Scientist in large-scale water quality modelling at UFZ Leipzig Germany
UFZ Leipzig, , Germany
Apply before: 10 December 2023

Application deadline: 10.12.2023 (Check details on submission at:

The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) with its 1,100 employees has gained an excellent reputation as an international competence centre for environmental sciences. We are part of the largest scientific organization in Germany, the Helmholtz Association. Our mission: Our research seeks to find a balance between social development and the long-term protection of our natural resources.

The job
Are you an enthusiastic and driven researcher, brimming with a passion for environmental science, and committed to making a profound impact on our understanding of water quality dynamics? We are looking for a dedicated scientist to join our team and lead cutting-edge research in the area of large-scale water quality modeling. Here at the Department of Computational Hydrosystems (CHS), we specialize in developing and implementing hydrological models (mHM/mQM) to underpin science-driven solutions and assessments related to water quantity and quality issues. Our focus extends from catchment-level intricacies to continental and global scales, in the context of shifting climate and socioeconomic conditions.

Your tasks
In your capacity as a post-doctoral Researcher, you will assume a pivotal role in advancing our comprehension of water quality modeling. Your main focus will revolve around the analysis of nutrient (N and P) dynamics within terrestrial compartments, encompassing soil, groundwater, and river systems. Your contributions will be integral to the continued development and refinement of our water quality model and its extension to river systems spanning Europe and various regions worldwide. You'll delve into the parameterization of relevant nutrient transformation processes, develop transferable concepts, and tackle complexities of uncertainty within the driving datasets, encompassing both (agricultural) diffuse and (wastewater) point sources, as well as the modeled variables. This position offers a unique opportunity to make a significant impact while working within a supportive, interdisciplinary environment. Join us in pushing the boundaries of water quality modeling and help chart the course for future scientific endeavors.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Development of water quality models to track nutrient (N and P) dynamics in terrestrial compartments, emphasizing soil, groundwater, and rivers.
  • Implement and test (robust and transferable) parameterizations for relevant biogeochemical and hydrological processes
  • Address uncertainties in input data (diffuse and point sources) and model output variables to improve the robustness of model simulations.
  • Contribute towards assessment of future pathways of water quality states under different climate and socioeconomic scenarios (RCPs/SSPs).
  • Collaborate with a multidisciplinary team of researchers, sharing insights and knowledge to advance the field of water quality modeling.
  • Publish research findings in peer-reviewed journals and present at conferences to disseminate knowledge and contribute to academic and scientific communities.

We offer

  • Excellent technical facilities which are without parallel
  • The freedom you need to bridge the difficult gap between basic research and close to being ready for application
  • Work in inter-disciplinary, multinational teams and excellent links with national and international research networks
  • A vibrant region with a high quality of life and a wide cultural offering for a balance between family and professional life
  • Interesting career opportunities and an extensive range of training and further education courses

Your profile

  • Ph.D. in a relevant field (e.g., Environmental Earth Sciences, Computational Hydrology, or a related discipline).
  • Strong background in water quality modeling, with expertise in large-scale modeling and a focus on nutrient dynamics.
  • Proficiency in relevant modeling software (e.g., as a developer to IMAGE-GNM, SWAT, HYPE, and others) and programming languages (e.g., Fortran, Python, R, or similar).
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills with a demonstrated ability to work with large datasets (e.g. with NetCDF files in CDO/NCO programs).
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, including a track record of publishing research in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Collaborative and adaptable, with the ability to work effectively in a team-oriented research environment.

Diversity and Inclusion
The UFZ has a strong commitment to diversity and actively supports equal opportunities for all employees regardless of their origin, religion, ideology, disability, age or sexual identity. We look forward to applications from people who are open-minded and enjoy working in diverse teams.

Please submit your application via our online portal with your cover letter, CV (please omit your photo, age, or marital status), and relevant attachments. See details at:

Dr. Rohini Kumar
Senior Scientist
Department of Computational HydroSystem (CHS)
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research GmbH - UFZ
Permoserstraße 15 / 04318 Leipzig / Germany /

Sitz der Gesellschaft/Registered Office: Leipzig
Registergericht/Registration Office: Amtsgericht Leipzig
Handelsregister Nr./Trade Register Nr.: B 4703
Vorsitzender des Aufsichtsrats/Chairman of the Supervisory Board: MinDirig Wilfried Kraus
Wissenschaftlicher Geschäftsführer/Scientific Managing Director: Prof. Dr. Rolf Altenburger

Administrative Geschäftsführerin/Administrative Managing Director: Dr. Sabine König

Of interest for:
  • Hydrology Focus Research Group