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Lead Technical Officer (f/m/x)
The Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences is the national centre for geosphere research. As a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres we are part of the largest scientific organization in Germany. With approximately 1,300 employees our key mission is to secure a profound understanding of the systems and processes of solid Earth, to develop strategies and options for action in addressing global change and its impacts on a regional level, to understand natural hazards and to minimize associated risks, to ensure the sustainable provision of energy and raw materials for a high-tech society and to evaluate the influence of human activity on system Earth.
As a partner in Geo.X, the GFZ has access to an excellent network of other geoscinece institutions in Potsdam and Berlin. This largest regional concentration of geoscientific competence in Europe offers first-class cooperation and development opportunities.   
To support our work in section 3.5 Interface Geochemistry (Department of Geochemistry) as well as the laboratory and field activities of the ERC Synergy grant project "Deep Purple“ we are looking for a:

Lead Technical Officer (f/m/x)

Reference Number 4873

We operate a number of laboratories for mineral synthesis and characterization as well as geobiology. To manage the day-to-day work flow and to support the team with technical chemical or biological assistance, we are searching a lead technical officer, who will help us run these complementary, yet diverse laboratories in a safe and smooth manner. The job also includes coordination and preparation of field campaigns and may also permit the participation in some field activities. We are a very international team and our working language is English. 

Your responsibilities:

  • monitoring laboratory (and field) equipment performance through quality checks, monitoring of safe operations, calibration and troubleshooting procedures
  • coordinating replacement, service, and repair activities of the section’s instrument park (exclusive of PISA)
  • coordinating setting up the labs in the new Geo-Bio-building
  • managing lab consumables and chemical stocks (incl. ordering, deliveries, waste disposal etc) and maintain e-lab management system (inventories, usage statistics, lab/instrument calendars)
  • coordinating all laboratory and field health and safety risk assessments, while remaining compliant with relevant German health and safety guidelines
  • be the main contact point for and liaise with relevant contacts/suppliers/contractors for procurement, while ensuring cost effectiveness
  • help write/maintain/update all instrument specific standard operating procedures (SOPs)
  • provide help with routine chemical and mineralogical sample preparation and analyses
  • support preparation and organization of large field campaigns (shipping, permits, travel, insurance, material import etc)
  • there may also be opportunities to participate in field campaigns
  • introduction and training/instruction/induction of students, interns and apprentices to our operational procedures and instruments and ensuring staff compliance

Your qualifications:

  • completed training as a chemical technical assistant (CTA) (f/m/x), biological technical assistant (BTA) (f/m/x) or comparable professional experience (e.g., bachelor in analytical chemistry or equivalent) with at least a three years of experience in lab assistance and management, preferably in analytical chemistry or analytical geochemistry labs
  • very good knowledge of written and spoken English and fluent in German
  • proven experience with and knowledge of various chemical processes and protocols
  • practical experience with solid state mineral characterization (e.g., X-Ray diffraction, spectroscopy, thermal analyses)
  • experience in solution analyses using UV-VIS or equivalent
  • calibration of equipment/ instruments and materials for laboratory use and safety regulations knowledge
  • knowledge of laboratory planning and organization 
  • high degree of flexibility, independence and analytical quality standards
  • willingness to work in a multinational research team
  • excellent organizational and communication and teamwork skills
  • experience in instructing students, trainees and apprentices in laboratory methods

Start date: June 1st, 2021
Fixed-term: 24 months (with possibility of extension)
Salary: The salary grouping will be determined by the conditions of the collective wage agreement “TVöD Bund (Tarifgebiet Ost)” 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
  • 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
  • in walking distance of Potsdam main station, or just a short ride on the shuttle bus

Did we pique your interest?

If so, we are looking forward to receiving your application by the 2nd May 2021. 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 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. "Deep Purple" project team members from the Cryo-Microbiology group of the Aarhus University, Denmark will be involved in the selection 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 role’s responsibilities, please contact Liane G. Benning either via email at benning@gfz-potsdam.de or on  +49 (0) 331-288-28970 . If you have any general questions about the application process, please contact Ms Buge on +49 (0) 331-288-28787.


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.