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PhD Student (f/m/x) in Numerical Ocean Circulation 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 Earth System Modelling (department “Geodesy”), we are looking for a:

PhD Student (f/m/x) in Numerical Ocean Circulation Modelling

Reference Number 5500

The  successful candidate is expected to perform numerical experiments with the global ocean general circulation model MPIOM to quantify the contributions of large-scale ocean dynamics to observe changes in the Earth’s orientation. Special emphasis will be placed on the impact of large-scale climate modes like the Madden-Julian Oscillation, the El Niño Southern Oscillation, and the Southern Annular Mode on both polar motion and variations in the length-of-day.

The work will be performed in close collaboration with the University of Bonn (Prof. Schindelegger) and is expected to contribute to the future development of the Special Bureau for the Oceans (SBO) of the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS).

Your responsibilities:

  • Design and run MPIOM ocean model experiments over several decades with different atmospheric forcing data-sets and model configurations
  • Statistical analysis of bottom pressure and ocean transport variability with respect to several large-scale climate modes
  • Comparison of numerical model results with geodetic observations
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration at the interface between Geodesy and Oceanography
  • Communication of results at international conferences and in research papers

Your qualifications:

  • M.Sc. in Physics, Oceanography, Meteorology, Geodesy, or a related field
  • Strong physical and mathematical background with some expertise in working with numerical models
  • Good skills in programming languages (e.g., Fortran) and associated analysis software (cdo, python, octave)
  • Initial experience with high performance computing environments (e.g., Deutsches Klimarechenzentrum)
  • Motivation to work in an interdisciplinary and highly international team
  • Good command of Englisch

Start date: As soon as possible
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

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

Have we piqued your interest?

If so, we look forward to receiving your application by 4th November 2021. 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@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@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 Dr. Henryk Dobslaw either via email at henryk.dobslaw@gfz-potsdam.de. If you have any general questions about the application process, please contact Ms Buge under +49 (0)331-288-28787.


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