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 1,400 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.

Section 1.3 “Earth System Modelling“ (department “Geodesy”), offers a:

PhD position (f_m_x) Reference Number 7091

Umwelt Image

We are searching for a PhD candidate to improve our knowledge of climate change related impact on human health. In close cooperation with the Robert Koch Institut (RKI) – Center for Artificial Intelligence in Public Health Research, the team at GFZ is responsible for analyzing Earth observations as well as modelled climate projections with respect to possible effects on human health, e.g., droughts, heat strokes or vector borne diseases. The candidate will help to improve detection, modelling and forecasting of found relationships.

Your responsibilities:

  • Statistical analysis of large data sets of Earth system data
  • Identifying coupling mechanisms between Earth climate and human health
  • Development of respective machine learning application
  • Collaborative work in a highly interdisciplinary and international team
  • Presentation of your results at international conferences and project meetings
  • Publication of your results in international scientific journals

Your qualifications:

  • M.Sc. degree in physics, geosciences, mathematics or a related field
  • Experience with big data and machine learning
  • Strong skills in programming and statistical software, e.g., R, Python, Julia
  • Experience with Earth system data will be advantageous
  • Good English language skills

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
Start date: As soon as possible
Fixed term: 36 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: Part-time 75% (currently 29.25 h/week)
Place of work: Potsdam

Have we piqued your interest?

If so, we look forward to receiving your application by 19th March 2023. 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], 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.

In case of any further queries relating to the field of activity, please contact Dr. Jan Saynisch-Wagner via email at If you have any general questions about the application process, please contact our recruiting team at our phone number +49 331 6264-28787.