Veronika Kovzel
Phone: +49 351 260 3231

More Information


For any questions, do not hesitate to ask:
Dr. Max Frenzel Tel.: +49 351 260 4407

Place of work:

Working hours:
19,5 h/week

20 November 2020

Online application
English / German
Job-Id: 138/2020 (1059)

The HZDR is committed to equal opportunity employment and we strongly encourage applications from qualified female candidates. We also carefully consider all applications from job candidates with severe disabilities.

Bautzner Landstraße 400
01328 Dresden

Research Assistent (PhD student) (f/m/d): Estimation of the future primary raw materials mix for the production of Li-ion-batteries

As member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers, the HZDR employs about 1,200 people. The Center's focus is on interdisciplinary research in the areas energy, health and matter.

The Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) pursues the objective of developing innovative technologies for the economy so that mineral and metalliferous raw materials can be made available and used more efficiently and recycled in an environmentally friendly manner.

As part of the Institute, the Department of Analytics invites applications as Research assistant (PhD Student) (f/m/d): Estimation of the future primary raw materials mix for the production of Li-ion-batteries. The position will be available from 1st February 2021, provided that the funds are approved by the national funding agency. The employment contract is limited to three years. Payment will be according to Collective Tariff Agreement for the Public Service (TVöD, salary group E13). In the first year, this will be a 50% position, with the possibility to increase to 75% in the second year, and 100% in the third year.

Scope of your job

This position is part of a larger consortium project financed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and coordinated by the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg. The consortium project is in turn part of a new competence cluster on "Recycling & Green Battery" funded by the BMBF. The overall goal of the consortium project is to estimate the possible future contribution of recycling to the reduction of the CO2-footprint of Li-ion-battery production. Specifically, we wish to investigate the contribution from the production of the necessary raw materials (i.e. Li, Co, Ni, Mn and graphite). To do this, the project aims to collate all the available data, and then use Monte-Carlo simulations to integrate it and produce an assembly of probable scenarios for the future. Projections published so far are not particularly detailed. Nevertheless, they suggest that recycling may only make a minimal contribution due to the expected large growth rates of battery production. Quantifying this in more detail is the goal of this project.

The position advertised here will specifically investigate how the mix of primary raw materials necessary for future battery production may evolve up to 2050. That is, your task will be to compile estimates of how much of the primary production of each material will probably come from which ore deposit type (e.g. Ni and Co from Ni-laterites). This information can then be combined with data on the corresponding CO2-balances as well as a prediction of probable recycling rates (other position in this project) to estimate the CO2-footprint of the primary raw materials. The work will be done in close collaboration with the German Federal Agency for Geosciences and Resources (BGR) as well as the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).


  • Collecting and systematizing relevant data on the reserves, resources, probable future production and CO2 -footprints of the primary raw materials Li, Co, Ni, Mn and graphite for battery production (in close collaboration with BGR/USGS, using their existing databases)

  • Design of a simulation structure, and implementation of Monte-Carlo simulations to estimate the future raw materials mix

  • Integration of results with data on CO2 -balances, including data collected in other consortium projects of the competence cluster, to estimate the probable future CO2-footprints of the raw materiaIs used in battery production


  • Completed university degree (Master) in one or more of the general areas of mineral economics/geoscience/geomathematics or a closely related field

  • Good understanding of mining, metal extraction, and global raw materials supply chains

  • Experience with the R-software environment for the statistical evaluation of large and complex datasets

  • Willingness to undertake frequent research stays in Berlin (BGR) and Reston, Virginia (USGS)

  • Ability to work closely and constructively with several partners to solve a common research goal

  • Excellent communication skills in English in a professional context (presentation of research results at scientific meetings, writing of manuscripts, discussions with colleagues)

We offer:

  • A vibrant research community in an open, diverse, and international work environment
  • Scientific excellence and extensive professional networking opportunities
  • High quality training, coaching, and mentoring programms
  • Salary and social benefits in conformity with the provisions of the Collective Agreement TvöD-Bund
  • Company pension scheme (VBL)
  • A good work/life balance for which we offer assistance in the form of:
    • possibility to work part-time

    • flexible working hours

    • in-house health management

Kindly submit your completed application (including cover letter, CV, diplomas/transcripts, etc.) only via our Online-application-system.

Online application English / German