PhD candidate Micro- and Nanoplastic Analysis (f/m/d) – Berlin, Germany

Posted 2 years ago

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is the scientific body of the Federal Republic of Germany that prepares expert reports and opinions on issues related to food, feed and chemical safety and consumer health protection on the basis of internationally recognized scientific assessment criteria. The institute provides sound scientific advice to federal ministries and agencies responsible for consumer protection and food safety. BfR is also conducting own research on relating topics. BfR is a body under public law within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL).

In the Department of Chemical and Product Safety at BfR, unit “Product Analytics”, we are seeking to recruit for a 3 year fixed-term at the earliest date possible, a

PhD candidate Micro- and Nanoplastic Analysis (f/m/d)

Reference number: 2971/2022 | Pay category  13 TVöD

Employment is based on 65 % of full-time weekly working hours (currently 25.35 h).

The candidate is expected to obtain a PhD degree through this employment. Participation in BfR‘s PhD program is mandatory. The program aims to convey scientific and methodological knowledge. It offers the opportunity to present the progress of the PhD project in regular internal meetings and to benefit from scientific exchange.

For further job advertisements targeting prospective PhD students please visit

The EU-project POLYRISK aims to unravel the potential risk associated with micro- and nanoplastic particles (MNPs) that are ubiquitous in the environment on human health, particularly through the oral and inhalative exposure routes. In POLYRISK, highly advanced sampling, sample pretreatment and analytical methods are combined to detect and quantify MNPs in complex matrices, including cells from tissue culture experiments.


The candidate will

  • Develop analytical methods (including but not limited to FTIR, pyrolysis-GC-MS, MALDI-MS and ToF-SIMS) for the identification and quantification of micro- and nanoplastics in various matrices
  • Develop preparative and analytical methods for the fractionation and determination of particle size distributions for mixtures of micro- and nanoplastic particles
  • Perform cell culture experiments to determine the uptake of micro- and nanoplastic particles in cellular systems, as well as in vitro studies of their inhalation toxicity
  • Analyze data using multivariate statistics
  • Independently organize experimental laboratory work, instruct laboratory personnel and undergraduate students
  • Evaluate analytical data and present the results in scientific publications and on scientific congresses


  • Completed master/diploma university degree in chemistry, biochemistry or a similar field of study
  • Fundamental knowledge in polymer chemistry and the chemical analysis of micro- and nanoplastics (e.g. FTIR, pyrolysis-GC-MS, MALDI-MS, ToF-SIMS) as well as in the area of cell biology and cell culture are required, practical experience is a plus
  • Knowledge in multivariate statistics is a plus
    • Scientific curiosity and keen interest to learn modern bio-analytical and instrumental analytical methods
    • Ability to independently plan, execute and evaluate experimental work
    • Excellent knowledge of written and spoken English; stay abroad is a plus
    • Handling of standard IT-applications, conscientious working, flexibility, resilience and ability to work in a team

The place of employment is Berlin.

What we offer:

  • Trust-based working time
  • 30 days annual leave (based on a 5-day week)
  • Mobile working opportunities
  • Excellent links to the public transport network
  • Wide range of further training opportunities
  • Discounted travel pass (“Jobticket”) for Berlin public transport
  • VBL (occupational pension)
  • Capital-forming benefits & AWO Family Service

Application procedure:

Does our offer appeal to you?

Apply using our Online System. Closing date for applications is March 07, 2022.

Please address any questions in connection with the application process to:

– Please do not send applications to this e-mail address –

For applications by mail, please send your application including complete documents quoting the reference number 2972/2022.

Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung / Personalreferat – 11.17 – / Max-Dohrn-Str. 8-10 / 10589 Berlin

For further information please contact:

Dr. Roloff                    Tel.: 030 18412-27700                       Email:

Prof. Dr. Dr. Luch       Tel.: 030 18412-27000                       Email:

The BfR welcomes applications from people of all nationalities. The BfR is an innovative scientific institute offering family-friendly working conditions. For which the BfR was awarded the “audit berufundfamilie®” (work and family) certificate. The BfR guarantees equal career opportunities for women and men. In the case of equal suitability, severely disabled applicants will be given preferential consideration and are only required to have a minimum level of physical suitability.

Job Features

Job CategoryTeaching and scientific research

Apply Online

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