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For the Department of Plankton and Microbial Ecology of the IGB at Lake Stechlin, we are looking for a PhD student (f/m/x) as of 1st of October 2023, for a project using molecular tools to follow spatial and temporal changes in prokaryotic and microeukaryotic (fungi & protists) diversity.

The work is carried out as part of the second cohort of the Research Training Group (RTG 2530) “Biota-Mediated Effects on Carbon Cycling in Estuaries” which starts its second phase in October 2023. In total 14 PhD positions (f, m, x) will be in the RTG with an interest in interdisciplinary research on the role of biota on estuarine carbon cycling. The 14 doctoral projects built on the results of the first cohort of doctoral researchers and comprise experimental studies at three established research stations along the Elbe estuary, mesocosm studies and/or laboratory experiments. These will be combined with modelling approaches for integrating “biota-mediated effects on C cycling”. The graduate school takes place at the University of Hamburg and this position is based at the IGB in Stechlin, NE Germany.

Your tasks

  • Laboratory analysis of planktonic and benthic microorganisms including shotgun metagenomics
  • Field sampling on the Elbe river
  • Bioinformatic and statistical analyses, e.g. interaction networks
  • Relate environmental variables to microbial dynamics
  • Laboratory experiments
  • Contributions to the overall scientific activities, publications and communication activities of the BiCEst project

Your profile

  •     Master’s degree in biology, genetics, bioinformatics, or similar
  • Good knowledge of molecular biology, preferentially also DNA metagenomics
  • Knowledge of bioinformatics and statistical tools is needed
  • Programming and network analyses experience is useful
  • Experience in data analysis and scientific publication is useful
  • Ability to work in a team, good English communication skills
  • A driver licence is useful
  • Commuting between Hamburg and Stechlin is needed

Our offer

We offer an exciting and versatile job in an international, dynamic, scientific working environment with opportunities for flexible working hours and mobile working. Also, intensive exchange and networking with all BiCEst members is ensured by frequent meetings.

This is a full-time position limited to 36 months as part of the DFG project BiCEst in the period from 01.10.2023 to 30.09.2026. Salary is paid according to the German (PhD) salary scheme for the public service (65% E13 TVöD Bund).

We foster your career ( by providing qualification and many training opportunities.

The IGB is committed to diversity. We welcome every application, regardless of gender and gender identity, origin, nationality, religion, belief, health and physical disabilities, age or sexual orientation. Severely disabled applicants with equal qualification and aptitude will be given preferential consideration.

Are you interested?

We look forward to receiving your application including a cover letter that details your motivation to study for a PhD and your fit to the profile, a CV, and contact information for 2-3 references in a single pdf file by 15.06.2023 (or until enough suitable candidates are found). Please state the job reference number 31/2023 and apply exclusively via our recruitment platform at

Questions can be directed by email to Hans-Peter Grossart (

“Research for the future of our freshwaters” is the mission of the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB). IGB is Germany’s largest and one of the leading international research centres for freshwaters. We seek to understand the fundamental processes governing freshwaters and their communities. Our research findings help to tackle global environmental changes and to develop measures for sustainable water management. The IGB is a diverse and inspiring place to work and conduct research. We promote individual development at every career level and stand for lively exchange and cooperation. With more than 350 employees and guests from all over the world, we conduct research at five locations in Berlin and at Lake Stechlin (Brandenburg). IGB closely collaborates with numerous national and international universities and other partners in science and society and is a member of the Leibniz Association, which connects 97 independent public research institutes in Germany.