The Georg-August-University Göttingen is currently inviting applications for 11 PhD Positions (f, m, d) in the Research Training Group (RTG) 2300 ‘Enrichment of European beech forests with conifers: impacts of functional traits on ecosystem functioning’. The positions will start on January 1, 2021. The positions are funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) for 3 years.

About the positions:
  • The PhD students enrolled in this program investigate ecological challenges and societal demands on forests in a changing climate.
  • The program focuses on European temperate forests. A central goal is to uncover the impact of mixed compared to monospecific forests on ecosystem functions and processes with a special focus on the importance of functional traits.
  • The research approaches involve field studies in European beech, Norway spruce and Douglas fir forests and their mixtures, experimental studies to uncover cause-effect relationships, and statistical as well as economic analyses.

The following research groups are offering PhD projects:

  • Silviculture
  • Tree physiology (mycorrhiza)
  • Plant ecology
  • Soil sciences
  • Animal ecology
  • Wildlife sciences
  • Forest nature conservation
  • Forest modeling
  • Forest economics
  • Spatial forest structures
  • Applied statistics


  • Applicants must have completed their MSc or equivalent university degree in a subject area relevant for the RTG2300 program
  • Applicants must be fluent in English and motivated to learn some German
  • Applicants must be eager to conduct field work
  • Applicants must have keen interest to collaborate and share data with their PhD colleagues


Apply online (compiled as one pdf document) and application must include the following:

  • CV including information on posters, presentations, awards and publication list, if applicable
  • Motivation letter for the preferred project(s) (maximum 1 page), list up to three projects
  • Certificates of studies (if a degree is not yet completed you may also provide a document listing current grades)
  • 02 references (name and contact information of two senior researchers)
  • Summary of MA thesis and if applicable one publication
Subprojects offering PhD positions

Subproject 1: ‘Root distribution, water uptake and growth responses’

Subproject 2: ‘Tree water relations and drought response’

Subproject 3: ‘Nutrient uptake and efficiency’

Subproject 4: ‘Ectomycorrhizal Functions for Tree Nutrition’

Subproject 5: ‘Decomposer community structure and decomposition processes’

Subproject 6: ‘Arthropod diversity and functioning in mixed versus pure stands’

Subproject 7: ‘Effects of small mammal communities on seed predation and seed dispersal’

Subproject 9: ‘Predicting structural changes and growth in pure and mixed stands of European beech, Norway spruce, and Douglas-fir’

Subproject 10: ‘Bayesian Semiparametric Regression’

Subproject 12: ‘Economic implications of species mixture and structural diversity in European beech stands enriched with coniferous trees’

Subproject 13: ‘Architectural traits of trees in response to different neighborhoods and their importance for stand structural characteristics’

—————–Quick Overview————-
Organization Georg-August-University Göttingen
Country Germany
Fellowship Level Germany
Subject areas Ecology, Soil Sciences, Economy, Forest Conservation
Fellowship amount Funded
Eligibility Open to all nationalities
Deadline August 2, 2020

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