GFZ German research centre for geo sciences
Logo GFZ PotsdamLogo German Research Centre of Geosiences
The Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences is the national centre for geosphere research. As a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres we are part of the largest scientific organization in Germany. With approximately 1,500 employees our key mission is to secure a profound understanding of the systems and processes of solid Earth, to develop strategies and options for action in addressing global change and its impacts on a regional level, to understand natural hazards and to minimize associated risks, to ensure the sustainable provision of energy and raw materials for a high-tech society and to evaluate the influence of human activity on system Earth.
For section Seismology (department 2 “Geophysics”), we are looking for a:

Research Scientist in Seismology (f_m_x)

Reference Number 9099

Using ambient seismic vibrations/noise to study subsurface structure and monitor temporal changes of the underground has become standard in seismology. Detailed tomographic images can be obtained and geodynamic or environmental processes can be observed with interferometric techniques. Changes of the groundwater system and the mechanical state in relation to in precipitation and thawing permafrost are two highly relevant observables in our changing environment.

Yet, corresponding services, products, workflows and their integration in modern data infrastructures are still barely developed or standardized and investigations often start from raw data. This leads to huge network traffic, high computational costs and impedes investigations by non-specialists.

Together with the GEOFON Data Center and GFZ IT services we will develop solutions to perform the computationally most expensive steps, once right at the data archive and create data products for the scientific community. The products we envision include noise correlation functions (NCF) for tomography as well as time lapse NCFs for monitoring. Higher level data products for environmental monitoring will allow for the integration into models of environmental processes by non-seismologists in polar and climate research. The work will be carried out in the frame of an EU-project on polar research and a Federal Ministry funded project on the Eifel region in Germany.

Your responsibilities:

  • Test and compare existing tools for the calculation of NCFs
  • Adapt and integrate the most effective methods in the architecture of the datacenter
  • Develop and evaluate data products for environmental monitoring in polar and volcanic regions based on continuous seismic records
  • Develop a web service to expose noise correlation functions and higher level products to the scientific community
  • Publish results in peer reviewed journals
  • Present scientific and technical results and products at international conferences
  • Create open-source software 

Your qualifications:

  • MSc in Earth Sciences with focus on seismology and affinity and expertise in scientific programming
  • Alternatively MSc in computer science, mathematics or physics with experience in seismology
  • PhD in Earth Sciences is preferable but not a must
  • Good knowledge in scientific software development (Python), preferred: experience with version control systems, parallel computing, database handling, seismological data formats and cloud services/computing
  • Experience with seismological toolboxes ObsPy or SeisComP
  • Experience in research is a bonus, ideally in the field of seismic noise
  • Good command of written and spoken English

What we offer:

  • Ambitious and varied tasks in a dynamic and international research environment
  • State-of-the-art equipment
  • Public service benefits
  • Extensive training opportunities
  • Professional career advice offered by our in-house Career-Centre 
  • Flexible working hours and conditions
  • Support with finding a good work-life balance offered by benefit@work
  • Institute day-care centre on site 
  • Working at the Albert Einstein science park on the Telegrafenberg in Potsdam
  • Work place within walking distance of Potsdam main train station, or just a short ride on the shuttle bus

Start date: As soon as possible
Fixed-term: 2 years
Salary: The position is classed as salary group 13 according to “TVöD Bund (Tarifgebiet Ost)”. The salary group is determined on the basis of the Collective Wage Agreement and the respective personal qualifications.
Working hours: Full-time (currently 39 h/week); The position is generally suitable for part-time work.
Place of work: Potsdam

Have we piqued your interest?

If so, we look forward to receiving your application by 7th April 2024. Please use our online application form only.

Diversity and equal opportunities are integral components of our human resources policy. The GFZ actively promotes diversity and explicitly welcomes applications from all qualified individuals, regardless of ethnic and social origin, nationality, gender, sexual orientation and identity, religion/belief, age and physical characteristics. Anyone who has been recognized as severely disabled, will be given preferential consideration in the event of equal suitability and qualification in accordance with the provisions of the German Social Code IX. If you have any questions, please contact our representative for the severely disabled at sbv[at], who will be happy to assist you in the further application process. In case of further queries regarding gender equality, please do not hesitate to contact our Equal Opportunities Officer at gba[at]

Your personal data will be processed for the purpose of conducting the selection procedure on the basis of Art. 6 para. 1 b, Art. 88 GDPR in conjunction with Art. 26 of the Data Protection Act for the State of Brandenburg. After completion of the procedure, application documents will be deleted in compliance with data protection regulations.

In case of any further queries relating to the field of activity, please contact Christoph Sens-Schönfelder either via email at or phone +49 (0)331-6264 28705. If you have any general questions about the application process, please contact our recruiting team at our phone number +49 (0) 331-6264-28787.

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