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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 3.3 "Earth Surface Geochemistry"  in Department "Geochemistry”, we are looking for a:

Postdoc in low-level element and isotope analytics in weathering geochemistry (f_m_x)

Reference Number 6134

In the “HELGES Laboratory” (Helmholtz Laboratory for the Geochemistry of the Earth’s Surface), led by Prof. Friedhelm von Blanckenburg, we develop and apply geochemical tools to Earth Surface processes. We seek a postdoctoral researcher to a) lead the “low-level elements analytics” part of our laboratory: quadrupole ICP-MS systems, ICP-OES instruments, high-resolution sector field ICP-MS; b) conduct projects on quantification of chemical weathering, and cycling of elements through soil, plants, ground water, river water, and interactions with microbes.  

Your responsibilities:

  • Designing and conducting analytical routines for element and isotope ratio analysis in various compartments of the Earth surface (including complex matrices, e.g., water, soil, minerals, plants) using ICP-MS, ICP-OES and MC-ICP-MS
  • Implementation of quality control measures
  • Supervision of laboratory staff, graduate students, masters students, and external users; data reporting and quality control for external projects; support in data interpretation and manuscript preparation
  • Conduct research that complements the interests and expertise of current ‘Geochemistry of the Earth Surface’ members and other groups at GFZ
  • Submission of project proposals for third-party funding

Your qualifications:

  • Doctoral degree in Isotope Geochemistry or a related field and master’s degree in relevant field
  • Excellent communication skills in spoken and written English and basic spoken German
  • Experience in sample preparation for trace element and isotope analysis by ICP-MS, ICP-OES, and MC-ICP-MS in a clean laboratory environment
  • Proficient and independent user of various ICP-based analytical instrumentation
  • Experience in ICP method development and instrument maintenance/trouble-shooting
  • Demonstrable expertise in the interpretation of geochemical data as applied to Earth Surface questions and in metal isotope geochemistry
  • Strong publication record of high quality research in peer-reviewed journals
  • Experience in supervision of technical staff or students
  • You enjoy communicating and interacting in diverse, active communities, and developing interdisciplinary collaborations.


Start date: 1st July 2022
Fixed-term: 2 years (with possibility of extension)
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 18th May 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[at]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[at]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. Friedhelm von Blanckenburg via email at fvb@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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