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 5.4 Data Science Centre (department Geoinformation), we are looking for a:

Postdoc (f_m_x) - Data-driven Analysis of Complex Systems Reference Number 6177

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Your responsibilities:

  • Develop data-driven methods for analysis of complex systems, in particular towards identification of regime trends and tipping points
  • Deduce hypotheses on principles of system evolution and development
  • Build computational models to study hypotheses
  • Validate models via targeted simulation, sensitivity analysis and exploration
  • Apply methods to problems in geosciences, in particular bio-/geochemical cycles

Your qualifications:

  • Master's degree and PhD in Mathematics/​Statistics
  • Research expertise in analysis of complex systems
  • Familiar with network analysis, concepts of resilience (e.g. adaptive cycle) and system transitions (e.g. self-organized criticality, critical transitions, catastrophe theory)
  • Experience in modelling, simulation and analysis of models using various small-scale modeling approaches (e.g. ODE/PDE Models, Agent-Based Modelling)
  • Solid experience in programming (R, Matlab, Python etc.)
  • Competence of working in inter-disciplinary teams
  • Fluent English
Start date: As soon as possible
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 25th May 2022. Please use our online application form only.

In case of any further queries relating to the field of activity, please contact Wolfgang zu Castell either via email at or under +49 331 288‑1020. If you have any general questions about the application process, please contact Ms Buge under +49 331 288‑28787.

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], 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]

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.