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Postdoctoral Researcher Position Crop Modeling

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Postdoctoral Researcher Position Crop Modeling
in Research Domain 2
at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)

3-year position, 100%, TV-L E13

The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) addresses crucial questions in the fields of global change, climate impacts, energy system transformation, and sustainable development. Natural and social scientists work together to generate interdisciplinary insights that provide a sound basis for decision-making in society and policy. PIK’s historic science campus on Telegraphenberg Potsdam is in 30 minutes commuting distance from Berlin. PIK seeks to increase the number of women in scientific positions.

Job Description

We are looking for a Postdoctoral Researcher in the field of agricultural economics, agronomy, risk management or agricultural climate impact modeling who will conduct and supervise research activities in the field of agricultural risk modeling and crop insurance solutions and transfer these results through active engagement with private and governmental partners in the target countries (Tanzania, Peru, and India).

Working together with the Indian, Peruvian and Tanzanian government, research institutes and private organizations (e.g. insurers), we aim to transform research into user-oriented climate services and policy that enable each country to better adapt to climate change in the complementary fields Climate, Hydrology and Water Resources, Agriculture and Migration. This position is located in the field of agriculture and should focus on developing risk transfer and risk management solutions to stabilize the crop production of smallholder farmers. The work is carried out within two projects funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI), a program of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety of Germany (BMUB) and by the EU project H2020_Insurance.

Key Responsibilities

  • Improve and apply crop models with the aim of advancing their utilization for risk assessments
  • Organize and conduct workshops with a broad range of stakeholders including governments, insurers and other risk management and transfer providers in Tanzania, India and Peru
  • Contribute to the implementation of projects through close collaboration with other researches at PIK as well as the involved stakeholders
  • Project management, writing of project reports and applying for funding
  • Write and publish articles in peer-reviewed journals that highlight findings from the research projects and present research findings at international conferences

We further encourage you to pursue your own research interests, which should have a thematic overlap with the above responsibilities.


  • You hold a PhD in agricultural science, agricultural economics, economics, geography, statistics or related field with a quantitative empirical orientation and knowledge of agriculture (agronomy and agricultural economics). Knowledge in tropical agriculture, sustainable development and/or climate impact analysis is a valuable
  • You have profound experience in (process-based/ statistical) crop modelling or other agricultural climate impact related modeling
  • You hold solid expertise in statistics, programing skills in R and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Experience with remote sensing satellite data, Fortran and the NetCDF file format is valuable
  • You have knowledge or are interested in risk management and transfer solutions (i.e. insurances solutions)
  • Experience and interest in stakeholder engagement as well as communicating scientific results to a non-scientific community are desirable
  • Work experience in developing countries is desirable and strong interest for collaboration with partners in the project target countries Tanzania, India and Peru
  • You are willing to supervise PhD and Master students and to manage projects. Existing experience in doing so is an valuable
  • You have excellent communications skills and are fluent in oral and written English. Proficiency in Kiswahili and/ or Spanish is an asset

We offer

  • An inspiring, international, and interdisciplinary work environment in one of the world’s leading research institutes on climate change
  • High-impact of your own research through publications in renowned international journals and consortia
  • Participation in user driven research projects with international partners
  • Insights into international projects with extensive stakeholder engagement
  • Opportunities for cooperation with PIK’s national and international network of leading climate and agricultural research institutes
  • Guidance and supervision in postdoc career development


  • The envisaged starting date for the position is as soon as possible and subject to approval of funding.
  • The position will be funded for 3 years.
  • Salaries are according to the German public tariff scheme E13 TV-L, 100%.

PIK seeks to increase the share of women in scientific positions and therefore explicitly encourage 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, provided they fulfil the conditions for appointment, are expressly encouraged. Applications of disabled persons with equal qualifications will be regarded favorably. PIK is also encouraging applications by parents returning from parental leave within the availability of financial resources.


Application documents should comprise a letter of motivation including research interests and publication list, a CV with the contact details of two referees, and a sample of your work (e. g. term paper, thesis or journal publication). 

Closing date for all applications is December 17th 2017.

Please send your documents by email as a single PDF (not more than 15MB) to: using the reference subject EPICC_RD2_PostDoc_Agr. For any queries regarding the position, please contact Christoph Gornott at