Open positions

Independent Group Leader Position

The Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Group (TER) at CeMESS has an open 4-year Independent Group Leader Position (extendable to up to 6 years) for an exceptional early career scientist.

We intend to strengthen our expertise in Functional Soil Ecology at the interface of microbiology and environmental processes. Our research aims to advance the fundamental understanding of how plants and soil microorganisms respond to, and in turn shape, their abiotic and biotic environment, and to determine the consequences for the functioning of Earth’s ecosystems.

We are looking for highly qualified and ambitious candidates, who have recently completed their PhD (and have some experience as postdoctoral scholar) and wish to establish an independent research group in an area of functional soil ecology that complements our research.

We expect applicants to be serious candidates for prestigious investigator grants, such as the ERC Starting Grant. Candidates should have a documented publication activity in peer-reviewed journals. A proven record in acquiring third-party funds and experience in supervision of students is of advantage.

We are a committed team and offer a creative, intellectually stimulating, and international working environment in one of Europe’s best Centres in the field of microbial ecology, climate change biology, ecosystem science and biogeochemistry. We offer full access to our unique facilities, infrastructure and analytical instrumentation and a start-up support (to be negotiated). 

The application should include the following as one PDF file:

  • Short cover letter that describes the motivation for the application
  • Scientific CV (including a full list of publications and projects if any)
  • Research plan for the next 4 years (2 pages maximum)
  • Contact information for at least two academic references

Candidates are encouraged to apply by September 09th, 2022, but position will remain open until filled. Women are particularly encouraged to apply.

Please, submit your application to the following email address:


Apply for a personal PhD or postdoc stipend to join TER!

We strongly encourage excellent candidates to look for external funding opportunities as shown but not limited to the options below. A personal stipend gives you independence by allocating your own research budget and travel funds. We will assist you to develop a joint research project and to apply for your own grant.

Please get in touch with the TER Group Leader whose team you want join with a brief project outline and CV for further discussion.

TER Group Leaders
Andreas Richter
Christina Kaiser
Wolfgang Wanek

List of selected PhD and Postdoc stipends (please check out other fellowship opportunities e.g. from your home country)