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 1,650 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.

Applications are invited for a research staff member to become part of the Interface Geochemistry and the Potsdam lmaging and Spectral Analysis (PISA) facility team.

Research Staff (f_m_x) in Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)

Reference Number 9346

The appointed researcher will coordinate the SEM work and develop novel sample preparation methods. She/he/they will work on a series of conventional and cryogenic sample preparation and SEM micro-spectroscopic projects spanning across biogeochemistry, geobiology, materials science, chemical physics, mineral physics and inorganic (geo-)chemistry. For full details of our research please see on our Interface Geochemistry webpage.

The instruments that will be within the scientific responsibility of the post holder are: a Zeiss Ultra Plus and a FEI Quanta 3D (FIB-SEM) as well as various sample handling and preparation methods.

Your responsibilities:

  • Contribute to SEM data collection and analysis for a variety of academic collaborations within and outside the GFZ
  • Coordinate the scientific work as well as use and maintenance of the SEM microscopes within PISA
  • Develop, validate and implement novel geo-bio-material specimen preparation methods for conventional as well as cryo-sample handling and analyses
  • Application of various state-of-the-art multi-modal and multi-dimensional SEM methods for the analysis of diverse geo(bio)material characteristics
  • Publish in international peer-reviewed journals
  • Present research results at internal, national and international scientific meetings
  • Lead and/or considerably contribute to 3rd party proposals
  • Co-supervise Master's and PhD students
  • Developing own research direction is strongly encouraged 

Your qualifications:

  • Master´s degree (or equivalent) and a PhD degree in mineralogy, biogeochemistry, materials science or equivalent
  • An absolute must is a demonstrated strong focus on scanning electron micro-spectroscopic research and documented skills in imaging/analyses of complex materials with Thermo Fisher and/or Zeiss microscopes
  • At least 3 years of electron microscope maintenance and lab management responsibilities
  • Knowledge of and experience in various SEM sample preparation techniques including cryo-methods
  • Proven track record of achievements (publications, 3rd party funding acquisition, conference/workshop presentations etc)
  • Experience in working on multiple projects simultaneously
  • Capacity for interdisciplinary and international teamwork and excellent communication skills
  • Demonstrated experience in the supervision of students
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English, German is an asset

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: Permanent position
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?

Please upload all the following documents during the online application process:
(a) cover letter detailing how you fit the responsibilities and qualifications of the advertised post (max 2 pages)
(b) detailed CV
(c) publication list
(d) max 1 page personal interest research statement
(e) names and contact of at least 2 referees.
Please submit your application online by 7th July 2024 using the "Apply" button. Only online applications are accepted.

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.

Collaborators/partners from the EXCITE Network - one of our third party projects - may be involved in the selection and interview procedure. Your personal data will, of course, be treated confidentially and will be communicated to the involved person exclusively for the purpose of evaluating your professional suitability within the framework of this selection procedure. Once the procedure has been completed, the personal data will also be deleted there in compliance with data protection regulations.

In case of any further queries relating to the field of activity, please contact LIANE G. BENNING 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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