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Postdoctoral Researcher (m/f/x) - DEFORM
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 4.5 "Basin Modelling" (Department 4 “Geosystems”), we are looking for a:

Postdoctoral Researcher (m/f/x) - DEFORM

Reference Number 4336

Deformation patterns in relation to the deep configuration of the lithosphere of the Alps and their forelands – DEFORM
We are seeking a postdoctoral research scientist to work in the frame of the project “Deformation patterns in relation to the deep configuration of the lithosphere of the Alps and their forelands – DEFORM” funded in the DFG priority program "Mountain Building Processes in Four Dimensions (MB-4D)" SPP 2017. The main objective is to test the hypothesis that different processes controlling recent crustal deformation can be isolated and their relative contributions quantified if first order characteristics of the lithosphere configuration are considered in concert with the driving physical processes.

Your responsibilities:

  • update of an existing 3D structural/density/rheology model using new geophysical data from the AlpArray experiments (velocity models of the mantle and the crust, gravity field)
  • assessment of the present day physical state of the orogen-foreland system using new methods to simulate the coupled thermal-mechanical processes controlling the present-day deformation field
  • simulation of different deformation scenarios for the present day and for the last glacial maximum
  • cooperation with project partners at JGU Mainz and CAU Kiel as well as with other SPP members working on surface processes, erosion estimates and source to sink relationships as well as on the reconstructions of past ice thickness
  • presentation of results at scientific meetings and publication in peer-reviewed journals

Your qualifications:

  • Master's degree and PhD in Earth, Environmental or Physical Sciences, or in a related field
  • advanced expertise in numerical modeling and complex simulation environments
  • background in 3D data integration
  • knowledge of deformation principles and mountain building processes
  • demonstrated expertise on controlling factors for the thermal field and rheology of the lithosphere
  • experience in modeling coupled thermo-hydraulic-mechanical processes (programming skills, background in HPC environments and hybrid parallelization concepts  are an asset)
  • familiarity with the regional geology of the Alps
  • demonstrated capacity for international teamwork, and excellent communication skills
  • creative and critical thinking and the ability to publish, demonstrated by a record of original and innovative publications
  • proficiency in spoken and written English

Start date: 1st October 2020
Fixed-term: 36 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 23rd 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 Prof. Scheck-Wenderoth on +49 (0) 331 288-1345. 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