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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 "Remote Sensing and Geoinformatics" (department “Geodesy”), we are looking for a:

Research Scientist (f/m/x) Hyperspectral Remote Sensing of Soils

Reference Number 5844

In support of the implementation and validation phase of the ESA WORLDSOILS project (www.world-soils.com) we are looking for an excellent, creative and motivated postdoc/researcher with experience in hyperspectral remote sensing of soils. The WORLDSOILS project aims to develop an Earth Observation (EO) based Soil Monitoring System to provide yearly estimations of Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) at larger scales (from continental to global scale). The project targets to fully exploit the potential of current remote sensing data to improve the spatial resolution and accuracy of current soil maps by applying and improving state of the art modelling techniques. The implemented approach will be test in three European pilot regions to validate the system have been chosen to represent different bioclimatic regions with a range of vegetation types, land use and soil types.

The successful candidate is expected to work in a team of collaborating research institutes on the reporting of the implemented approach, as well as the validation of the system, and potential future developments and improvements using current and upcoming hyperspectral spaceborne remote sensing data, such as PRISMA, EnMAP and CHIME.

Your responsibilities:

  • Participation in the design and execution of a validation concept for the Soil Monitoring System
  • Active role in the scientific reporting on the implementation and validation of the Soil Monitoring System
  • Pre-processing and analyses of hyperspectral imagery at airborne and spaceborne scale
  • Presentation and publication of relevant results in conferences and peer-reviewed scientific journals

Your qualifications:

  • Master’s degree and PhD in remote sensing and/or soil/geosciences
  • Experience in the analyses of optical and hyperspectral remote sensing data for geoscience applications
  • Preferably with experience in collaborative project and scientific writing, scientific reporting
  • Programming skills desired (Python, R, IDL, Matlab)
  • Very good English skills, fluent in spoken and written form. Additional good German skills are beneficial
  • Strong communication and teamwork skills
  • High motivation and ability to work proactively


Start date: As soon as possible
Fixed-term: 12 months
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 by 27th February 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.

In case of any further queries relating to the field of activity, please contact Prof. Sabine Chabrillat (sabine.chabrillat@gfz-potsdam.de) or Dr. Robert Milewski (robert.milewski@gfz-potsdam.de). If you have any general questions about the application process, please contact Ms Buge under +49 (0)331-288-28787.

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