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Student Assistant (f/m/x) for data-integrated numerical modeling
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 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 “Geosystems”), we are looking for a:

Student Assistant (f/m/x) for data-integrated numerical modeling

Reference Number 5368

3D geological modeling based on structural data from surface outcrops has become a useful tool for assessing the overall geology of investigated sites and to assist conventional exploration methods for complex tectonic areas. In addition, integration with deep subsurface investigations from, e.g., boreholes and seismic profiles, is required to obtain information on geological boundaries and a complete image of geological structures. This relies on intensive data integration from different sources, which are then combined together inside digital models of the subsurface. An important component of such modelling workflows is to constrain the geological configuration not only in terms of their geometrical characteristics, but also in terms of their constitutive physical properties to move from static images of the subsurface to dynamic representations of the processes occurring there.

An essential step towards consistent three-dimensional models is to correctly map the density distribution of the different rock compartments by quantifying the gravitational response of such density distribution, comparing it with the observed gravity and minimizing the objective misfit function between the modelled and observed gravity. A correct integration of such 3D gravity modeling with detailed geophysical surveys can then allow to arrive at a better characterization of the main geological structures, providing a geologically and geophysically consistent playground for dynamic modelling studies of the same area. Different methods and related software solutions exist to assist scientists in delineating first-order density contrasts with the aim of improving the overall geological model. Despite commonalities, these approaches present distinctive theoretical frameworks, being targeted to user assisted or automated forward modelling or (joint) gravity inversion techniques. By filling this position, we seek support in the goal to carry out a comparison of different existing software packages for 3D geology-based gravity modelling with the aim to quantify benefits and pitfalls of those techniques when applied to complex geological settings.

Your responsibilities:

  • 3D gravity modelling with different software packages
  • Analysis of gravity field data
  • Analysis of complex 3D structural and density models

Your qualifications:

  • BSc in Geophysics, Geotechnology, Geoinformatics, Geosciences or equivalent
  • Basic knowledge in potential field analysis
  • Experience in numerical modelling (with programming skills as a plus)

Start date: 1st October 2021
Fixed-term: 6 month
Salary: Remuneration is according to the rules of the TdL (tariff area East) for student assistants with a Bachelor’s degree: currently € 12.37/h
Working hours: Part-time (9,75 h/week)
Place of work: Potsdam, Telegrafenberg

What we offer:

  • Ambitious and varied tasks in a dynamic and international research environment
  • State-of-the-art equipment
  • Public service benefits
  • Flexible working hours and conditions
  • Support with finding a good work-life balance offered by benefit@work
  • 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


If so, we look forward to receiving your application by 29th August 2021
Please use our online application form only.

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@gfz-potsdam.de, 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@gfz-potsdam.de.

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.

In case of any further queries relating to the field of activity, please contact Dr. Judith Bott either via email at bott@gfz-potsdam.de or under +49 (0)331-288-1342. If you have any general questions about the application process, please contact Ms Buge under +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.