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Applications can be submitted until 31/05/2021


Closing date 31/05/2021

Are you passionate about research? So are we! Come and join us

The Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) is a Research and Technology Organization (RTO) active in the fields of materials, environment and IT. By transforming scientific knowledge into technologies, smart data and tools, LIST empowers citizens in their choices, public authorities in their decisions and businesses in their strategies. 


You ‘d like to contribute as a PhD Student ? Join our Environmental Research and Innovation department 

The Environmental Research and Innovation (ERIN) department, made up of 200 life science, environmental science and information technology researchers and engineers, provides the interdisciplinary knowledge, expertise and technologies to lead solutions including the major environmental challenges facing society, such as climate change mitigation, ecosystem resilience, sustainable energy systems, efficient use of renewable resources, and environmental pollution prevention and control.

The department relies on two cutting-edge platforms, the Biotechnologies and Environmental Analytics Platform and the Observatory for the Climate and the Environment, and the GreenTech Innovation Centre (GTIC): a one-stop-shop for the complete development of bio-based products and processes.

Embedded into the ENVISION unit, the ‘Catchment and eco-hydrology’ (CAT) research group has its efforts geared towards a holistic understanding of intrinsically coupled hydrological and human systems. At the CAT group we rely on our competences in hydrology, geochemistry, sedimentology and environmental systems engineering for gaining a better understanding of eco-hydrological processes controlling hydrological and biogeochemical cycles, vegetation and sediment dynamics, pollutant removal, and ecosystem resilience.

This PhD position in hydrology opened at the CAT group is wired into the FNR MUSES (Freshwater pearl mussels as stream water stable isotope recorders) project – carried out jointly between the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (Luxembourg) and the University of Mainz (Germany). Within the MUSES project, two complementary PhD positions are advertised:

PhD 1 – ‘Freshwater pearl mussels (Margaritifera margaritifera) as faithful δ18Owater recorders’ at the University of Mainz, Supervision by Prof. Bernd Schöne. For more information on this position, visit https://www.geosciences.uni-mainz.de/jobs/

PhD 2 – ‘Bedrock geology controls on catchment sensitivity and resilience to climate change’ at the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology / University of Luxembourg, Supervision by Prof. Laurent Pfister.



How will you contribute?

Our set of nested catchments with their mixed and uniform physiographic settings are good examples of how bedrock geology controls the basic hydrological functions of water collection, storage, and release.

Objectives: We propose to extend catchment intercomparison work carried out in the framework of prior projects to the young water fraction (Fyw) discharge sensitivity metric. Leveraging reconstructed multi-decadal stream water δ18O series from the MUSES PhD 1 (carried out at the University of Mainz, Germany), you will use Fyw discharge sensitivity from three study catchments (in Luxembourg, Germany & Sweden) for comparing how proportions of flow travelling via fast flow paths may change under climate change induced modified flow regimes.

  • Assess bedrock geology controls on discharge sensitivity of Fyw from seasonal amplitudes in precipitation and stream water δ18O in our set of nested catchments in the Sûre River basin with contrasted bedrock geology and homogeneous climate.
  • Contribute to (i) the identification of potential historical changes in stream flow regime (with ~100 years worth of reconstructed stream flow δ18O from the 1st PhD), and (ii) search for mechanistic links between changes in stream flow regime and changes in atmospheric processes.
  • Test the MUSES project’s overarching hypothesis of shifts in hydraulic regime (triggered by climate change) mechanistically translating into a modification of the fraction of water travelling to the stream by fast flow paths – with the magnitude of this modification being modulated by bedrock geology.
  • Publish high quality research articles in peer-reviewed international journals of the field
  • Attend conferences and potentially travel to project partners
  • Be an integral part of the life of the CAT research group by contributing to the groups’ development, and regularly communicating on your work progress during both technical and scientific meetings. 
must have requirements

Is Your profile described below? You think you are our future colleague? Apply now!

You hold a master in Hydrology, Eco-hydrology, Isotope hydrology, Environmental Science, Civil or Environmental Engineering, Data Science or equivalent diploma. You have a strong background in catchment hydrology, isotope hydrology and/or hydrological modelling combined to good knowledge of environmental data analysis and statistics.

On top of this you’re highly motivated, pro-active, self-driven learning person and open for new challenges? You have a proven knowledge of Luxembourg? You’re the one we are looking for!

You’re fluent in English, additionally to some command of Luxembourgish, French and or German.

We offer

Your LIST experience will be

Passion for impact organisation with strong RDI partnerships in Luxembourg and Europe working on responsible and independent research projects; 

Sustainable by design notably thanks to our task force empowering our belief that we play an essential role in paving the way to a green society;

Innovative infrastructures and exceptional Labs with more than 5,000 square meters, including innovations such as our Viswall, high scale incubators or even top of the range 3D/4D printings that are part of our toolkit for excelling in all we do.

Multicultural and International work environment with more than 45 nationalities represented in our workforce;  

Diverse and inclusive work environment empowering our people in fulfilling their personal and professional ambitions;

Gender friendly environment where multiple actions are made to attract, develop and retain women in Science; 

32 days of paid-holiday, 11 public-holiday, flexible working hours, 13-month salary, state health insurance and lunch vouchers; 

Personalised learning program to foster our people’s soft and technical skills; 

We encourage curiosity, innovation and entrepreneurship sparkling everywhere. 

Apply online!


Your application must include:

  • A motivation letter oriented towards the position and your experience
  • A scientific CV, which includes contact details
  • List of publications (and patents, if applicable)
  • Contact of 2 references

Application procedure and conditions:

  • LIST is an Equal Opportunity employer and committed to hiring and retaining a diverse personnel. We value all applicants and will consider all competent candidates for employment without regard to national origin, colour, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, religion, age or disability. 
  • Applications will be accepted till May 31st 2021. 
  • An assessment committee will review the applications and candidate selection will rely on guidelines that aim to ensure equal opportunities. 
  • The main criterion for selection will be the existing skills and expertise of the applicant and matching with the qualifications mentioned above.

PhD additional conditions:

  • Supervisor at LIST: Prof. Laurent Pfister (laurent.pfister@list.lu)
  • Co-supervision at LIST: Dr. Julian Klaus
  • Co-supervision: Prof. Bernd Schöne (University of Mainz, Germany)
  • Work location: Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), Belvaux, Luxembourg
  • PhD enrolment: University of Luxembourg, Belval, Luxembourg

Candidates shall be available for starting their position in autumn 2021. Please note the universities costs are at the charge of the student.


To be considered for this position it is crucial that you have knowledge of the following languages
  • Read C1
    Write C1
    Speak C1


The following languages are optional but are considered a plus.
  • Read A2
    Write A2
    Speak A2
  • Read A2
    Write A2
    Speak A2
  • Read A2
    Write A2
    Speak A2
minimum required Education
Required work experience in years
0 or more years
Employment type
Contract type
Hours per week
Contract period
Contract duration

Select an option to apply