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PhD Position in Global Hydrological Modelling
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 4.4 Hydrologie (department “Geosystems”), we offer a

PhD Position in Global Hydrological Modelling

Reference Number 5116

The PhD position is part of the second phase of the DFG-funded research unit GlobalCDA (Understanding the global freshwater system by combining geodetic and remote sensing information with modelling using a calibration/data assimilation approach, globalcda.de). The PhD student will further develop and apply a Pareto-optimal multi-criterial calibration scheme for the WaterGAP global hydrological model (WGHM). The research focus is on extending the calibration framework to the global scale and to explore various observation data sets and hydrological signatures for model calibration.

Your responsibilities:

  • design and program a multi-criterial calibration scheme at the global scale for WGHM
  • data compilation for model forcing, calibration and evaluation
  • conduct extensive modelling/calibration experiments
  • close collaboration within an interdisciplinary network of scientists and other doctoral students in the research unit
  • present results at international conferences and in scientific publications
  • work in a team with other PhD students, postdocs, and other staff

Your qualifications:

  • Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Information Technology, Informatics, Geosciences, Hydrology or related sciences
  • proven experience with the WaterGAP global hydrological model
  • proven experience with multi-criterial calibration methods and evolutionary genetic algorithms, in particular Borg-MOEA,
  • very good programming skills in Python, C/C++; experience with R, MATLAB are advantageous
  • expertise in parallel programming with MPI; background in HPC environments and hybrid parallelization concepts
  • skills in GIS, database, and version control tools
  • proficient in spoken and written English
  • excellent organizational and problem-solving skills and the ability to work independently, as well as within a multidisciplinary team

Start date: 1st September 2021
Fixed-term: 36 months
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: part-time 75% (currently 29.25 h/week)
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 11th May 2021. Please use our online application form only.
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. Andreas Güntner on +49 331 288-1559. If you have any general questions about the application process, please contact Ms Buge on +49 (0) 331-288-28787.


Franca Buge
Abteilung Personal
Gebäude G, Raum 429
14473 Potsdam
+49 331 288-28787
Zum Profil

Für Fragen zur Gleichstellung steht Ihnen die Gleichstellungsbeauftragte des GFZ, Frau Dr. Weckmann unter Tel. +49 331 288-2824 bzw. per E-Mail zur Verfügung.

Fragen zur Mitarbeit schwerhinderter Personen beantwortet gerne die Schwerbindertenvertreterin des GFZ, Frau Thiel unter Tel. +49 331 288-1648 bzw. per E-Mail.