Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ)


Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung GmbH – UFZ)

Leipzig, Germany

The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung GmbH – UFZ) is a research institute which is financed by the Federal Government of Germany, the Free State of Saxony and the State of Saxony-Anhalt with over 1,100 employees. It is a limited liability company and a member of the Hermann von Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres (Hermann von Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren e. V.). As an international centre of excellence for systemic, inter-disciplinary environmental research, the UFZ investigates the complex interactions between man and nature under the influence of global change. The aim of this work is to develop system solutions for the management of complex environmental systems and for overcoming environmental problems and, in this way, to contribute to the long-term safeguarding of the natural environment and to the development of man’s own potential. The UFZ maintains a large number of domestic and international partnerships. It cultivates close cooperation with universities, the German Federal State, its individual local federal states, municipalities, business and NGOs and devotes its work specifically towards the promotion of young scientific scholars.


// At the UFZ the position of


Scientific Director (m/f/d)


is planned to be filled by 1 April 2022. The current holder of the position will retire.


// The Scientific Director (m/f/d) will manage the centre together with the Administrative Director. He/she will represent the UFZ both internally and externally, in particular at the interface of science, economy and politics. His/her scope of work comprises in particular the strategic und scientific development of the UFZ, research planning, the recruitment of talented scientists, the transfer of results and the monitoring of success as well as the strategic direction and representation of the centre within the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres (HGF). In addition, he/she will be responsible for the ongoing development of collaboration with universities, research facilities and institutes in the domestic and international scientific area and for the expansion of application-oriented cooperation with industry.


// A person is being sought for this outstanding position with a scientific- or engineering-oriented background who is internationally renowned in one of the research areas of the UFZ and who possesses several years of experience in executive positions within research management. A systematic understanding of integrative environmental research is expected in order to strategically merge the varied research areas at the UFZ. Experience in political counselling, partnerships with business, transfer and spin-off activities and a relation to environmental technologies are all important. Marked strategic and conceptual skills combined with both powers of persuasion and the capacity to integrate and assertiveness are essential as are proven leadership skills and a communicative, motivating management style. He/she must be capable of advancing new developments and trends in the research environments of significance to the UFZ in order to further extend its leading position in international and domestic environmental research. Very good German and English language skills are essential.


// The appointment is for a period of five years. Reappointment is possible. The position is subject to a remuneration in accordance with the flexible options contained in “W”-salary scale of the Federal Government supplemented by the option of performance-related salary. The members of the Helmholtz Association have set themselves the goal of promoting women in executive positions. Applications from women will therefore be explicitly welcomed. Applicants who are severely disabled and equivalent persons with equal qualification and aptitude will be given preferential consideration.


// The consultants Simone Pfister and Michael Tippmann of the Executive Search Consultancy, Below Tippmann & Compagnie will be happy to make initial contact with you under +49 30 2063279-0. Please send your application with detailed documents in purely electronic form (PDF) by 13 December 2020 at the latest by e-mail to the:


Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research

Ms Oda Keppler – in person –

at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, 53175 Bonn, Germany



Data Protection

It should be noted that your application documents will be made available for appraisal to a selection committee and to the consultancy company, Below Tippmann & Compagnie. Representatives in the selection committee include the UFZ, the shareholders of the UFZ (the Federal Government of Germany, the Free State of Saxony and the State of Saxony-Anhalt) and additional people with proven specialist expertise. Please note the information (https://www.ufz.de/jobs) on data protection for the processing of personal data in accordance with the EU general data protection regulation (GDPR).

Apply with CV and Cover Letter

Must be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and no larger than 1MBMust be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and no larger than 1MB