– Closed – 

ESR 1: Development of an on-site phosphorus retention technology

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Stefan Peiffer (University of Bayreuth, Germany)

Co-supervisor: Prof. Dr. Eric Smolders (KUL, Belgium)

Employer: University of Bayreuth, Germany

Project description: This project is part of the European H2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network P-TRAP (Preventing Phosphorus Input to Surface Waters – New Concepts in Trapping, Recycling and Management). P-TRAP tackles two urgent interlinked global problems: Potential shortages of phosphate for producing agricultural fertilizers and the decline of surface water quality upon excess phosphate input. P-TRAP targets the P flux from artificially drained agricultural areas and the internal P load of lakes. By this, P-TRAP aims at intercepting the undesired flux of phosphate from agricultural systems into surface waters and developing a phosphate recycling strategy. The project of ESR 1aims at the development of a cartridge-based P removal system (P-TRAP system) using filter-stable Fe(III)-containing sorbents. P-TRAP systems will be tested and applied in drainage pipes draining a reduced shallow aquifer rich in P in North-East Bavaria with a focus on the long-term performance (e. g. effect of ageing of the sorbents on retention effectiveness). The chemical nature of bonding of P in P-Trap systems will be studied and its geochemical alterations upon exposure to geochemical field conditions (e. g. effect of redox conditions, organic substances).

Qualifications: We seek an enthusiastic PhD student holding an MSc degree (at the start of the contract) that ensures appropriate background knowledge in environmental sciences, earth sciences and/or (environmental) chemistry. You have a solid knowledge on biogeochemical processes in aquatic environments with interest in applied research and a passion for experimental work both in the laboratory and the field. Experience in the collection of samples from surface waters and aquatic sediments and their analysis is helpful but not required. You approach scientific problems with determination and eager to develop multidisciplinary skills. You must be willing to travel abroad for secondments and measurement campaigns, and to present your research to an international research community. As this project requires close collaboration within the consortium, candidates are expected to be excellent team players. You also have excellent written and spoken English skills. According to EU eligibility criteria, researchers may be of any nationality, BUT must be within the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research career and may not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Germany for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the starting date of the fellowship.

Terms of employment: The successful candidates will receive an attractive salary in accordance with the MSCA regulations for Early Stage Researchers. The exact salary will be confirmed upon appointment, with an indicated start salary of approximately 2500 € to 3100 € gross/month. The salary includes a living allowance, a mobility allowance and a family allowance (if specific requirements are met). The guaranteed PhD funding is for 36 months. In addition to their individual scientific projects, all fellows will benefit from further continuing education activities within P-TRAP, which includes internships and secondments, a variety of training modules as well as transferable skills courses and active participation in workshops and conferences. More information can be found at https://www.uni-bayreuth.de/en/university/work-at-the-university/index.html

About the organisation: The Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research (BayCEER) combines technical competences and scientific expertise of more than 25 research groups covering a wide field of geosciences and ecological sciences. Young scientists profit from the broadly oriented information exchange that is cultivated at BayCEER through workshops, seminars, and interdisciplinary research. Graduate students have access in their research to an excellent infrastructure of shared research laboratories, workshops, established experimental sites, and database applications. BayCEER runs its own PhD programme PEER (Programme for Ecological and Environmental Research, http://www.bayceer.uni-bayreuth.de/peer/en/) within the Bayreuth Graduate School for Natural Sciences (BayNAT) and currently hosts over 200 scholars and scientists. You will be working in the Department of Hydrology (http://www.hydro.uni-bayreuth.de/hydro/en/) which has a research focus on the interaction between ground and surface waters. We conduct field, lab and modeling investigations that focus on gaining a quantitative process understanding of aquatic systems and address questions of performance and efficiency of matter processing but also vulnerability of aquatic systems, resulting from climate change or anthropogenic influences in general. The overarching goal is to obtain a better understanding of the coupling between physical and biogeochemical processes that control the cycling of matter and energy at the interface of surface waters and groundwater

How to apply: Please upload your application material before January 15, 2020 by using the vacancy portal from BayCEERat UBT. Evaluations and interviews are planned soon thereafter. The intended start will be March 1st of 2020 or earlier. The application material should include a letter of motivation, a curriculum vitae, copies of university and high-school degrees (including grades) and either two letters of recommendation or contact information of two people that can be contacted for reference. The selection procedure will follow the Code of Conduct for Recruitment. Candidates will be selected first on EU eligibility criteria, second on qualifications. The candidate will be selected based on a job-interview with the direct supervisors. For more information on the P-TRAP project, including this and other vacancies, please visit the P-TRAP website.

Contact Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from Prof. Stefan Peiffer via s.peiffer@uni-bayreuth