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Research Associate (f/m/x) Analysis of Solar Images Using Machine Learning and Computer Vision
The Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences is the national centre for geosphere research. As a member of the Helmholtz Association we are part of the largest German scientific organization. With around 1,300 employees we develop a sound understanding of the systems and processes of the solid Earth as well as strategies and options for action to face global change and its regional impacts, to understand natural hazards and reduce associated risks, and to assess the influence of humans on the Earth's system.

For section 2.7 (formerly 2.8) "Space Physics and Space Weather" (formerly “Magnetospheric Physics”), department "Geophysics", we are looking for a:

Research Associate (f/m/x) Analysis of Solar Images Using Machine Learning and Computer Vision

Reference Number 4667

Helmholtz Imaging Platform project SIM “Solar Image-based Modelling”

In the Solar Image-based Modelling project, we will utilize the growing number of highly detailed multi-spectral images of the sun to improve predictions of the solar wind close to earth and develop new methods utilizing data driven approaches. Specifically, we plan to exploit the capabilities of classical computer vision tools and modern deep learning algorithms to identify relevant structures on the sun, such as coronal holes and corona active regions.

Your responsibilities:

The successful candidate should have extensive experience in working with solar images and programming. Job responsibilities will include a variety of tasks related to machine learning, deep learning, and scientific programming, including but not limited to:

  • conduct scientific research in the field of space physics (solar physics)
  • maintain data and code repositories
  • develop various programming tools for scientific codes and data analysis
  • document and test existing codes
  • adopt scientific codes for different scientific problems

Your qualifications:

  • Master's degree and PhD in physics (solar physics), computer sciences, maths or related natural sciences
  • experience in working with solar images
  • several years of working experience with IT programming or scientific programming
  • ability to work within a team
  • attention to detail and organizational skills
  • excellent interpersonal and communication skills

A plus would be: 

  • experience with machine learning and data science
  • advanced knowledge of programming with Python
  • experience in developing deep learning model in Python using modern frameworks (e.g. Tensorflow, Pytorch)
  • knowledge of Unix, Mac, and Windows operating systems
  • experience in the field of computer vision and image processing
  • experience in developing numerical codes

Start date: as soon as possible
Fixed-term: 1 year with possibility of extension for a further year
Salary: This position has been assessed as being salary group 13 according to "TVöD Bund (Tarifgebiet Ost)". The salary group will be determined by the conditions of the collective wage agreement and the appropriate personal qualifications.
Working hours: full-time (currently 39 h/week); The position is, in principle, suitable for part-time employment.
Place of work: Potsdam

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
  • in walking distance of Potsdam main station, or just a short ride on the shuttle bus

Did we pique your interest?

If so, we are looking forward to receiving your application by the 28th February 2021 (extended). Please use our online application form only.
Please include the following documents in your application: statement of technical skills (IT skills, operating systems, list of developed codes) including the years of experience or level of proficiency (basic/intermediate/expert; CV; cover letter; certificates/transcripts.
Equal opportunities are an integral part of our personnel policy. We therefore very much welcome applications from qualified women. In the case of equal aptitude, severely disabled persons are given preferential consideration in accordance with the Code of Social Law IX.
Your personal data will be treated in line with Art. 6 (1b) and Art. 88 GDPR in conjunction with § 26 BbgDSG during the selection process. After the selection process has been concluded, your application documents will be deleted, in line with data protection regulation. 
In case of any further queries relating to the role’s responsibilities, please contact Prof. Dr. Yuri Shprits on yuri.shprits@gfz-potsdam.de. If you have any general questions about the application process, please contact Ms Poralla on +49 (0) 331-288-28787.


Louise Poralla
Abteilung Personal
Gebäude G, Raum 429
14473 Potsdam
+49 331 288-28787
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