Leibniz Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)

PhD Position (m/f/d)

Leibniz Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)

Potsdam, Germany

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 the research group “Network- and machine-learning-based prediction of extreme events” at the Department of Complexity Science PIK is offering

1 PhD Position (m/f/d)
Position number: 07-2020-PhD Position

in the field of paleoclimate reconstruction and time series analysis, starting on 01.05.2020.

The position is funded for 3 years. Remuneration is in accordance with the German public tariff scheme (TV-L Brandenburg), salary group E 13, 75% (30 hours per week).

The successful candidate will be part of the DFG funded project “Dansgaard/Oeschger-Events During Marine Isotope Stage 8”, and will work on the establishment of new paleoclimate records from speleothems and their interpretation, intending to detect abrupt transitions during the ante penultimate glacial and to deduce on their respective origin/triggering mechanism.


  • Measurements of stable carbon and oxygen isotopes
  • Sample preparation for and measurements of U-Th dates
  • Constructing a solid chronology
  • Climate interpretation of the results
  • Statistical comparison of Dansgaard/Oeschger events during MIS8 with those of earlier glacials
  • Field trips to the cave location for basic monitoring purposes


  • Master’s degree in physics, geosciences or a related field
  • Experience in laboratory work (where training in methods for either U-Th dating or stable isotope analysis is an asset)
  • Background of paleoclimatology is of advantage
  • Basic skills in programming and numerical/statistical analysis of observed data are of advantage
  • High level of competence in oral and written English

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:

  • A close relationship with the TiPES project (https://tipes.sites.ku.dk/), predominantly with its work package 1, which focusses on the identification and analysis of abrupt climate transitions in the long-term past
  • the chance to be part of an interdisciplinary collaboration of leading European research institutions
  • Participation at international workshops and conferences
  • a stimulating working environment in an internationally recognised research institute on Potsdam’s beautiful, historic Telegrafenberg campus, a short commuting distance from Berlin
  • 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 29.02.2020 directly using our application form.

For further information or to discuss the position please contact Jens Fohlmeister by email: jens.fohlmeister@pik-potsdam.de.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: 07-2020-PhD Position