Learning for Large Scale AI

Summary of PhD Program:

Very large-scale neural networks and their transfer or distillation to specific problems are key to enable the widespread application of AI technologies. Training, maintaining and distilling large scale models is a very challenging task, requiring huge computational resources. However, the brain is a comparatively large neural network, and yet is able to learn and update its model of the world in an energy-efficient, local, and online manner.

Research at the Peter Grünberg Institute – Neuromorphic Hardware Nodes (PGI-14) and the Peter Grünberg Institute – Neuromorphic Software Eco Systems (PGI-15) aims to design computing algorithms and hardware architectures inspired by the biological brain, thereby closing the gap between the computational abilities of modern computers and those of the brain.

To expand this research to large scale transferable models and enable their compression towards brain-inspired hardware, PGI-14 and PGI-15 led by Prof. Dr. John Paul Strachan and Prof. Dr. Emre Neftci are seeking a PhD student. You will be jointly employed at PGI-14 and PGI-15.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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9. PhD Position in Neuromorphic Hardware for Event-based Computing at the Edge

Summary of PhD Program:

The Peter Grünberg Institute – Neuromorphic Software Eco Systems (PGI-15) led by Prof. Dr. Emre Neftci explores neuromorphic computing technologies that learn and work like the brain. Our research team designs computing algorithms and architectures from the perspective of Neuroscience and physical realizations in dedicated circuits and devices. Applications of our research are targeted to improve computing in many areas, including computer vision, autonomous control, data processing in mobile and wearable devices, and (neuro-)scientific data analysis.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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10. PhD Position in Development of a stationary 3D tomography measurement system for high-resolution surveying of soils using georadar

Summary of PhD Program:

Against the background of global challenges such as climate change and the growing world population, Forschungszentrum Jülich is conducting research with a view to optimizing yields, improving soil and water conservation, and minimizing the impact of climate change. This requires a detailed understanding of the flow and transport processes in soils, as well as the dynamic development of root growth.

One of several established measurement methods for such applications in geophysics is georadar. Georadar operates in the frequency range from about 200 to 2000 MHz. The coupling into the ground is done with antennas and is therefore non-invasive.

In this way, characteristic soil properties such as electrical and dielectric conductivity can be determined. In cooperation with the Institute of Agrosphere (IBG-3), a novel measurement system with a large number of antennas is being developed, which enables high-resolution three-dimensional tomography of undisturbed soil columns.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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11. PhD Position in Neuromorphic Engineering / Computing

Summary of PhD Program:

There exists a substantial gap between the computational abilities of modern computers and those of the brain. The new Peter Grünberg Institute – Neuromorphic Compute Nodes (PGI-14) aims to close this gap and develop novel computing capabilities by incorporating some of the remarkable features found in biological brains.

We take a hands-on approach building and programming novel test chips, and applying them to important application areas. We particularly focus on in-memory, mixed analog-digital approaches to develop architectures integrating novel components such as memristors, combined with traditional CMOS.

Practical application areas include AI and Machine learning, NP-hard optimization problems, scientific computing, and signal processing. Our institute works closely with the new Peter Grünberg Institute – Neuromorphic Software Ecosystem (PGI-15), as well as device, materials, circuit researchers and neuroscientists in other institutes at Forschungszentrum Jülich and RWTH Aachen.

Last Application Date: 21.10.2022

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12. PhD Position in Optimal control theory for full-stack superconducting quantum processor

Summary of PhD Program:

The Peter Grünberg Institute for Quantum Control (PGI-8) at the Forschungszentrum Jülich specializes in novel optimization strategies for emerging quantum technologies. These emerging technologies aim to provide transformative changes to our society, including how we think about information, and unlocking vast calculations for the natural sciences, logistical problem solving, and high-performance computation.

Our group has pioneered the application of quantum optimal control methods to quantum computation and many-body quantum systems. This includes the development of physical models and model reduction techniques as well as algorithmic advances of in-situ optimization and machine learning to tackle the complex processes inherent to scalable quantum devices.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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13. PhD Position in Cryo-EM of membrane remodeling proteins

Summary of PhD Program:

For the Ernst Ruska-Centre for Microscopy and Spectroscopy with Electrons under the direction of Prof. Sachse, you will be working on cryo-EM studies of membrane remodelling proteins in the field of Structural Biology at our institute. The Sachse lab recently determined a series of cryo-EM structures of bacterial as well as eukaryotic members of the endosomal sorting complexes required for transport (ESCRT) protein family.

In order to gain a deep structural understanding, we biochemically purify and reconstitute ESCRT protein complexes in lipid environments and visualize them by cryo-EM methods. You will be working in a network of membrane biological research and latest cryo-EM infrastructure.

Last Application Date: 10.10.2022

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14. PhD Position in In-situ transmission electron microscopy study of carbon dioxide reduction reaction catalysts

Summary of PhD Program:

Efficient catalyst materials hold the key for a breakthrough in future energy conversion and storage. The carbon dioxide reduction reaction (CO2RR) is an important process for the conversion of the greenhouse gas CO2 into industrially relevant basic chemicals. Copper-based catalysts have been demonstrated to show high activity in CO2RR.

Alloying or incorporating other elements such as gold or silver changes their selectivity. The catalytic performance depends strongly on the catalyst´s microstructural properties. You will be working on the development, electrochemical, and microstructural characterization of advanced Cu-based CO2RR nanoparticle catalysts.

Last Application Date: 13.10.2022

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15. PhD Position in Environmental fate of Bioplastics in Soils

Summary of PhD Program:

The main focus of this PhD position is to examine the environmental behavior and fate of bioplastics in soils. Soils are one of key entry pathways in which bioplastics enter various vulnerable ecosystems. The project will focus on what happens to bioplastics once they have entered the soil, and crucially how the subsequent fate of the bioplastic is determining by soils and wider environmental factors (substrate, weather, physico-chemical and microbial status etc.).

The project is part of a large research consortium looking into “Transitioning BioPlastics to the Circular Economy”. Based on available 14C-labeled monomers radiolabeled bioplastic test substances will be prepared, needed in subsequent steps to investigate the environmental behavior of such bioplastics.

Together with project partners the production of the required bioplastic will be established with (unlabelled) precursors in their laboratories, after which a production synthesis line will be set up in the IBG-3 labs approved using actual radioactive compounds.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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16. PhD Position in Nanoscale study of superconductors for qubits

Summary of PhD Program:

We look for excellent candidates who are interested in experimental work on the fundamental physics and materials science of superconductors. Samples will be fabricated by our collaborators within QSolid, as well as our own laboratories and will be analyzed using our state-of-the-art low-temperature scanning tunneling and atomic force microscopes.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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17. PhD Position in The role of CO2 as a resource in a global greenhouse gas-neutral energy system

Summary of PhD Program:

Support us in providing orientation knowledge for politics, industry and society for the success of the energy transition by contributing to the further development of our energy system models. Your main task will be the integration of CO2 process chains into our global energy system model based on the FINE model framework. A particular focus will be on the use in power-to-liquid products as well as possible CO2 sources in a greenhouse gas neutral energy system.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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18. PhD Position in High Dimensional Multi Omics Data Integration

Summary of PhD Program:

Your project has the aim to develop novel (interactive) workflow tools for high dimensional data integration and data mining. The data used should comprise multiple omics disciplines e.g. transcripts, metabolites and epigenetic sig-nals. Currently many analyses comprise ad-hoc methods or “standard” procedures that are disjunct.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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19. PhD Position in Photonics based on SiGeSn heterostructures

Summary of PhD Program:

The integration of photonics components with electronics on the same microchip may potentially solve the bandwidth bottleneck in modern computers and allow devices with decreased power consumption. Nevertheless, light emission from Si -the material underpinning the whole digital world- is inefficient because of its indirect bandgap. Recently SiGeSn semiconductors, a Si-group alloys proved to be a strong candidate to finally add/extend the Si photonics with Si-based laser sources.

Si-Ge-Sn heterostructures have been already tested in optoelectronic devices such as light emitting diodes, field effect transistors or detection pixels in the short-wave infrared range. However, energy efficient electrical pumped lasers, and more complex sensing and imaging devices are still to be demonstrated for practical applications.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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20. PhD Position in Chemical mechanism development of atmospheric VOC degradation aided by pattern analysis of high-resolution mass spectrometric data

Summary of PhD Program:

The PhD work will maximize the use of such mass spectrometric information in a model-based prediction-comparison-refinement approach, which comprises: Generating chemical mechanisms applying structure activity relationships (SARs) for organic radical chemistry based on an established approach (GeckoA). Running model simulations based on that explicit mechanism for the conditions of our experiments in the simulation chambers SAPHIR and SAPHIRSTAR (further information on the atmospheric simulation chambers.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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21. PhD Position in Development of scalable superconducting quantum systems

Summary of PhD Program:

The mission of the newly founded Institute for Functional Quantum Systems (PGI-13) is to create the technological and scientific basis to enable useful quantum computing. We focus on developing quantum devices, improving their coherence and materials, and implementing quantum gates and algorithms. We use superconducting qubits that operate at temperatures close to absolute zero and are controlled by high-speed signals. A key requirement is to preserve high quality quantum operations as we scale. Overcoming these exciting challenges lies at the interface between scientific research and engineering.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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22. PhD Position in Development of new UHV Technologies for the “Einstein Telescope for Graviational Waves Detection”

Summary of PhD Program:

Gravitational waves from colliding black holes, exploding stars or maybe from dark ages of the universe tell us about the evolution of our cosmos. Following the Nobel Prize in physics of 2017, we are now planning the next generation of even more sensitive observations. The so-called “Einstein-Telescope” (ET) is European`s future in gravitational wave detection. It might be built in the Euregio. 

Gravitational waves are detected by laser interferometers based on the concept of the Michelson Interferometer. The ET will include six of those interferometers with arm lengths of 10 km each in an underground, triangular configuration. To avoid interaction of the laser beams with air or any residual gas the laser beams will travel in ultrahigh vacuum tubes (UHV) with a diameter of approximately 1 m. In total, there will be 120 km of those tubes. It will be by far the largest UHV system ever built. You will work on the design of the vacuum system.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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23. PhD Position in Multi-Qubit Control

Summary of PhD Program:

Our team is working on electronics for Quantum Computing (QC) based on integrated circuits (ICs) which combine analog and digital components from modern CMOS technologies. One research focus is the development of ICs for scalable control and read-out of semiconductor quantum bits (qubits). Up to now most of these electronics have been for single qubit examples but are getting towards larger numbers.

Our modeling efforts focus more on the overall research goal of a compact, scalable machine. For implementing a computer, additional hardware components are needed next to control and readout electronics. One example is a digital unit managing and monitoring the control and readout of many qubits. The focus of this research part is the modeling of a scalable electrical unit able to coordinate the operation of larger qubit numbers.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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24. PhD Position in Negative Emissions – Potentials of Direct Air Capture and Storage Technology to Realize Greenhouse Gas-Neutrality

Summary of PhD Program:

Besides of a strict defossilization, negative emission pathways for taking care of hard to abate emissions need to be trod in order to reach the goal of greenhouse gas-neutrality. Sequestration of CO2 out of the air combined with underground storage can be an important puzzle piece within these pathways. The efficient operation of Direct Air Capture and Storage facilities is dependent on a variety of different site-specific factors. Due to the high electrical and thermal energy needs site-specific assessments of renewable potential is necessary.

Local climate conditions can have an impact on the sequestration efficiency and need to be taken into consideration. Geological characteristics vary from site to site and need to be thoroughly assessed. Within your thesis you will combine all of theses factors to allow a model-based site-specific Direct Air Capture and Storage potenial assessment for different regions globally including economic aspects.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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25. PhD Position in Computational investigation of ion channels and transporters

Summary of PhD Program:

You will be part of German Research Foundation (DFG)-funded Research Units (FOR 2518: Functional dynamics of ion channels and transporters; FOR 5046: Integrated analysis of epithelial SLC26 anion transporters – from molecular structure to pathophysiology). You will investigate ion channels or transporters using computational structure-prediction methods, molecular-dynamics simulations, high-performance computing, and machine-learning techniques, and collaborate with experimental electrophysiologists on a daily basis. Depending on your interest and experience, you may learn and conduct experiments (e.g. patch-clamp recordings) on your own.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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26. PhD Position in Photoelectrochemical characterization of the ion transport

Summary of PhD Program:

This project is focused on utilizing electrochemical methods for understanding how ion transport can be influenced by incident light. In particular, the project will focus on electrode materials that are amenable to light-induced ion (de)intercalation. A combination of light- and potential-modulated methods will be necessary to elucidate the charge-transfer and ion transport kinetics in such systems. The goal is to attain a better fundamental understanding about how light-generated excitons can influence ion transport in electrode materials.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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27. PhD Position in Metaplasticity of redox-based memristive thin film devices

Summary of PhD Program:

The PGI-7 is involved in a Marie-Curie training network “Materials for Neuromorphic Circuits” (MANIC) (https://etnmanic.eu/) that is aiming to synthesize materials that can function as networks of neurons and synapses by integrating conductivity, plasticity and self-organization. Within MANIC, the PGI-7 offers a PhD project that aims to engineer the synaptic plasticity of epitaxial and polycrystalline memristive oxide thin film devices from short-term plasticity to long-term potentiation.

This so called metaplasticity inherent to biological systems will be employed to implement different types of learning algorithms. The plasticity will be modified by the interplay of thin film processing conditions (defects, interfaces) and the sequence of electrical stimuli. The project should clarify the interplay between pristine microstructure, filament formation, dynamics of oxygen vacancy movement and synaptic plasticity. The memristive devices will finally be co-integrated into a neuromorphic CMOS chip designed at Bielefeld University.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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