Our Mission: We study life and planet Earth, maintaining a dialogue with people.

The Museum für Naturkunde - Leibniz Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity Science is an excellent and integrated research museum within the Leibniz Association. Its activities cover and tightly link the fields of collection-based research, development of collections and public engagement with science.

Job description: PhD student (f/m/d)
Working hours: 65% of the regular weekly working hours (currently 25 hours and 37 minutes/week)
Time span: at the earliest opportunity for 36 months, third-party funding
Salary: E 13 TV-L

Project description

Independent research and scientific collaboration in the DFG project "Reconstructing fossil-rich East Asian amber forests using inclusions of seed plants". Plant inclusions from existing amber collections in Germany and China will be investigated. The latter includes a research trip to the cooperation partners in China. Light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and three-dimensional X-ray microscopy (microCT and synchrotron) will be used for the morphological-anatomical investigation and the taxonomic classification of the plant inclusions. The resulting data are processed with the corresponding programs (e.g. Volume Graphics, Photoshop). In addition, the morphological investigation of recent reference material from herbaria and botanical gardens is carried out. The work also includes the preparation and conservation of amber.

The job offers the opportunity to implement a dissertation.


  • University degree (Master of Science or equivalent) in Biology, Geology or Palaeontology
  • Profound knowledge and experience in botany (plant systematics, plant morphology and anatomy), evolutionary biology and ecology
  • Basic knowledge of palaeobotany
  • Knowledge and experience in the development and implementation of first independent research projects
  • Knowledge of the Volume Graphics program and microCT technology is desirable
  • Experience in amber preparation is desirable
  • IT knowledge (e.g. image processing, Microsoft Office)
  • Proactive attitude, Independent, self-reliant work as well as the ability to work in a team and reliability are required
  • Interdisciplinary communication skills and intercultural competence
  • Very good knowledge of English (spoken and written)
  • Knowledge of German is desirable

    Special Notes:

    To ensure equality, applications from qualified women are particularly welcome. Severely disabled applicants with equal aptitude will be given preference.

    Applications with the usual documents (cover letter, curriculum vitae, certificates) must be sent to the Museum für Naturkunde, SE Personal, Invalidenstraße 43, 10115 Berlin or preferably by e-mail to by 18.11.2019 with a clear reference number 70/2019.

    Please note that documents and application portfolios will only be returned with the enclosed envelope. In order to relieve us of this burden, please refrain from sending application portfolios and submit only copies in a simple stapled form together with your application.

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    Family Policy:

    The Museum für Naturkunde has set itself the goal of promoting a work-life balance and has been awarded the certificate berufundfamilie audit of berufundfamilie gGmbH - an initiative of the Hertie Foundation.

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