The German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv): Doctoral researcher (m/f/d) in the project “Soil food web control of the carbon cycle in forests across climates and mycorrhiza types”

Founded in 1409, Leipzig University is one of Germany’s largest universities and a leader in research and medical training. With around 30,000 students and more than 5000 members of staff across 14 faculties, it is at the heart of the vibrant and outward-looking city of Leipzig. Leipzig University offers an innovative and international working environment as well as an exciting range of career opportunities in research, teaching, knowledge and technology transfer, infrastructure and administration.

The German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig is a National Research Centre funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Its central mission is to promote theory-driven synthesis and data-driven theory in this emerging field. Located in the city of Leipzig, it is a Central Institution of Leipzig University and jointly hosted by the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, the Friedrich Schiller University Jena and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ). Researchers at iDiv benefit from an inter- and transdisciplinary training and support by the graduate school yDiv.


The Soil biodiversity and functions group (Dr. Anton Potapov) investigates links between soil biodiversity and ecosystem functioning focusing on the interactions in soil food webs – which are among most biodiverse and cryptic interaction systems in the biosphere. Our research joins the entire spectrum of soil biodiversity; we work with traits and stable isotopes in both experimental and field observational studies. Our aim is to understand how soil animals help to build and run ecosystems, up to the global scale.

The project Soil food web control of the carbon cycle in forests across climates and mycorrhiza types aims to quantify the effect of soil animals on the terrestrial carbon cycle to better understand the functional consequences of global animal biodiversity decline and change. We relate processes of feeding on detritus and microorganisms to the processes of carbon sequestration in forest ecosystems that are dominated by different types of fungi – ectomycorrhizal versus arbuscular mycorrhizal.

The German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig seeks to fill the above position at the earliest opportunity.

About the position

  • Fixed term until 30 June 2025
  • 65% of a full-time position
  • Planned remuneration: salary group 13 TV-L
  • Place of work: Leipzig


  • Conduct field collection of soil samples and invertebrates
  • Run a field experiment using stable isotope labelling
  • Conduct laboratory work including invertebrate identification and chemical extractions
  • Conduct literature review, data analyses, scientific publishing, and research presentation


  • M.Sc. or equivalent degree in Biology or Soil Science related fields
  • Scientific background in soil ecology/biodiversity
  • Experience in field work
  • Experience in invertebrate identification
  • Knowledge of statistical modelling in R
  • Very good spoken and written English skills
  • Experience in scientific publishing is advantageous
  • Experience in stable isotope analysis is advantageous
  • Experience in laboratory analyses of soil properties is advantageous
  • Team spirit, being proactive, and having enthusiasm in the research topic is very important

What we offer

  • A highly dynamic, collaborative and interdisciplinary working environment
  • Flexible working hours and work-life balance
  • Voluntary participation in yDiv trainings for researchers (courses, coaching, networking etc.)
  • The working language at iDiv is English
  • iDiv is a highly international centre with employees from over 30 countries and various forms of support for employees from outside of Germany (Welcome Centre, German classes, etc.)
  • Leipzig is an attractive city with rich culture and beautiful surroundings, very affordable life, and international visitors usually find it easy to settle in.

Applications should include:

  • Cover letter in English describing your motivation for the project, research interests and relevant experience
  • List of publications (if any) and names and contact details of at least two scientific references
  • (Digital) copy of M.Sc. certificate or equivalent

Leipzig University aims to increase the proportion of women in positions of responsibility and therefore expressly invites qualified women to apply. Severely disabled persons – or persons deemed legally equal to them under Book IX of the German Social Code – are encouraged to apply and will be given preference in the case of equal suitability. iDiv is committed to establishing and maintaining a diverse and inclusive community that collectively supports and implements our mission to do great science. We welcome, recruit, develop and advance talented staff from diverse genders and backgrounds.

Privacy information

If you choose to apply and send us your documents, you do so voluntarily. Any personal data contained within your application documents, or obtained during an interview, will be processed by Leipzig University – as the advertiser of the position – exclusively for the purposes of the selection process for the position advertised. It will not be passed on to third parties without your consent in the individual case. The legal basis for such data processing is Sect. 11(1) of the Saxon Data Protection Implementation Act (SächsDSDG) in conjunction with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The controller for the application process within the meaning of the GDPR is the addressee of the application, specified in the advertisement.

Your personal data will be stored for six months after the end of the recruitment process and then erased or destroyed in accordance with data protection regulations. You may refuse or withdraw your consent with effect for the future without giving reasons. In these cases, Leipzig University will not or no longer be able to process and consider your application. Under the GDPR, subject to the relevant statutory requirements you have the following rights vis-à-vis the addressee of the application with regard to your personal data: right of access (Art. 15 GDPR); right to rectification of inaccurate personal data (Art. 16 GDPR); right to erasure (Art. 17 GDPR); right to restriction of processing (Art. 18 GDPR); and right to object to processing (Art. 21 GDPR). If you have any questions, please contact the Data Protection Officer at Leipzig University (office: Augustusplatz 10, 04109 Leipzig). You also have the right to lodge a complaint with the Saxon Commissioner for Data Protection.

How to apply:

Please send your application, quoting reference number 189/2022, via our application portal under by 30th of June 2022. While we prefer applications via this portal, hard-copy applications may also be sent to: German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), Dr. Anton Potapov, Puschstraße 4, 04103 Leipzig. We kindly request that you submit copies only, as we are unable to return application documents. Interview expenses will not be reimbursed.

Closing date: 30.06.2022

For queries on the application process, please contact our HR Department (; for project-related
questions, please contact Dr. Anton Potapov (

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