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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 1,500 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 1.4 Remote Sensing and Geoinformatics (department “Geodesy”), we are looking for a:

PhD in global land cover validation and assessments (f_m_x)

Reference Number 7504

The PhD research will focus on the development and demonstration of land cover validation at high resolutions in space (10x10m) and time (<year). The effort will capitalize on various efforts generating 10m resolution land cover maps, will look into understanding the differences and strengths of the existing maps that is important for both the map users and producers.

The work is mainly conducted at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences (Section Remote Sensing and Geoinformation) and the University of Potsdam under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Martin Herold. The research will be collaborative and involves partners from Wageningen University and the World Resources Institute. 

Your responsibilities:

  • Engagement in deriving quality, independent, and dynamic global land cover and change reference databases
  • Developed with regional partners worldwide and considering the uncertainties of the reference data itself
  • Comparative analysis and validation of available land cover and change data at high resolution considering spatial, temporal and thematic accuracy aspects
  • Help to derive targeted land cover information for their purposes based on accuracy analysis and the option to refine the global reference data samples with their own interpretations and data for improved land cover estimations demonstrated in different stakeholder-driven demonstrations

Your qualifications:

  • MSc degree and related experiences in Remote Sensing, Agriculture, Forestry, Ecology, Environmental Science, Geography, Land Change Science or a related field
  • strong English skills
  • Knowledge about land cover/use monitoring, uncertainty analysis and technical skills to handle spatial data and remote sensing data
  • Experiences and willingness to work with international partners and in different country settings

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
  • 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: 36 months
Salary: The position is classed as salary group 13 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: Part-time 75% (currently 29.25 h/week)
Place of work: Potsdam

Have we piqued your interest?

If so, we look forward to receiving your application by 14th April 2023. 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[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. The lecturer and researcher at the Laboratory of Geo-information Science and Remote Sensing in Wageningen University Dr. Nandika Tsendbazar 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 field of activity, please contact Martin Herold via email at herold@gfz-potsdam.de. If you have any general questions about the application process, please contact our recruiting team at our phone number +49 (0) 331-6264-28787.

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