Long term research objectives at the GFZ are realized within the framework of five-year programmes under the overarching topic-oriented Helmholtz Research Programmes. The GFZ Research Sections centre around this topic-oriented research structure. Every programme includes several research topics that are defined by Helmholtz programme oriented funding. Different working groups carry out research on the specific thematic areas with the respective topics. Here, the GFZ works in close collaboration with other Helmholtz Centers. The GFZ holds the lead for the programme Geosystem: The Changing Earth.