Several PhD and PostDoc researcher positions (m/f/d)

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
Potsdam, Brandenburg (DE)
May 17 2019
Several PhD and PostDoc-22-2019
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

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.

If you enjoy working in a collaborative team, you love writing and improving code, you like analytical thinking and constructive problem-solving, and you want to contribute solving one of the big challenges of our time – we might have one of the positons in our team for you.

For the Land-Use Management group PIK is offering

Several PhD and PostDoc researcher positions (m/f/d)

in the Research Department on Transformation Pathways, starting in September 2019 as envisioned.

(Position number: Several PhD and PostDoc-22-2019)

The positions are funded for 3 years for PhDs and 2 years for PostDocs (with potential extension). Remuneration is in accordance with the German public tariff scheme (TV-L Brandenburg), salary group E 13, 65% for PhDs and 100% for Postdocs for 40 hours weekly working time. Appointment is conditional on approval by the funding agency. The position can be filled on a part-time basis.

Key responsibilities:

We will be working together in projects on exploring pathways of sustainable development in the context of planetary boundaries, with a particular focus on climate change impacts and mitigation, economic effects of change processes, the role of land for climate stabilization and ecosystem services, and land-ocean interactions for food production. You will co-develop with us the MAgPIE open-source framework ( for spatially explicit economic modeling of global land systems. We are offering the following four position profiles (PhD or PostDoc, based on qualification and the selection process):

  • Regional assessments in a global context: You will develop clever modeling solutions to deal with cross-scale dynamics, work on improved representations of biophysical and economic drivers for spatially explicit land-use dynamics and increase the level of detail of land-use policies (Germany, Europe, India, etc.) in the model. (reference: MAgPIE-Regional)
  • Land management for climate change mitigation: You will work on an improved representation of options for the reduction of anthropogenic emissions in MAgPIE, such as innovative solutions in livestock management, crop production, and carbon sequestration, and collaborate with earth system models for integrating biophysical effects. (reference: MAgPIE-Mitigation)
  • Land-ocean interaction: Your role in the team will be related to coupling of a global agro-economic land system model with a global bio-economic fisheries model for assessing interactions between terrestrial and marine food systems under a range of climate and socio-economic scenarios. (reference: MAgPIE-Fish)
  • Ecosystem services and land management: Your work will focus on improving the representation of different agricultural management systems and their consequences on biodiversity, land degradation and ecosystem services in an agro-economic land system model. (reference: MAgPIE-ESS)


  • You hold a Master's Degree (for PhD positions) or PhD (for Postdoc positions) in physics, mathematics, economics, environmental sciences, computer sciences, or a related field
  • You have training in formal, quantitative methods and excellent analytical skills
  • You are interested in theoretical and applied modeling
  • You have advanced (PostDoc) / intermediary (PhD) programming skills
  • You have strong communication skills in English

We offer:

  • Participation in research projects in cooperation with national and international climate & energy research institutes and think tanks, and with immediate policy relevance and impact on international assessments (e.g. IPCC, World Bank, etc.),
  • Participation at international workshops and conferences;
  • For PhDs: A structured PhD program including supervision agreements, a career development plan and an interdisciplinary education program. PhDs will be co-supervised by Prof. Dr. Hermann Lotze-Campen (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), and by Dr. Alexander Popp (Head of Land-Use Management Group),
  • For Postdocs: Guidance and supervision in postdoc career development,
  • 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.

Application documents should comprise a letter of motivation, including research interests and referring to one or more of the position profiles listed above, a CV with the contact details of two referees, a sample of your work (e.g., term paper, thesis or journal publication, exam records, GitHub profile, online publication profile or similar). Please send your full application as a single PDF document by Email (Reference: Several PhD and PostDoc-22-2019), quoting the position number given above and mentioning where you read about the position by 06.06.2019 at the latest to . 

For further information or to discuss the position please contact Dr. Alexander Popp, email: