GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel is a foundation under public law jointly financed by the Federal Republic of Germany (90%) and the State of Schleswig-Holstein (10%). It is one of the internationally leading institutions in the field of marine research.

Through our research and our commitment to the transfer of knowledge and technology, we contribute significantly to the preservation of the function and protection of the ocean for future generations.

We have received funding from an ERC Advanced Grant to study oceanic transform faults and are seeking a

Postdoctoral researcher (m/f/d)
investigating the geodynamic evolution of oceanic transform faults using numerical methods

starting on January, 1st 2024 or at a reasonable later date for a duration of 30 months.

The “TRANSFORMERS” project brings together a team of marine geologists and geophysicists to investigate two overarching questions: 1) Does plate tectonics wrongly classify oceanic transform faults as conservative plate boundaries? 2) How do oceanic transform faults “work” from top to bottom and why is their seismic moment release too low? These questions will be jointly addressed by a major sea-going effort including seismological, geodetic as well as geological surveys and by numerical simulations designed to test ideas and concepts derived from the acquired data. The successful candidate will be part of the numerical modeling team and will have the opportunity to participate in the seagoing work.

Job Description

You will carry out numerical experiments to investigate the hydro-thermo-mechanical functioning of oceanic transform faults. Building on our existing modeling tools, you will apply, develop, and investigate numerical models to reveal how transform faults operate. The focus will be on model-data integration with the goal of constraining the short- and long-term dynamics of oceanic transform faults, benchmarking numerical models against observations like focal depth and distribution of local earthquakes.


Prerequisites for a successful application are a PhD or equivalent in geosciences or related field (e.g. physics, applied mathematics) plus research experience in marine geology or geophysics. Willingness to participate in seagoing work, numerical modeling skills in relevant fields along with programming (mainly C++, Python) and English communication skills are also required.

Beneficial are:

  • experience in processing and interpreting geophysical data
  • knowledge of the modeling codes ASPECT or LaMEM
  • experience in seagoing marine research
  • convincing publication record


At a workplace, directly on the Kiel Fjord with many leisure and recreational opportunities, we offer you:

  • An inspiring work place at one of the leading marine institutes
  • Access to state-of-the art computing infrastructure
  • An Open Science and open-source culture
  • Good conditions for work-life balance including the possibility of mobile working and individual working time arrangements, vacation courses for the children of our employees, and good support in finding a place in a daycare center at the Kiel site
  • Exciting topics in an international environment
  • Work in the field of marine and climate research, a forward-looking area with social significance
  • 30 vacation days + additional time off at Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve
  • Company pension plan and capital-forming benefits

The position is available for a funding period of up to 30 months.

The salary depends on qualification and could be up to the class E13 TVöD-Bund of the German tariff for public employees. This is a full-time position according to 100 % of a full-time equivalent. The position can be split.

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel seeks to increase the proportion of female scientists and explicitly encourages qualified female academics to apply.

GEOMAR is an equal opportunity employer and encourages scientists with disabilities to apply. Qualified disabled applicants will receive preference in the application process.

Please send your application not later than 06. November 2023 under the following link:

As soon as the selection procedure has finished, all your application data will be removed according to data protection regulation.

For further information regarding the position and research unit please contact Prof. Dr. Ingo Grevemeyer ( or Prof. Dr. Lars Rüpke (

We will answer all your questions if you send us an e-mail to In doing so, please refer to the keyword “TRANSFORMERS - Modelling”.

For further information on GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel or the Helmholtz Association, please visit or

GEOMAR is committed to an objective and non-discriminatory personnel selection. Our job advertisements address all people. We expressly renounce the submission of application photos.

The TOTAL E-QUALITY award is presented to GEOMAR for efforts in terms of human resource management aimed at providing equal opportunity.

published: 10 October 2023     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.