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Post Doctoral position (m/f/d) in isotope geochemistry and paleoclimatology

Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Closing date
19 Aug 2024

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Job Type
Employment - Hours
Full time

Job Details

Area of research:


Job description:

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.

The group of the ERC CoG project “HighBorG” of the research unit in Paleoceanography and Research division 1: Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics is offering a

Post Doctoral position (m/f/d) in isotope geochemistry and paleoclimatology

starting in early 2025 (starting date negotiable).

Job Description

The ERC CoG HighBorG focuses on climate-carbon dynamic reconstructions of past warm periods in our Geologic record within the Paleogene and Neogene, in search of tipping elements and climate analogues among different climate states, and further exploration of Earth system response through Earth System modelling. As such, a strongly interdisciplinary and collaborative group will aim at millennial scale reconstructions of seawater pH and atmospheric CO2, seawater temperature and ice sheet dynamics, as well as aspects of the marine carbon cycle. To achieve this, both established methods and new analytical techniques will be developed. The successful candidate will be generating records of seawater pH/atmospheric CO2 with the boron isotope proxy on foraminifera and fossil corals, and will constrain seawater temperature, sea level and marine carbon cycle with a combination of stable isotopes and elemental ratios. The post doc will obtain training on Paleogene and Neogene foraminifera taxonomy, and will be given the opportunity to contribute to the development of new analytical methods for isotope geochemistry. Responsibilities also include clean lab analytical chemistry (inorganic), processing of sediment cores and foraminifera picking with the team’s student support. The post doc will be preparing and analyzing marine carbonates (corals and foraminifera) for isotopes and trace elements using the state of the art analytical laboratories at GEOMAR, organizing and data archiving work, statistical processing, interpreting and publishing in peer reviewed journals, and disseminating results in meetings and conferences.  The post doc will have assistance by the team’s PI and technical support and will oversee the student helpers who assist in sediment core processing and foraminifera picking.



  • PhD in Earth Sciences, Chemical/or paleo-oceanography, Geosciences, or similar
  • Experience in a clean lab and inorganic chemistry, including work with mass spectrometers
  • Knowledge of Paleogene/Neogene climate and key carbon cycle questions
  • Expertise in data processing, evaluation of data quality and basic statistics
  • Excellent writing and spoken English
  • Publication and presentation record as per career level


  • Previous experience in foraminifera geochemistry, boron isotopes and trace elements
  • Detailed understanding of data reduction strategies in isotope and elemental geochemistry
  • Ability to operate Thermo Neptune and Thermo Element largely independently
  • Programming with Python, R, Matlab or similar
  • Being able to demonstrate creative and critical thinking skills, decision making and problem solving skills, self motivation and curiosity

What we offer

The Paleoceanography Research Unit offers a dynamic, international and innovative research environment with excellent infrastructure and a strongly collaborative working culture. Our research unit has state-of-the-art analytical-chemical laboratory equipment, and a network of German and international collaborations. GEOMAR offers support with childcare (holiday programmes) and a discounted subscription to local public transport. We offer among other things the possibility of individual working time arrangements and support services for professional and personal life situations. GEOMAR is an exciting work environment within which one can develop highly marketable skills, and utilize career building opportunities. Working at GEOMAR, and especially in the field of marine and climate research contributes to forward-looking solutions with social significance. GEOMAR offers 30 vacation days plus additional time off at Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, a company pension plan and capital-forming benefits.

The position is available for a funding period of 2 years. The salary depends on qualification and responsibilities and could be up to class 13 TVöD-Bund of the German tariff for public employees. This is a full-time position. Flexible working time models are generally possible. The fixed-term contract shall comply with Section 2 Paragraph 1 of The Act of Academic Fixed-Term Contract (German WissZeitVG).

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 (including cover letter or letter of motivation, CV, certificates, research statement, 2-3 reference letters) for this post not later than September 1st, 2024 under the following link:

Online application

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 Eleni Anagnostou (eanagnostou(at)

However, we will answer all your questions if you send us an e-mail to bewerbung(at) In doing so, please refer to the keyword “HighBorG_Postdoc”.

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.

This research center is part of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers. With more than 42,000 employees and an annual budget of over € 5 billion, the Helmholtz Association is Germany's largest scientific organisation.


The Helmholtz Association contributes to solving major challenges to assure the future of our society. With more than 39,000 people on staff in 18 national research centres, the Helmholtz Association is Germany’s largest scientific organization. The name Helmholtz stands for concerted research in which networks form the key principle behind inquiring thought and action. Concerted research is efficient and flexible.

The profile of the Helmholtz Association

The Helmholtz Association performs cutting-edge research which contributes substantially to solving the grand challenges of science, society and industry. To succeed in meeting these responsibilities, Helmholtz concentrates its work in six research fields: Energy, Earth and Environment, Health, Key Technologies, Matter, as well as Aeronautics, Space and Transport. Within each of these fields, research programs are developed by our scientists and regularly evaluated by renowned international experts. Their evaluation forms the basis for the programme-oriented funding that is allocated to Helmholtz research. Within the six research fields, Helmholtz scientists cooperate with each other and with external partners – working across disciplinary, organizational and national borders.

Promoting young academics

Helmholtz scientists, a high-performance infrastructure and modern and efficient research management are the ingredients to the Helmholtz Association‘s success and global impact.
Promoting young researchers is a major priority for the Helmholtz Association. Its qualification schemes for young researchers are geared mainly towards PhD students, postdocs and young managers. The Helmholtz Association has set high standards for its talent management. Its strategy begins with targeted recruitment of highly qualified staff at all levels, followed by comprehensive support aimed at further developing their potential. Ensuring equal opportunities is an essential element in all talent management activities undertaken by the Helmholtz Association.

The Helmholtz Graduate Schools and Research Schools at almost all Helmholtz Centres provide doctoral students with the general and specific skills and training they need, as well as ample opportunity to network with other working groups. The period following a doctorate is decisive in determining the direction and success of a scientific career. For this reason, we are about to establish Career Centers for postdoctoral researchers in the Helmholtz centres and a mentoring programme for especially gifted PostDocs in order to foster career orientation. This equips young researchers with the skills they need to go on to head a Helmholtz Young Investigators Group, for example. As a Young Investigator Group leader, junior scientists can independently set up their own group to conduct research in their specialist field.

Within its talent management strategy, the Helmholtz Association pays special attention to the increased recruitment of talented female scientists both from Germany and abroad. To this end, there are currently two funding programs supporting this policy Funding of first-time appointments of excellent women scientists (W2/W3)’ and ‘Funding to recruit top-level international women scientists (W3)’.

The increasing complexity of the content, structures and framework conditions of scientific work today requires researchers to organise their projects, their employees and, of course, themselves in a highly professional and effective way. In response to these demands, we have set up the Helmholtz Management Academy to provide junior leaders in science with professional management training. Furthermore, the Helmholtz network provides a platform for the alumni of the Helmholtz Management Academy and Mentoring programme to come together and share their experiences of leadership, career development and lifelong learning.

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