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Research Associate (m/f/x) - geomicrobiology of oil reservoirs
The Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences is the national centre for geosphere research. As a member of the Helmholtz Association we are part of the largest German scientific organization. With around 1,300 employees (including our guests) we develop a sound understanding of the systems and processes of the solid Earth as well as strategies and options for action to face global change and its regional impacts, to understand natural hazards and reduce associated risks, and to assess the influence of humans on the Earth's system.
As a partner in Geo.X, the GFZ has access to an excellent network of other geoscience institutions in Potsdam and Berlin. This largest regional concentration of geoscientific competence in Europe offers first-class cooperation and development opportunities.
For section 3.7 "Geomicrobiology" (department „Geochemistry“), we are looking for a:

Research Associate (m/f/x) - geomicrobiology of oil reservoirs

Reference Number 4178

The GeneOil project is a cooperation between Lundin Norway, the University of Duisburg-Essen and the GFZ.
The project aims to identify the sources of microbial DNA in hydrocarbon reservoirs in order to develop a better understanding of current and past microbial activity in both the current reservoir and the environment in which the source rock was deposited.

Your responsibilities:

  • development of strategies for sampling and conservation of samples for genomic analyses on offshore drilling and production platforms
  • development of methods for the extraction of DNA and other biomolecules from crude oil
  • quantification of microbial activity using molecular biological (FISH, BONCAT, qPCR) and biogeochemical techniques (radioisotope incubations)

Your qualifications:

  • MSc (or equivalent) and PhD degree in Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences or a related discipline
  • knowledge of Environmental Genomics, especially DNA extractions, experience in molecular biology are an assett
  • ability and willingness to work on offshore drilling and production platforms
  • ability to work in an interdisciplinary and international team
  • excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • very good command of the English language in spoken and written form, knowledge of German is a plus

Start date: 1st June 2020
Fixed-term: 24 months
Salary: This position has been assessed as being salary group 13 according to “TVöD Bund (Tarifgebiet Ost)”. The salary group will be determined by the conditions of the collective wage agreement and the appropriate personal qualifications.
Working hours: full-time (currently 39 h/week); The position is, in principle, suitable for part-time employment.
Place of work: Potsdam

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
  • good public transport connections by being in walking distance of Potsdam main station

Did we pique your interest?

If so, we are looking forward to receiving your application by the 14th May 2020 (extended). Please use our online application form only.
Equal opportunity is an inherent part of our personnel policy. Therefore, we explicitly welcome applications from qualified women. Severely disabled candidates with equal qualifications will be given preference according to the SGB IX.
Your personal data will be treated in line with Art. 6 (1b) and Art. 88 GDPR in conjunction with § 26 BbgDSG during the selection process. After the selection process has been concluded, your application documents will be deleted, in line with data protection regulation. 
In case of any further queries relating to the role’s responsibilities, please contact Dr. Kallmeyer on +49 (0) 331 288-28785. If you have any general questions about the application process, please contact Ms Buge on +49 (0) 331 288-28787.


Louise Poralla
Human Resources
Building G, Room 429
14473 Potsdam
+49 331 288-28787