PhD position (m/f/d)

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)

The climate needs bright minds. The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) addresses crucial scientific questions in the fields of global change, climate impacts and sustainable development. It is one of the world's leading research institutions in its field and offers natural and social scientists from around the world an inspiring environment for excellent interdisciplinary research.

Within an international research project funded by the European Research Council (ERC), PIK and its Working Group "Earth System Modes of Operation" are offering a

PhD position (m/f/d)

(Position number: 53-2021-PhD position MEET)

in the field of paleoclimate modelling.

The position is planned to start on 1.11.2021 and is funded for 3 years. Remuneration is in accordance with the German public tariff scheme (TV-L Brandenburg), salary group E 13 . This is a part-time position with a weekly working time of 30 hours per week (75%).

The ERC-funded project Monitoring Earth Evolution Through Time (MEET) investigates the long-term couplings between Earth's deep dynamics, surface erosion, and climate based on novel observational evidence and coupled mantle/surface/climate models. The PhD position will focus on the coupled modelling part of the project, in close collaboration with Jean Braun's Earth Surface Process Modelling group at the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) and Stephan Sobolev's group at the Geodynamics Modelling Section at GFZ, both located on the same campus.

Key responsibilities:

  • Implement improvements in an intermediate-complexity Earth-system model and run simulation experiments for key time periods in Earth's deep past
  • Contribute to development of a fully coupled mantle/surface/climate model to study Earth's long-term evolution in close collaboration with other members of the MEET project
  • Investigate tectonics-surface erosion-climate feedbacks using conceptual global models


  • A university degree in physics, meteorology, geosciences or similar fields relevant for Earth-system science
  • A background in climate/Earth-system modelling is recommended
  • Practical experience with Linux/Unix, High Performance Computing, and scientific programming is recommended
  • Basic expertise with scientific data analysis

We expect:

  • Ability to work independently and on your own initiative
  • A methodical and systematic approach
  • Structured and goal-oriented thinking
  • Capacity to familiarise yourself quickly with new topics
  • Creativity and openness to new approaches
  • High level of competence in oral and written German and English
  • Reliability, the ability to cope with stress, and a high level of motivation
  • Willingness to travel for work (project meetings, workshops etc.) and take part in further training
  • Capacity for teamwork within an inter-cultural context
  • Organisational talent

We offer:

  • The chance to be part of a creative, interdisciplinary team
  • A stimulating working environment in an internationally recognised research institute on Potsdam's beautiful, historic Telegrafenberg campus, a short commuting distance from Berlin
  • Competitive remuneration with a collective pay scheme and associated benefits

PIK seeks to increase the share of women in scientific positions and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply. In cases of equal qualification and within the given legal scope, women will be given preference. Applications by persons with a migration background are expressly encouraged. Applications of disabled persons with equal qualifications will be regarded favourably. PIK also encourages applications by parents returning from parental leave.

Please apply by 19.9.2021directly using ourapplication form.

For further information or to discuss the position please contact Dr. Georg Feulner, feulner(at)pik-potsdam.de.