GFZ German research centre for geo sciences
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The Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences is the national centre for research into the geosphere. With around 1,500 employees, we develop a sound understanding of systems and processes of the solid Earth as well as strategies and options for action to counter global change, understand natural hazards and sustainably secure energy and raw material requirements.

For section 1.3 "Earth System Modelling" (department “Geodesy”), we are looking for a:

PhD position (f_m_x) in Ocean Data Assimilation of Remote Sensing Data

Reference Number 9222

Section 1.3 “Earth System Modelling” at GFZ searches for a PhD candidate to work in the GREMLIN project which jointly assimilates electromagnetic and gravimetric satellite data to improve the current monitor capabilities of the global ocean circulation. The candidate will help to overcome fundamental problems of Earth observation inversion by using statistical and numerical modelling and by applying Kalman-Filter based data assimilation techniques to satellite data.

Your responsibilities:

  • Numerical and statistical modelling of large scale Earth systems, e.g., ocean, ionosphere
  • Preparation of remotely sensed observations, e.g., from GRACE and Swarm satellites
  • Assimilation of gravimetry and electromagnetic observations
  • Analysis of modelled and state estimated geophysical systems
  • Comparison of different modelling and assimilation approaches

Your qualifications:

  • Diploma or MSc degree in physics, mathematics, or geosciences
  • Strong mathematical and physical background
  • Strong skills in programming, preferably C++ and statistical software
  • Preferably, statistical modelling and assimilation methods
  • Experience with remotely sensed Earth system observations are advantageous
  • Good English language skills

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: 36 months
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 5th May 2024. Please use our online application form only.

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

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 Dr. Jan Saynisch-Wagner via email at 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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