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Within the framework of a Helmholtz-funded appointment in the new group of “Atomistic modeling of (geo)materials”, Section 3.6 "Chemistry and Physics of Earth Materials" / Department 3 "Geochemistry", we invite applications for a

PhD position in atomistic modeling

Job Vacancy No. 3922

The successful candidate (m/f/x) will be part of the brand-new group of Prof. Maribel Núñez Valdez engaged in a joint appointment between GFZ and the Goethe University Frankfurt/Main. The PhD student (m/f/x) will conduct theoretical and computational research at the atomic level using first-principles calculations. The candidate will focus on (geo)materials important because of their relevance in technological/energy applications within the umbrella “Materials inspired by and for georesources”. The final dissertation will be submitted to the Goethe University Frankfurt.

Your responsibilities:

  • carry out ab initio calculations and analyses to determine diverse physical properties that will depend on the material under investigation, e.g. but not limited to, structural, electronic, magnetic, elastic, vibrational (phonons), thermodynamic, or transport properties as a function of pressure, composition, size, strain, temperature, etc.
  • code development, if necessary, in order to understand, manage, or process initial results to set them up within a particular field of interest as described in the introduction
  • present work progress at regular group, department, national and international meetings in poster or oral presentation
  • publication of the scientific results in peer-reviewed international journals
  • collaborate in the mentorship of undergrad students (m/f/x) and grant-proposal writing
  • work closely with experimentalists and in an international and multidisciplinary environment

Your qualifications:

  • Master’s degree (or equivalent) in physics, chemistry, materials science, geosciences or closely related field
  • experience with quantum simulations based on density functional theory using electronic structure codes (e.g. VASP, Quantum Espresso, et al.)
  • additional skills with molecular dynamics, Monte Carlo simulations, other modeling techniques, and scientific programming are also beneficial and a plus
  • mandatory knowledge of LaTeX, UNIX/Linux, and familiarity with the use of supercomputing resources (running codes, compiling, scripting)
  • excellent level of scientific communication in English for discussions, oral presentations, and manuscript and proposal writing 
  • experience working in collaboration with experimentalists is helpful
Starting date: 1st June 2020
Fixed term: 3 years
Salary: This position has been assessed as being salary group 13 according to “TVöD Bund (Tarifgebiet Ost)”. The salary group will be determined by the conditions of the collective wage agreement and the appropriate personal qualifications
Working hours: part-time (currently 26 h/week)
Location: Potsdam
You can expect a very diverse and challenging job in an international work environment that is characterized by exciting research projects. The compatibility of work and family life is of particular concern to the GFZ. Therefore, it offers the opportunity for flexible working time and workplaces. Moreover, there is a kindergarten located on the research campus.
The GFZ is a partner with Geo.X (www.geo-x.net), and as such it is well connected with other geoscience institutions in Potsdam and Berlin. Geo.X forms the largest regional cluster of geoscientific expertise in Europe and offers excellent opportunities for cooperation and development.
Please apply online by 29th March 2020 (extended) using the "Apply" button and with the following documents (written in English):
  • a one-page letter of motivation stating how you fit the criteria of the post and your research interests
  • a CV containing the names and contact information of two references (who will be invited to submit a letter of support on your behalf if your application is shortlisted)
Full consideration will be given only to complete applications.
Equal opportunity is an inherent part of our personnel policy. Therefore we are particularly welcoming applications from qualified women. Severely disabled persons will be given preferential treatment in the case of equal qualification.
We will retain your application documents for at least three months, even if the application is not successful.
If you have any questions regarding this job offer, please feel free to call Ms Buge at +49 (0) 331-288-28878.