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Faculty of Biology, Chemistry & Earth Sciences

Collaborative Research Centre 1357 Microplastics

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PhD Position (f/m/d)

We invite applications for several PhD positions within our interdisciplinary DFG-funded Collaborative Research Center 1357 Microplastics at the University of Bayreuth. The positions are limited to 31.12.2026. The salary is in accordance with the German Public Service salary scale (TV-L E13).

                                PhD Position (m/f/d) CRC 1357 Microplastics

The CRC 1357 project:

The DFG-funded Collaborative Research Center "Microplastics" links the departments of Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Mathematics, Physics and Earth Sciences at the University of Bayreuth. In its second funding period (2023-2026), the CRC 1357 investigates the biological effects of microplastics on various organisms, the transport of microplastics in and between air, water and soil, the formation and aging of microplastics, and new approaches to solutions in the field of environmentally friendly plastics. As a doctoral researcher within the CRC 1357 you profit from an interdisciplinary team, working on an application-oriented research field and you can contribute answering fundamental questions. All PhD students will receive an individual and interdisciplinary qualification through the University of Bayreuth Graduate School and the structured BayNAT - PhD Program Interdisciplinary Microplastics Sciences, that will link all PhD candidates studying microplastics from all participating disciplines.

Your general profile:

  • Very good master thesis in biology, chemistry, physics, material sciences or environmental sciences. Please pay close attention to the specific requirements of the respective PhD position.
  • Ability to work independently and in a structured manner and on schedule.
  • Commitment, high flexibility, team spirit
  • Very good knowledge of English (written and spoken).

For more information about the specific requiremesns of the offered positions please have a look at the short descriptions below.


The link to submit your online application through the UBT application portal or the application portals of the external partner institutes as well as more information on application deadlines and contact persons for the specific position you find in the short descripetions below

​PhD Hydrogeology - Project B03Hide

This project addresses the simulation of microplastic (MP) transport in fluvial systems. CFD models (e.g. OpenFOAM) and hydraulic models (e.g. Delft3D) are used to simulate MP transport in the open channel, the coupled groundwater-surface water systems (hyporheic zone) and in the floodplain areas of the river. The models will be fitted to data from channel tests and field sites on the one hand, and used to evaluate scenarios on the other hand.

Profile: The successful candidate should have a solid background in hydrology/hydraulics, engineering, geoscience, or a similar discipline. Experience with CFD and/or hydraulic software (e.g. OpenFOAM, Delft3D) is required, and programming skills are desirable.

Place of employment: Department of Hydrogeology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Leipzig
Supervisor: Prof. Jan Fleckenstein.

Start date: Immediately
Application Deadline: 24.03.2023

Application & more information: https://recruitingapp-5128.de.umantis.com/Vacancies/2672/Description/2

PhD Micrometeorology - Project B05Hide

This experimental project investigates the transport of microplastic (MP) particles at the interface between the air, soil, water, and plant surfaces. The objectives are to understand and quantify the mechanisms of aerial resuspension, dispersion and aging of environmentally relevant real-world MP including tire wear and fibers. Results from laboratory experiments under controlled conditions combined with those from field collaborative (across several projects) mesocosm experiments and flow-resolving computational fluid dynamics (large eddy simulation, LES) will enable a fundamental assessment of typical residence times and estimating the environmental impact of aerially dispersed MP.

Profile: You need to have a solid background in environmental natural sciences with a focus in surface meteorology and/or geoscientific transport processes. You are interested in conducting experimental hands-on work in lab and field conditions, have demonstrated experience in scientific programming (Python, R, Matlab), and will join a diverse international team. Experience in conducting Large Eddy Simulations (LES) and/ or Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is considered an asset, but no must.

Project: B05-Behaviour and effect of microplastics in the land surface-atmosphere system
Place of employment: Micrometeorology working group at the University of Bayreuth, Germany.

Start date: From October 2023

More info: Homepage Micrometeorology Group
Application: UBT Application Portal
Contact person: christoph.thomas@uni-bayreuth.de, Phone: +49921 55 2293

​PhD Theoretical Physics - Project B06Hide

This theoretical project addresses the transport of microplastic particles in natural soils. The goal is to understand the physical mechanisms that drive or impede infiltration and transport through the porous soil matrix. This will primarily involve the use of computational fluid dynamics methods such as Lattice-Boltzmann, Immersed-Boundary, and Volume-of-Fluid.

Profile: The successful candidate must have a solid background in theoretical physics, computational mathematics/engineering, geosciences, or a similar discipline. Good programming skills are required. A background in fluid mechanics is desirable but not specifically required.

Project: B06-Behaviour and transport of microplastics in disturbed and undisturbed soils
Place of employment: biofluid simulation and modeling at the University of Bayreuth, Germany,

Start date: Immediately

More info:  Link Homepage Biofluid Simulation and Modeling
Applications: UBT Application Portal
Contact Person: stephan.gekle@uni-bayreuth.de

PhD Ecosystem Research - Project B06Hide

Within the project B06 you will study the transport of microplastic particles in natural soils and on soil surfaces. You will set-up and conduct experiments on transport of microplastics in soil columns and on soil surfaces in the laboratory, condut chemical and physical analyses of soil samples and analyse the experimental data to develop conceptual models of transport of microplastics in soils and on soil surfaces.

Profile: The successful candidate must have a solid background in soil hydrology and soil physics, as well as a basic knowledge of chemistry and physical chemistry and a good knowledge of data analysis and statistics. Also helpful is experience with modeling or willingness to acquire the relevant skills, and a good working knowledge of R, Python, or Julia.

Project: B06-Behaviour and transport of microplastics in disturbed and undisturbed soils
Place of Employment: Ecosystem Reseach Group, University of Cologne, Germany.

Start date: 01.05.2023

More info: Homepage Ecosystem Research
Application: Universtiy of Cologne Job Offer
Contact person: christina.bogner@uni-koeln.de

​PhD Biochemie - Projekt C03Hide

We investigate interactions of enzymes with environmentally relevant plastics. In this project, we aim to expand the substrate spectrum of known enzymes in a targeted manner and to enable the development of tailored enzymes for specific applications. Molecular biological, biochemical & structural biological methods will be used.

Profile: The successful candidate must have a solid background in biochemistry, molecular biology or related disciplines.  Experience in protein engineering and structural biology is desirable.

Project: C03: Enzymatic degradation of synthetic polymers
Place of Employment: Protein Design group (Biochemistry III) at the University of Bayreuth, Germany.

Start date: Immediately

More info: https://www.proteindesign.uni-bayreuth.de
Application: UBT Application Portal
Contact person: birte.hoecker@uni-bayreuth.de

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