PhD – Microbial Ecology

A PhD position is available at the Institute of Microbiology, Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague, Czechia. The position is funded by a 6-year project (JUNIOR STAR) from the Czech Science Foundation to investigate the response of soil microbial communities to climate change in Arctic tundra.The student will be a member of a junior group of Dr. Jana Voriskova at the Laboratory of Environmental Microbiology headed by Petr Baldrian.

The Institute of Microbiology employs more than 500 employees and 200 students and is the national institution conducting research in a wide array of topics relevant to microbiology. The infrastructure at the Institute of Microbiology includes facilities for sequencing and bioinformatics along with large computing clusters on site. The Institute is located is a green campus outside Prague (30 mins from the city center). The research center is multicultural with English as the working language, to know more about the Institute please visit the official website.

PhD – Microbial Ecology project

Climatic models predict significant temperature and precipitation changing patterns across the Arctic regions in future decades. Microbial community play a vital role in determination of soil carbon stability and its release into the atmosphere in the form of methane and carbon dioxide. The carbon-rich Arctic soil ecosystems are vulnerable to this loss of carbon due to warming and ecological disturbances like wildfire. The release of carbon from soil to the atmosphere can be mitigated through the use of increased plant growth.

Therefore the aim of the project is to explore the soil microbial response to the conditions caused by future climate change scenarios like (summer warming, wildfires, and increased winter precipitation) and identification of microbial processes that affect expansion of shrubs in Greenland. The project is based on a collaboration with the University of Copenhagen (Denmark), more information is available at the official website.

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Publication in scientific journals
  2. Laboratory analysis of soil samples using molecular and microbial ecology methods
  3. Bioinformatic and statistical analysis of microbiome data
  4. Presentation of research data at conferences and meetings
  5. Writing of PhD thesis

Eligibility Criteria

  • Masters degree in microbiology, environmental sciences, molecular biology, biology, or a relevant discipline
  • Experience with laboratory techniques – molecular biology and microbiology
  • Interest and motivation in microbial ecology, soil microbiology, arctic ecosystems, climate change
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English language
  • Previous experience with biostatistics, bioinformatics is an advantage


  • Stipend of 10,500 CZK (non-taxable) and gross salary of 18,000 CZK per month.
  • Health insurance, social security contribution (sickness insurance, paid parental leave, sick leave for family care)
  • 30 days of paid vacation (annually), meal vouchers, vouchers for leisure
  • Support for travel related to conferences and workshops abroad
  • Career development, mentoring, and administrative support in relocation to Czech Republic
  • Language courses
  • Flexible working hours, family friendly workspace, good work-life balance
  • Dining service on campus, child-care center, housing (temporary) and sports facilities (gym, squash, outdoor sports court)

The PhD microbial ecology position is a 1-year contract on a temporary basis with the possibility of extension up to 4 years in total (as per the candidate’s performance). The start date for the PhD position is summer/fall 2021, successful applicants can enroll into the PhD program at the Faculty of Sciences at Charles University in Prague by April 30, 2021.

Application process

Interested candidates should send a 1-2 page motivation letter along with a detailed CV (previous education, employments, publications, contact details of one referee) to Jana Voriskova. The email subject should be (PhD microbial ecology), deadline to apply for the position is March 31, 2021.