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 working group “Forest and Ecosystem Resilience” PIK is offering a Postdoctoral position Forest and Ecosystem Resilience Group (m/f/d). (Position number: 22-2023 PostDoc FER) in the field of process-based modeling of German and European forests under climate change starting on 01.09.2023.

The position is funded until 31.03.2026. Long-term employment dependent on external funding is envisaged. Remuneration is in accordance with the German public tariff scheme (TV-L Brandenburg), salary group E 13. This is a full-time position with a weekly working time of 40 hours per week. The position can be filled on a part-time basis.

Key responsibilities:

  • Development and maintenance of the forest model 4C and its submodels such as the wood product model or disturbance model.
  • Preparation/Preprocessing of input data (soil, climate, forest/vegetation) for 4C model applications
  • Performing simulations with 4C for Germany and other European countries
  • Evaluation of 4C with data from observations (e.g. TRY), experiments and other models
  • Postprocessing and analysis of model outputs and other data sources
  • Development of management and disturbance scenarios
  • Analysis of trade-offs and synergies of different forest management, disturbances and biodiversity protection scenarios
  • Interacting with other PIK modelling groups e.g. LPJmL-FIT, MAgPIE
  • Maintaining and developing the infrastructure around the 4C model (post-processing scripts, data flows etc.)
  • Publish research findings in academic peer-reviewed journals


  • PhD in natural/forest science or ecology/biology and related subjects
  • Proven programming experience, at best advanced knowledge of Fortran, R, Python
  • Experience with developing, maintaining and applying complex process-based forest models and the associated datasets and computer code infrastructure (e.g. Github)
  • Solid knowledge of high-performance computing and shell-scripting (e.g. Linux and Unix shells)
  • Solid knowledge of statistics and statistical methods in ecology including Bayesian techniques
  • Specialised knowledge of process-based forest modelling, plant physiology, forest management, forest disturbance ecology, climate policy, adaptation, mitigation, carbon cycling, ecosystem service assessments
  • General understanding of forest science, climate science and climate impact science
  • Proven experience in publishing original research findings in peer-reviewed academic journals

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, engagement, and a high level of motivation
  • Willingness to travel for work (project meetings, workshops etc.) and take part in further training
  • Capacity for teamwork and organisational talent.

We offer:

  • The chance to be part of a creative, interdisciplinary team,
  • A stimulating working environment in an internationally recognised research institute on Potsdam’s beautiful, historic Telegrafenberg campus, a short commuting distance from Berlin,
  • Flexi-time and mobile working (up to 40% of your hours),
  • A collective pay scheme and associated benefits as well as a subsidized travel card.

PIK values equality and diversity. We encourage applications without photo. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment regardless of ethnic and social origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, care responsibilities, or age.

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. PIK also encourages applications by parents returning from parental leave.

Please apply by 20.06.2023 directly using our application form. Application documents should comprise a letter of motivation, CV, relevant certificates and indication of references. Please upload only one pdf file. We expect the job interviews to happen in late June/early July 2023.

If you hold an international higher education qualification, please also submit the Statement of Comparability from the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) with your application. In the case that you do not yet have a ZAB Statement of Comparability for your qualification, please be aware that you may be asked to apply for one if your application is successful. For further information or to discuss the position please contact Dr. Christopher Reyer by email (

Leave a Reply