PhD-student in Experimental Mineralogy/Petrology

Employment for the period of 36 months in the framework of the FWF-funded project P33124 “Ca-phosphates in the deep Earth”.

Starting Date: April or May 2020
Fixed Term: 3 years
Salary: The gross salary for this position (75%) amounts to € 2162,40 per month (14 times)
Location: Innsbruck (AT); further details about the Institute of Mineralogy and Petrography and the University of Innsbruck may be obtained at

Short project description:

Ca-phosphates play a unique role in the mineral inventory of the silicate Earth because they are major carriers of phosphorus, hydrogen and halogens, all of which are essential for the origin and evolution of life. They are also important hosts for incompatible trace elements, which are indispensable for modeling the origin and evolution of magmatic rocks. However, virtually nothing is known about the role of Ca-phosphates for lower mantle segments of the global phosphorus, volatile and incompatible trace element cycle. This project seeks to investigate experimentally the stability, phase relations and composition of Ca-phosphates in peridotitic and basaltic bulk compositions at P-T conditions of the upper-to-lower mantle transition, the (trace)element partitioning between Ca-phosphates and coexisting lower mantle solids and partial melts, and the crystal chemistry of phosphorus in the deep Earth. This will allow us to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the solid Earth’s phosphorous cycle and investigate the role of Ca-phosphates in the storage and transport of incompatible trace elements and volatiles at the upper-to-lower mantle transition zone.

In the framework of this project, access to state of the art experimental (Multianvil) and analytical (FEG-EMP, Raman, Mössbauer, SIMS, NanoSIMS) facilities will be provided. The PhD-position will be based in Innsbruck and involves short-term research stays at the BGI in Bayreuth, the University of Graz, the TU Munich and the University of Heidelberg.

Required qualifications:

  • MSc in Earth Sciences or in a related field
  • Strong background in mineralogy and petrology
  • Experience in high-pressure-temperature experiments and/or project-related analytical methods is an advantage
  • Excellent skills in written and spoken English
  • Team player and good communication skills


Please send your documents (letter of motivation, CV, copy of Master or diploma certificate, list of two referees) to and

Applications will be considered until 09.02.2020 or until the position is filled.

posted: 08 January 2020     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.