PhD Position (f_m_x) „3D structural, thermal and rheological configuration of Corinth Rift“

The Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences is the national centre for research into the geosphere. With around 1,650 employees, we develop a sound understanding of systems and processes of the solid Earth as well as strategies and options for action to counter global change, understand natural hazards and sustainably secure energy and raw material requirements.

For section 4.5 Subsurface Process Modelling (Department 4 “Geosystems”), we are looking for a:

PhD Position (f_m_x) „3D structural, thermal and rheological configuration of Corinth Rift“

Reference Number 9487

This position is part of the EU-funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie Doctoral Network „Climate-Tectonics Interactions using Big Data informed Models“ (INITIATE, We are seeking for a candidate to build a Digital Twin of the Corinth Rift by which to unravel conditions responsible for the localization of deformation at present-day. The goal is to link the basin structure to the deeper crustal and mantle configuration, thus elucidating the first-order structural characteristics controlling the thermo-mechanical state of the system. This will be achieved based on an approach linking (geo)data and process simulations.

The PhD position is subject to approval by third-party funders.

Your responsibilities:

  • Gather and compile data on the distribution of sedimentary units and integrate those via potential field modelling and gravity data to build a model of the crust-mantle boundary 
  • Use existing tomography to map heterogeneities in the temperature and density distributions in the lithospheric mantle
  • Front-end the derived model against physics-driven simulations to constrain the thermomechanical state of the Corinth Rift
  • Use the results to design forward numerical experiments to test working hypothesis on controlling factors on localization of deformation
  • Interpretation and publication of results in peer-reviewed journals

Your qualifications:

  • Master degree or diploma in Physics, Mathematics or Geosciences is mandatory 
  • Knowledge of thermal-hydraulic-mechanical physical processes 
  • Knowledge of geophysics and deformation mechanisms
  • Knowledge in 3D structural modeling and numerical methods
  • Programming skills are an advantage 
  • Good English language skills


  • Researchers recruited in a Doctoral Network must be Early Stage Researchers and not been awarded a doctoral degree 
  • At the time of recruitment researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity in the country of their host organization for more than 12 months in the 3 years prior to the reference date (EU mobility rule)

What we offer:

  • Ambitious and varied tasks in a dynamic and international research environment
  • State-of-the-art equipment
  • Public service benefits
  • Extensive training opportunities
  • Professional career advice offered by our in-house Career-Centre 
  • Flexible working hours and conditions
  • Support with finding a good work-life balance offered by benefit@work
  • Institute day-care centre on site 
  • Working at the Albert Einstein science park on the Telegrafenberg in Potsdam
  • Work place within walking distance of Potsdam main train station, or just a short ride on the shuttle bus 

Start date: Earliest start is October 1st 2024 (latest February 1st 2025)
Fixed-term: 36 months
Working hours: Full-time (currently 39 h/week)
Place of work: Potsdam
Salary: (subject to local taxes, social security deductions etc.):
  • 3342 €/month gross living allowance
  • 600 €/month gross mobility allowance
  • When applicable, a family allowance may also be provided in the amount of 660 €/month
  • Other possible allowances include long-term leave and special needs

Have we piqued your interest?

If so, we look forward to receiving your application by 15th August 2024.Please use our online application form only.

Requirements on the application:
  • Cover letter on research interests plus motivation (use template)
  • Mobility declaration including documentation (use template)
  • Names and contact information of two referees (use template)
  • CV (use template)
  • Transcripts and diplomas on master degree. If not available, a confirmation from your institution on completed degree by the application deadline (August 15th 2024)
  • Approved documentation of proficiency in English
  • Scientific publication list (if applicable) 

Diversity and equal opportunities are integral components of our human resources policy. The GFZ actively promotes diversity and explicitly welcomes applications from all qualified individuals, regardless of ethnic and social origin, nationality, gender, sexual orientation and identity, religion/belief, age and physical characteristics. Anyone who has been recognized as severely disabled, will be given preferential consideration in the event of equal suitability and qualification in accordance with the provisions of the German Social Code IX. If you have any questions, please contact our representative for the severely disabled at sbv[at], who will be happy to assist you in the further application process. In case of further queries regarding gender equality, please do not hesitate to contact our Equal Opportunities Officer at gba[at]

Your personal data will be processed for the purpose of conducting the selection procedure on the basis of Art. 6 para. 1 b, Art. 88 GDPR in conjunction with Art. 26 of the Data Protection Act for the State of Brandenburg. After completion of the procedure, application documents will be deleted in compliance with data protection regulations.

In case of any further queries relating to the field of activity, please contact Dr. Mauro Cacace via email at If you have any general questions about the application process, please contact our recruiting team at our phone number +49 (0) 331-6264-28787.



Franca Buge

Human Resources

0331 6264-1676


Steffanie Gallwitz

Human Resources

GFZ - Helmholtz / Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum

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Deadline: 2024-08-15
Location: Germany, Potsdam, Brandenburg
Categories: Geosciences, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, numerical modeling, PhD, Physics, Programming,


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