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PhD Student (m/f/x) - Boron Isotopes
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 3.1 "Inorganic and Isotope Geochemistry" (department 3 "Geochemistry"), we are looking for a:

PhD Student (m/f/x) - Boron Isotopes

Reference Number 4329

on the topic "Experimental boron isotope fractionation between silicate melts and aqueous fluids with application to magmatic-hydrothermal ore genesis".
This is a team project of the GFZ with the universities of Potsdam and Köln. It will address a critical aspect of ore deposits related to granites and pegmatites: the magmatic-hydrothermal transition. The candidate will use a range of modern experimental and analytical techniques in stable isotope geochemistry and apply the results to real-world problems of ore genesis. The DOME priority program (Dynamics of Ore Enrichment) is a multidisciplinary research platform with special training offers for young scientists. 

Your responsibilities:

  • prepare sets of boron-doped, hydrated silicate glass as granite analogues
  • collaborate with team members determining B-speciation and B-diffusion
  • conduct high-temperature exchange experiments between glasses and aqueous fluid
  • characterize solid and fluid experimental products with SIMS and TIMS techniques
  • evaluate results to derive B-isotope fractionation factors and apply these to real-world data sets from ore deposit
  • participate in English in internal meetings and workshops of the DOME program
  • present in English the project results in professional meetings
  • prepare peer-reviewed publications in collaboration with the project team
  • complete requirements for a doctoral degree at the University of Potsdam

Your qualifications:

  • M.Sc. degree (or equivalent) at the time of appointment in geoscience or physical chemistry
  • good knowledge of mineralogy and geology; economic geology would be an advantage
  • experience or strong interest in laboratory-based research
  • strong command of written and spoken English; German language skills would be an advantage
  • enthusiasm and scientific curiosity, ability to work independently and in a team

Start date: 1st October 2020
Fixed-term: 3 years
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: part-time 75% (currently 29.25 h/week)
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 29th August 2020 (extended). Please use our online application form only.
Equal opportunities are an integral part of our personnel policy. We therefore very much welcome applications from qualified women. In the case of equal aptitude, severely disabled persons are given preferential consideration in accordance with the Code of Social Law 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. Robert Trumbull on +49 (0) 331 288-1495 or Dr. Bernd Wunder on +49 (0) 331 288-1412. If you have any general questions about the application process, please contact Ms Buge on +49 (0) 331 288-28787.


Franca Buge
Franca Buge
Human Resources
Building G, Room 429
14473 Potsdam
+49 331 288-28787

Für Fragen zur Gleichstellung steht Ihnen die Gleichstellungsbeauftragte des GFZ, Frau Dr. Weckmann unter Tel. +49 331 288-2824 bzw. per E-Mail zur Verfügung.

Fragen zur Mitarbeit schwerhinderter Personen beantwortet gerne die Schwerbindertenvertreterin des GFZ, Frau Thiel unter Tel. +49 331 288-1648 bzw. per E-Mail.