Research Associate / PhD student (65%)

The University of Bonn is an international research university covering a wide array of subjects. 200 years of history, around 38,000 students, more than 6,000 staff and an excellent reputation within and outside Germany: the University of Bonn is among the most significant German universities.

The Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation is looking to fill as of 1st March 2022, for a fixed term of 3 years, the position of a

Research Associate / PhD student (65%).

The working group of Prof. Dr. Eike Luedeling works on horticultural systems, with a focus on holistic systems analysis, risk assessment, and decision analysis and support. Further areas of work are climate change impacts on horticultural systems, fruit tree dormancy and agroforestry. The research activities are co-led by Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schurr at the Institute of Bio- and Geosciences of Forschungszentrum Jülich.

The position is located in the project

“Robotic Manipulation in Horticulture: From Pruning to Harvesting”

which forms part of the PhenoRob cluster of excellence ( Within the project, this position will be instrumental for the partial project “Automating Managers and Simulating Robots”.

The overall objective of the project is to harness PhenoRob’s advanced expertise in Robotics and Perception to lay the groundwork for next-generation robotic applications in horticulture.

The partial project “Automating Managers and Simulating Robots” aims to provide an interface between horticultural management and the work on robotics and perception. Objectives of this partial project are to

  • Translate horticultural management needs into instructions for robots
  • Simulate the impacts of robotic management
  • Develop impact projection models for robotics in horticulture
  • Explore the economic potentials of robotics through probabilistic cost-benefit analysis

Your tasks:

  • Detailed description of key management steps in the horticultural target systems and translation into instructions that can be understood by a robot
  • Simulation of robotic action through manual manipulation to explore potential outcomes of robotic interventions
  • Development of impact projection models for robotic information
  • Quantification of the potential economic outcomes of using robotics in selected horticultural systems, including cost-benefit analysis
  • Support in project coordination

Your profile:

  • Completed studies and scientific training (Diplom or Masters level) in Agriculture, Horticulture, Biology, Environmental Science, Decision Science, Systems Analysis or other relevant disciplines
  • Good knowledge of the R programming language
  • Very good command of the English language
  • Willingness to work in an intercultural work environment
  • Knowledge of the following will be advantageous:
    • Horticultural production systems, in particular greenhouse systems
    • Decision Analysis methodologies
  • Motivated, flexible, team-oriented and eager to learn

We offer

  • A diverse and demanding work environment in a young and dynamic team
  • Possibility for application-oriented research in a highly relevant research area
  • Possibility to earn a PhD (intention to pursue a PhD is an advantage)
  • Retirement benefits (VBL)
  • Salary according to German public service tariff E13 TV-L

The University of Bonn is a champion of diversity and equal opportunity. It is certified as a family-friendly university. The university aims to raise the share of women in all areas where women are currently underrepresented and to specifically support their careers. Consequently, women are emphatically encouraged to apply. Applications will be treated according to the equal opportunity laws of the State of North-Rhine-Westphalia. Applications by suitable candidates with severe disabilities and candidates of equivalent status are particularly welcome.

If you are interested in this position, please send your complete and meaningful application documents by email to before 10th January 2022, with the subject line “Application – PhenoRob-Horticulture”. For technical reasons, all documents must be submitted in one single pdf-file. For further information, please contact Prof. Dr. Luedeling (email:

Prof. Dr. Eike Luedeling
Prof. Dr. Eike Luedeling
Head of Department

I’ve been leading the HortiBonn group since 2018. We work on horticulture, decision analysis, fruit tree dormancy, climate change, agricultural development agricultural systems modeling and possibly other topics.