Research Software Engineer (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.

For PIK’s Research Department III “Transformation Pathways” we are offering a position as a 

Research Software Engineer (m/f/d)

(Position number: 42-2022 Research Software Engineer)

in the field of Scientific Software Engineering starting on 1.12.2022.

The position is funded until 30 November 2023 with potential for extension. Remuneration is in accordance with the German public tariff scheme (TV-L Brandenburg), salary group E 13.This is a full-time position with a weekly working time of 40 hours per week. Appointment is conditional on approval by the funding agency. The position can be filled on a part-time basis.

The position:

The successful candidate will supervise the software environment of the internationally recognized Integrated Assessment Model REMIND (REgional Model of INvestments and Development, https://www.pik-potsdam.de/en/institute/departments/transformation-pathways/models/remind) and its interplay with other models in the “Potsdam Integrated Assessment Model Framework” (PIAM). This framework aims for an integrated view on the global energy-economy-climate-land system exploring consistent transformation pathways. PIAM and its components contribute to international reports on climate change (e.g. IPCC, UNEP gap, “Shared Socioeconomic Pathways” (SSP)).

Part of this position is to explore and develop processes and tools for transparent, reproducable and consistent input data generation, model validation, code structure, model interfaces, and analysis of model results. The work builds on R-based open-source packages (pik-piam (https://github.com/pik-piam), i.e. remind2, mrremind). It will be the task of the successful candidate to take care of the environment for the PIK-internal model developer on PIK’s high-performance computer.

The successful applicant will be part of the working group “Research Software Engineering for Transformation Pathways”, and will work in close collaboration with the current developers and continuously growing number of users of the REMIND, EDGE and R-package frameworks.

Key responsibilities:

  • explore and develop concepts and tools for software development for model environments
  • expand the R-based open-source tools to handle various dynamic input data sources, handle model runs, generate and analyse model output
  • maintain various scripts that process input and output data and that execute the models on the HPC (mostly R, Unix)
  • enhance transparency, reproducibility and reusability for the model workflows
  • improve accessibility and visibility of your work (e.g. documentation, tutorials, presentations)


  • a Master’s degree in Informatics, Computational Sciences, Engineering, Physics, Mathematics, or a related field
  • profound experience in programming, specifically in R (including creation and maintenance of packages as well as testing), GAMS experience would be an asset
  • experience with HPC environments
  • experience in data handling, including metadata handling
  • fluency in version control management (e.g. git and github)
  • familiarity in scientific modeling and model coupling is an asset

We expect:

  • the 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
  • a 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
  • 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
  • flexi-time and mobile working (up to 40% of your hours)
  • a collective pay scheme and associated benefits as well as a subsidized travel card

PIK values equality and diversity. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment regardless of ethnic and social origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, care responsibilities, or age. 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. PIK also encourages applications by parents returning from parental leave.

Please apply by 10.10.2022 directly using our application form including code samples (e.g.,working program code or GitHub repository).

If you hold an international higher education qualification, please also submit the Statement of Comparability from the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) with your application. In the case that you do not yet have a ZAB Statement of Comparability for your qualification, please be aware that you will need to request this if your application is successful. You can find further information on this website https://www.kmk.org/zab/central-office-for-foreign-education.html.

For further information or to discuss the position please contact Dr. Lavinia Baumstark (baumstark(at)pik-potsdam.de).