Job Offers

The Helmholtz Centre Potsdam GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences is the national research centre for Earth sciences in Germany. With 1280 employees, the GFZ is conducting interdisciplinary research on the “System Earth” and the influence of humans on the planet. As a member of the Helmholtz Association, it is part of Germany’s largest science organization.

For Section 1.3 “Earth System Modelling” we invite applications for a

PhD position (m/f)
Reference No. 60/13/17 D

Project title: Transport, Removal and Accumulation of sediments Numerically Simulated for Paleo-Oceans and Reconstructed from cores of The Eirik Drift (TRANSPORTED)

The PhD project is established within the DFG priority program „International Ocean Disovery Program“ (IODP) and part of an interdisciplinary cooperation with the Alfred-Wegener-Institut (AWI) in Bremerhaven.

One of the main goals of TRANSPORTED is the reconstruction of sediment transports in the northern Atlantic ocean during the last 20 million years. The influence of tectonic, volcanic and climatological factors on the deep ocean circulation and sediment transport shall be determined with a combination of numerical regional ocean modelling and the analysis of drill cores from the Eirik Drift south of Greenland. Thereby a consistent reconstruction of sediment transports, ocean dynamics and climatological forcing will be generated.

  • reconstruction and preparation of boundary conditions and forcing fields for a regional ocean model
  • compilation of a data set for the validation of simulation results
  • analysis of drill cores for the determination of sedimentation rates and grain sizes
  • setup and validation of a global and regional ocean model with sediment transport
  • sensitivity study with the global and regional ocean models regarding climatological, tectonic and volcanic influences on sediment transport
  • validation of the simulation results with measurements, e.g., drill cores, seismic profiles
  • publication of relevant results in international scientific journals and conferences
  • Master’s degree (or equivalent) in oceanography, climatology, meteorology, physics, mathematics or a related field
  • solid background in ocean dynamics and climatology
  • experience in scientific programming (e.g., Matlab, Fortran, R)
  • experience with Unix-Systems and scripting
  • experience with parallel programming, handling of super computers and/ or numerical modelling is of advantage
  • good command of the English language (spoken/written)


Starting date as soon as possible
Fixed term 3 years
Salary EG 13 TVöD-Bund (Tarifgebiet Ost)
Working hours part-time 65% (currently 25.35h per week)
Location Potsdam

You can expect a very diverse and challenging job in an international work environment that is characterized by exciting research projects. The compatibility of work and family life is of particular concern to the GFZ. Therefore, it offers the opportunity for flexible working time and workplaces. Moreover, there is a kindergarten located on the research campus.

The GFZ is a partner with Geo.X (, and as such it is well connected with other geoscience institutions in Potsdam and Berlin. Geo.X forms the largest regional cluster of geoscientific expertise in Europe and offers excellent opportunities for cooperation and development.

Please submit your application by 22. October 2017 quoting the reference no. 60/13/17 D via email to Please combine your application documents (letter of motivation, CV and certificates) into a single PDF file with a size of up to 3 megabytes.

Equal opportunity is an inherent part of our personnel policy. Therefore we are particularly welcoming applications from qualified women. Severely disabled persons will be given preferential treatment in the case of equal qualification.

We will retain your application documents for at least three months, even if the application is not successful.

If you have any questions regarding this job offer, please feel free to call us at +49 (0) 331-288-28878.

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Questions Regarding our Job Offers?

If you have any questions regarding our job offers, please call us at +49 (0) 331  288 28878 or send us an email.