Helmholtz-Zentrum Deutsches Geoforschungszentrum
Logo GFZ PotsdamLogo German Research Centre of Geosiences

The Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences is the national centre for research into the geosphere. With around 1,500 employees, we develop a sound understanding of systems and processes of the solid Earth as well as strategies and options for action to counter global change, understand natural hazards and sustainably secure energy and raw material requirements.

For section Space Physics and Space Weather (department “Geophysics”), we are looking for a:

PhD student (f_m_x) Empirical Wave Modelling, Numerical Simulation for Space Physics

Reference Number 9260

In this project funded by the European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant, combining state-of-the-art measurements from multiple satellites, comprehensive models will be developed. We will improve our Full Diffusion Code by using the wave models developed in this project and calculate diffusion coefficients using more realistic background magnetic field and plasma density models for the first time. With the help of our sophisticated physics-based radiation belt dynamic model, fundamental acceleration and loss of relativistic electrons caused by different waves in the Earth's radiation belts will be quantified. We will systematically validate simulation results against satellite measurements to understand the competition between acceleration and loss caused by various types of plasma waves. 

All these improvements will be critically important for answering the overarching scientific question: Why do the Earth’s radiation belts respond differently to geomagnetic storms which have approximately the same intensity? This project will open new horizons for understanding, predicting, and specifying the hazardous space environment. 

Your responsibilities:

The successful candidate should have extensive experience in data analysis and preferably also with machine learning and scientific programming.

Job responsibilities will include a variety of tasks related to satellite data processing and scientific programming, including but not limited to:

  • Perform data processing and analysis
  • Develop empirical and machine learning-based models for hiss waves and exohiss waves in the Earth’s inner magnetosphere
  • Maintain data and code repositories
  • Develop scientific visualizations of the results
  • Document and test existing codes
  • Adopt scientific codes for different scientific problems
  • Conduct scientific research in the field of space physics
  • Attend scientific meetings, including international conferences, and present the results
  • Write manuscripts that will be published in peer-reviewed journals

Your qualifications:

  • MSc in physics, computer sciences, geophysics, mathematics, or related natural sciences
  • Experience in processing and analyzing satellite data
  • Ability to work with large data sets
  • Work experience with IT programming or scientific programming
  • Advanced knowledge of the programming languages, such as Python, Matlab, IDL, Fortran
  • Knowledge of Unix system
  • Experience in developing numerical codes
  • Experience with machine learning is a plus
  • Ability to work within a team
  • Attention to detail and organizational skills
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills

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: 1st June 2024
Fixed-term: 3 years
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 7th May 2024. 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.

In case of any further queries relating to the field of activity, please contact Dedong Wang via email at dedong@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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