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Postdoctoral Research Scientist (f/m/x) - Numerical 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 4.1 "Lithosphere Dynamics" (department 4), we are looking for a:

Postdoctoral Research Scientist (f/m/x) - Numerical Modelling

Reference Number 5816

We are seeking a postdoctoral research scientist to investigate the evolution of topography over various timescales at active plate margins using numerical models. We are interested in exploring the feedback and interaction between surface processes, crustal deformation and deep mantle processes, associated with subduction and mantle upwelling. The postdoctoral research scientist is expected to develop and calibrate numerical models or use existing codes, and to explore the possibility of benchmarking numerical models with analogue laboratory experiments.

The models will be applied to specific natural sites and validated with observation, with emphasis on regions of interest such as the Chile and Mediterranean active margins.

The postdoctoral researcher will work in a collaborative team also with other sections (Geodynamics, Landscape Modelling, Geomorphology, Basin Modelling section) to calibrate codes to test the surface response to deep processes. The successful candidate should have the vision and ability to participate in collaborative and interdisciplinary research activities and discussions. The candidate is also expected to closely collaborate with external partners, engage in scientific discussion and career development activities with other members of the section and present, publish and communicate research results at scientific meetings and in scholarly journals.

Your responsibilities:

  • Investigate the evolution of topography over various timescales at active plate margins using numerical models
  • Explore the feedback and interaction between surface processes, crustal deformation and deep mantle processes
  • Develop and calibrate numerical models
  • Explore the possibility of benchmarking numerical models with analogue laboratory experiments
  • Collaborate closely with internal and external partners
  • Engage in scientific discussion and career development activities
  • Present, publish and communicate research results at scientific meetings and in scholarly journals

Your qualifications:

  • Master's degree and PhD in Earth Sciences
  • Demonstrated advanced knowledge in the development of numerical models
  • Competitive record of publications, funding, awards (if applicable) according to the stage of the individual career
  • Capacity for interdisciplinary teamwork and excellent communication skills
  • Ability to communicate in English fluently (German language command is helpful but not mandatory)

Start date: 1st March 2022
Fixed-term: 2 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: Full-time (currently 39 h/week); The position is generally suitable for part-time work.
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 (including cover letter, CV, certificates of all degrees in original language and, if available, a translated version, as well as your 1 - 2 page project idea) by  30th January 2022. 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.

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.