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Terrestrial Hg pools inter-compartmental exchanges.

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Saturday, February 29, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Terrestrial Hg pools can act as both source and sink for atmospheric and aquatic Hg, respectively, its actual fate being driven by complex mechanisms and processes of retention, deposition and remobilization. Within the terrestrial compartment, the role of canopy and foliar exchange is especially understudied and potentially underestimated, although recent studies proposed that terrestrial vegetation might be responsible for controlling seasonal variations of atmospheric Hg. Therefore, an improved understanding of the role of vegetation in the global biogeochemical cycle of Hg and the underling controlling mechanisms are needed, supported by observations as well as integrated in respective models.

Objectives and expected results

This project will focus on Hg in canopy and its interactions with atmosphere and aquatic systems. To this end laboratory and filed experiments using novel analyitical techniques (supported by both radiotracers and measurements of stable Hg istopes) will be conducted and results incorporated and upscaled in regional and global models using existing spatially-resolved datasets and available state-of-the art modelling tools.

Planned secondment(s)

SU (S. Jonsson), 2 months, acquaintance with analytical techniques for charactherisation of organic matter, UNEP/AMAP (S. Wilson, K. Davies) to explore potential of available global data sets; Harvard (E.Sunderland), 1 month, modelling of biogeochemical cycling of Hg in various environmental compartments; HZG (V. Matthias), 1 month, Integration of modelling approaches with those used within WP5.

Eligibility Criteria

GMOS-Train is looking for a broad international representation of early stage researchers. The network clearly acknowledges its responsibility for the recruitment of the researchers,
their working and living conditions, as stated in the document “The European Charter for Researchers - Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers”. Gender equality and
minority rights will also be promoted in the selection process. There is no age limit.


The positions are open to all nationalities. However, your application has to comply with the European Commission’s Mobility Rules, meaning that at the time of recruitment you must not have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the
country of the host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the reference date (indicative start of the employment contract, Month Date 2020).
Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account (European Commission’s Guide for Applicants).

Early-stage Researcher (ESR)

In case you have already gained prior work experience in academia, you shall be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of your research career at the
time of recruitment by the host organisation and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. Full-time equivalent research experience is measured from the date when you
obtained the degree entitling you to embark on a doctorate, even if a doctorate was never started or envisaged. Part-time research experience will be counted pro-rata (European
Commission’s Guide for Applicants).

Relevant University Degree

Master’s degree or equivalent in Environmental and Health Science or related fields.

Selection Process

In case an individual researcher is interested in several advertised ESR projects, he/she may apply for a maximum of three specific ESR projects and list their order
of preference.

The selection committee will check applications against the following criteria:

- Scientific background and potential as indicated by candidate experience.
- Fit to a research project.
- Evidence of ability to undertake research.
- Evidence of working within groups or teams.
- Impact and benefit of the proposed training to the candidate’s research career.

Three candidates will be short-listed for each research project and invited to an interview (interviews by video link will be held if candidates are not able to travel).

Interviews will consist of two parts:
1) a short presentation by the candidate followed by questions and answers, and
2) competence-based interview.

How to apply

Please find details about the ESR project descriptions, application process and modalities at

All applications must be submitted by means of on-line application on the official GMOS-Train project website:

Deadline for application is February 29th 2020.

Funding Notes

Prestigious EU fellowship.

Highly competitive and attractive salary and working conditions.

Excellent training programme covering health and environment science and state-of-the-art technologies.

Related Subjects

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