The Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences is the national research centre for Earth sciences in Germany. With approximately 1,280 employees (including visiting scientists), the GFZ is conducting interdisciplinary research on the “System Earth” and the influence of humans on the planet. As a member of the Helmholtz Association, it is part of Germany’s largest science organization.

For Section 4.7 "Earth Surface Process Modelling" we invite applications for a

Postdoctoral Researcher (m/f/x) Job Vacancy No. 3660

This position will focus on fundamental physics and hydrological control on debris flow/landslide initiation, evolution and deposition. The objective of this position is 1) to develop and implement different debris flow initiation mechanisms (e.g., firehose effect and bank failure) into debris flow models; 2) to study different climate and tectonic control on frequency and magnitude of debris flow in different settings.

Your responsibilities:

  • develop a novel numerical model for debris flow initiation
  • conduct original research on debris flow modeling
  • implement this new scheme to landscape evolution model
  • apply and test the new model on different study sites
  • publish in international peer-reviewed journals and present research results at scientific meetings

Your qualifications:

  • MSc or equivalent in Earth Sciences, Mathematics, Physics or a related field
  • PhD in Earth Sciences, Mathematics, Physics or a related field
  • demonstrated advanced knowledge and experience in coding or model developing
  • experience with machine learning and data science is a plus
  • demonstrated excellence in publication
  • demonstrated capacity for international teamwork, and excellent communication skills
  • proficiency in spoken and written English
Starting date: 1st June 2020
Fixed term: 2 years
Working hours: full-time (currently 39 h/week); The position is, in principle, suitable for part-time employment.
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.
Location: Potsdam

You can expect a very diverse and challenging job in an international work environment that is characterized by exciting research projects. The compatibility of work and family life is of particular concern to the GFZ. Therefore, it offers the opportunity for flexible working time and workplaces. Moreover, there is a kindergarten located on the research campus.

The GFZ is a partner with Geo.X (, and as such it is well connected with other geoscience institutions in Potsdam and Berlin. Geo.X forms the largest regional cluster of geoscientific expertise in Europe and offers excellent opportunities for cooperation and development.

Please submit your application by 23rd December 2019 using the "Apply" button.

If you have any questions regarding this job offer, please feel free to call Ms Buge at +49 0331 288-28878.

Equal opportunity is an inherent part of our personnel policy. Therefore we are particularly welcoming applications from qualified women. Severely disabled persons will be given preferential treatment in the case of equal qualification.

We will retain your application documents for at least three months, even if the application is not successful.