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PhD or Post Doc Research Position

Einrichtung: Division of Biogeochemistry of Agroecosystems (ID 13233)

Ansprechpartner: Frau Prof. Dr. Michaela Dippold

Besetzungsdatum: 01.03.2018

Veröffentlichungsdatum: 05.12.2017

The Division of Biogeochemistry of Agroecosystems of the Department of Crop Sciences at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen invites applications for a

PhD or Post Doc Research Position

within the Robert-Bosch-funded project “More crop per drop for sub-Saharan Africa: Key rhizosphere traits to overcome multiple resource limitation”. The part-time position (65% of regular working hours – currently 25,87 hours per week) is limited for 3 years. This position should be filled by the 01.03.2018 with a salary according to 13 TV-L.

Crop production under rain-fed conditions is severely limited by soil water deficit, which occurs when water movement from the soil fails to meet the transpiration demand. Water movement through the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum is the basic process driving plant growth and development and therefore underlie the crops agricultural productivity. Recent studies suggest that there might a scope to reduce the transpiration, especially during high VPD, without major trade-off with plant photosynthetic capacity. Mechanisms of reduced transpiration are linked to the variation in plant capacity to extract water from the soil and understanding the details of such plant-soil interactions is crucially important to enhance agricultural productivity especially in water-limited environments. Transpiration sensitivity to soil/atmospheric drought is also linked to root and rhizosphere hydraulic features, but such below-ground interactions need to be further investigated to be confidently used in crop improvement programs. The overall objective of this project is to compare sorghum varieties with different transpiration sensitivity to understand the effect of different rhizosphere/root hydraulic processes on transpiration and the impact of these processes on plant adaptation to drought.

We are looking for highly motivated applicants holding an excellent MSc/University Diploma (or equivalent) in Agricultural Sciences (better than 2.0)., Hydrology, Soil Science, Geophysics, Plant Physiology, Geo-ecology/Environmental Sciences or similar Experience in soil physics, plant physiology and measurements and modelling of water movement through the soil- plant-atmosphere continuum would be an advantage. The applicant should have an active interest in lab work and new method establishment. The candidates should have the skills and willingness to work independently and in interdisciplinary teams. Proficiency in written and spoken English are required for the application. This position is designed to provide young scientists the opportunity to pursue a PhD degree. Highly qualified candidates holding a PhD thesis will also be considered. The project will be conducted in close collaborator with the University of Bayreuth, India (ICRISAT) and African Universities. We provide the opportunity for scientific development and integration in a dedicated, international team with best laboratory equipment and an intensive supervision.

The University of Göttingen is an equal opportunities employer and places particular emphasis on fostering career opportunities for women. Qualified women are therefore strongly encouraged to apply in fields in which they are underrepresented. The university has committed itself to being a family-friendly institution and supports their employees in balancing work and family life. The mission of the University is to employ a greater number of severely disabled persons. Applications from severely disabled persons with equivalent qualifications will be given preference.

Please send your application (CV, Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc) and motivation statement (max. two pages) preferably in electronic form until 03.01.2018 to Prof. Dr. Michaela Dippold (, or Dr. Mutez Ahmed (, Biogeochemistry of Agroecosystems, Georg-August-University Goettingen, Buesgenweg 2, 37077 Goettingen.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Mutez Ali Ahmed (phone: 015215642271, e-mail:

We will destroy all application documents after a holding period of five months. Application documents will only be returned to you if you provide a self-addressed adequately stamped envelope.