The UFZ has a strong commitment to diversity and actively supports equal opportunities for all employees regardless of their origin, religion, ideology, disability, age or sexual identity. We look forward to applications from people who are open-minded and enjoy working in diverse teams.

Your contact for any questions you may have about the job:

Prof. Dr. Martin Volk

Dr. rer. nat. Michael Strauch

Please submit your application via our online portal with your cover letter, CV (please omit your photo, age, or marital status) and relevant attachments.

Closing date for applications:

Place of work: Leipzig

More information about jobs at the UFZ:

Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung GmbH - UFZ
Permoserstraße 15
04318 Leipzig, Germany

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The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) with its 1,100 employees has gained an excellent reputation as an international competence centre for environmental sciences. We are part of the largest scientific organisation in Germany, the Helmholtz association. Our mission: Our research seeks to find a balance between social development and the long-term protection of our natural resources.

We seek a scientist to work in the UFZ-coordinated European H2020 project “OPTAIN: Optimal strategies to retain and re-use water and nutrients in small agricultural catchments across different soil-climatic regions in Europe.” An increasing number of extreme events such as droughts and heavy rainfall exacerbate conflicts between agricultural water uses and other human and environmental demands for water. Natural/small Water Retention Measures (NSWRMs) can help to mitigate conflicts, addressing societal challenges such as climate change, biodiversity and food security at the same time. Despite the comprehensive set of water/nutrient retention measures available, knowledge is still lacking on the effectiveness of those measures across various European soil-climatic regions, agricultural systems, scales and especially under changing climate. Thus OPTAIN aims to (i) identify efficient techniques for the retention and re-use of water and nutrients in small agricultural catchments across Continental, Pannonian and Boreal biogeographical regions of Europe in close cooperation with local actors and (ii) select NSWRMs at farm and catchment level and optimize their spatial allocation and combination, based on environmental and economic sustainability indicators. All gained knowledge will be translated into a learning environment allowing analysis of trade-offs and synergies between multiple values/goals in the management and design of NSWRMs.

Scientist Position (m/f/x)

Working time: 50% (19,5 hours per week) with the option of extension, limited to 4 years

Your tasks:

The successful candidate will support a variety of tasks related to catchment-scale modeling and multi-objective optimization of NSWRM. This includes developing routines for (i) preprocessing model input data, (ii) model calibration and uncertainty analysis, as well as for (iii) post-processing and visualization of model outputs and optimization results.
The candidate will work in close collaboration with catchment-scale modelers from each of the 14 OPTAIN case studies but also with the stakeholders of the German case study (Schwarzer Schöps River Basin, Eastern Saxony).

Your profile:

  • PhD degree in Geography, Hydrology, Agriculture, Environmental sciences, or geo-/environmental Informatics
  • Advanced skills and experience in (i) process-based integrated watershed modeling using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (including SWAT+) with a focus on agricultural management, (ii) data processing and analysis using the software “R”, as well as (iii) advanced knowledge of Geographic Information Systems are required, as is (iv) evidence of scientific publication in English
  • Advantageous but not essential is working experience with “Python” and algorithms for multi-objective optimization
  • Excellent command of written and spoken German is required because close collaboration with local stakeholders will be essential for several tasks

We offer:

  • Excellent technical facilities which are without parallel
  • The freedom you need to bridge the difficult gap between basic research and close to being ready for application
  • Work in interdisciplinary, multinational teams and excellent links with national and international research networks
  • A vibrant region with a high quality of life and a wide cultural offering for a balance between family and professional life
  • Interesting career opportunities and an extensive range of training and further education courses
  • Remuneration up to the TVöD public-sector pay grade 13 (50%) including attractive public-sector social security benefits