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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 4.7, Earth Surface Process Modelling (Department 4, Geosystems), we are looking for a:

Research Group Leader in Landscape Evolution Modelling (f_m_x)

Reference Number 6417 

Quantitative numerical modelling of Earth surface processes is key to integrate geophysical and geochemical data relevant to Earth surface dynamics and to answer key questions on this critical interface between the solid Earth, atmosphere, and the hydrosphere that also hosts most life forms on our planet. These questions cover temporal and spatial scales that range from individual surface processes to their cumulative work over geological times.

We are looking to hire a Working Group Leader in any field of Earth surface processes numerical modelling, i.e., investigating processes and/or integrating data to answer questions pertaining to (but not limited to) the short- and long-term evolution of Earth’s surface morphology, its links with climate or the biota, the impact of human activities and of on-going climate change on landforming processes, or the parameterization and modelling of specific Earth surface processes. We encourage applications from those interested in using classical or novel modelling methods (deterministic numerical models, or data-driven methods such as data mining, machine learning or deep learning).

The position will be based in the Earth Surface Process Modelling section at the GFZ (Section 4.7). We are particularly interested in candidates who wish to develop a research program that allows them to collaborate with members of other sections and departments; in particular, those who collect relevant geophysical, geochemical, hydrological or biological data.

The Working Group Leader is expected to develop an independent research program within the context of the Center’s research program “Changing Earth – Sustaining our Future”, to attract external funding, to supervise Post-docs and PhD students and to participate in collaborative and interdisciplinary research activities and discussions within our research group/section and with local and international collaborators. The Working Group Leader has access to a budget guaranteeing basic research operation and funding for one researcher position (Post-doc or PhD level).

Researchers in the Earth Surface Process Modelling section work on a broad range of themes and come from widely different backgrounds. We are committed to a collaborative environment to ensure that members can rely on each other’s support. We value the development of meaningful skills and experience for the personal careers of our members. We believe that a diverse team is a stronger team.

Your responsibilities:

  • Develop an innovative line of research based on the development and use of models, the integration of relevant data to validate and constrain the models and their use to address questions pertaining to the evolution of the Earth’s surface and its interactions with climate, the solid Earth and the biota at any scale
  • Develop collaborative research projects and supervise Post-docs, PhD students, and/or BSc and MSc students within the section and with members of other sections
  • Attract additional external funding through competitive proposals for Helmholtz, German, EU and other funding schemes
  • Promote your work and that of students and Post-docs through publications in scientific journals, presentations at international conferences and seminars, and to the wider public/community
  • Contribute to the development of a research strategy within the Section, the research Topic and the research Center

Your qualifications:

  • PhD in Earth, Engineering, Physical, Chemical, Biological, Mathematical or Computer Sciences
  • MSc in natural sciences, engineering, mathematical or computer sciences, or equivalent
  • A minimum of three years of post-PhD research experience
  • Demonstrated advanced knowledge in the development or use of numerical models and/or quantitative methods and/or large dataset analysis
  • Demonstrated advanced knowledge of geomorphological concepts
  • Demonstrated excellence in publication (articles in revision will be taken into account)
  • Demonstrated capacity for international teamwork and excellent communication skills
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English

What we offer:

  • Ambitious and varied tasks in a dynamic and international research environment
  • The possibility of permanent employment at the GFZ pending adequate performance and alignment of research activities with the center’s research program
  • State-of-the-art equipment
  • The option to live in and commute from Berlin
  • 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
  • Work place within walking distance of Potsdam main train station, or just a short ride on the shuttle bus

Start date: As soon as possible
Fixed-term: 48 months with possibility of position becoming permanent
Salary: The position is classed as salary group 14 according to “TVöD Bund (Tarifgebiet Ost)”. The salary group is determined on the basis of the Collective Wage Agreement and the respective personal qualifications.
Working hours: Full-time (currently 39 h/week); The position is generally suitable for part-time work.
Place of work: Potsdam

Have we piqued your interest?

If so, we look forward to receiving your application by 2nd October 2022. Please use our online application form only.
Any questions regarding the project and the field of activity can be sent to Prof. Jean Braun at jean.braun[at]gfz-potsdam.de or can be addressed during the Zoom information session which will be held on 15th September from 14:00 to 16:00 (local time). Please send an email to lukas.becker[at]gfz-potsdam.de to receive the link to the event.

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[at]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[at]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.

If you have any general questions about the application process, please contact Ms Buge under +49 (0)331-288-28787.

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