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 1,500 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.

In Section 1.2 Global Geomonitoring and Gravity Field, pending the subsequent funding of an ESA third-party funded project, the following position is to be filled:

Scientist (f_m_x) NGGM/MAGIC Reference Number 8859

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The Earth´s gravity field, including its temporal variations, is a key parameter for understanding our system Earth. Dedicated gravity satellite missions such as GFZ‑1, CHAMP, GRACE, GOCE and GRACE-FO, to a large extent developed, operated and analysed by Section 1.2 “Global Geomonitoring and Gravity Field”, enable us to study mass distribution and mass transport on various spatial and temporal scales. Currently, Section 1.2 is operating the GRACE-FO Science Data System and is preparing, together with DLR/NASA, a GRACE-FO successor mission (planned launch in 2028) as well as, together with ESA, a NGGM/MAGIC double pair constellation (anticipated launch in 2032), in order to guarantee data continuity and to improve temporal and spatial resolution of mass transport products. Furthermore, together with DLR/​Airbus the benefit of a future Quantum Gravity Gradiometer (QGG) satellite mission will be analyzed till end of 2024.

Your responsibilities:

  • Perform gravity field simulations with the software EPOS, developed inhouse at Section 1.2, to investigate the performance of various single pair, double pair and QGG mission scenarios (orbits, instrument characteristics, background modeling etc.)
  • Empirical improvement of ocean tide models and their validation based on simulated double-pair mission scenarios
  • Collaboration in the analysis of the interaction of extended stochastic modelling and parameterization schemes and identification of an optimized stochastic modelling and parameterization strategy for double-pair missions
  • Documentation and presentation of results at project meetings and international conferences

Your qualifications:

  • Master`s degree or equivalent in geodesy, Aerospace technology, mathematics or physics
  • Very good programming skills (shell scripting, Fortran, MATLAB/​Octave/​Python) and Linux knowledge
  • Peer-reviewed publications in prestigious journals
  • Knowledge of the derivation of the time-variable gravity field from simulated and/or real data from gravity field satellite missions is advantageous
  • Well-founded knowledge of adjustment theory and signal processing
  • Experience in processing of large datasets
  • Very good English language skills
  • Experience to work in an interdisciplinary and international research and industry environment with appropriate communications 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
  • Attractive location in Oberpfaffenhofen in proximity to the DLR
Start date: 15th January 2024
Fixed term: 24 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: Oberpfaffenhofen

Have we piqued your interest?

If so, we look forward to receiving your application by 10 December 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 Prof. Dr. Frank Flechtner 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.