Post-doctoral position (m/f/d)


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 European Union HORIZON Action Grant Budget-Based agreement project PREVENT - Improved Predictability Of Extremes Over The Mediterranean From Seasonal To Decadal Timescales PIK is offering a

Post-doctoral position  (m/f/d)

 (Position number: 41-2023 PostDoc Prevent)

in the field of Weather Extremes and Climate Modelling, preferably starting  01.11.2023.

The position is funded for 3 years. 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 working time of 40h per week. The position can be filled on a part-time basis. Appointment is conditional on approval by the funding agency.

The PREVENT project brings together experts in different disciplines and geographical regions and aims to improve the predictability of impact-relevant extremes in the Mediterranean region on seasonal to decadal timescales using state-of-the-art dynamical, statistical, and machine learning methods. The Mediterranean is a climate change hot spot that warms faster than the global mean rates and the frequency of extremes increases. Moreover, climate models often fail to provide sufficient skill in predicting extremes

Key responsibilities:

PIK is seeking a qualified postdoctoral scientist responsible for the estimation of fire risk and atmospheric causal drivers of fire weather in the Mediterranean region for both historical records and under different climate change scenarios. Fire weather refers to specific meteorological conditions that are favorable to the ignition, development and propagation of wildfires. The successful candidate will research the local and remote atmospheric drivers of fire weather in the Mediterranean by applying causal discovery tools. Moreover, future fire risk will be estimated with the use of the updated SPITFIRE model, based on the improved decadal predictions of temperature and precipitation for certain fire-prone Mediterranean regions.


  • The successful applicant should hold a PhD degree in physics, mathematics/statistics, climate science or a related discipline
  • A solid background in climate and atmospheric sciences, and extreme weather ideally supported by knowledge of machine learning and time series analysis is of advantage, as is coding experience with e.g. Python/Matlab/R
  • Practical experience with High Performance Computing, and scientific programming and a willingness to learn to work with high-performing computing systems
  • expertise with scientific data analysis

The candidate will be supervised by Dr. Giorgia Di Capua (PI) and Dr. Kirsten Thonicke and will work in close collaboration with Prof. Dim Coumou from the Institute for Environmental Studies – Water and Climate Risk Department, VU -Amsterdam, Dr. Kai Kornhuber from Climate Analytics (Berlin), Columbia University (New York) and Prof. Reik Donner at the Department for Water, Environment, Construction and Safety at the Magdeburg-Stendal Hochschule.

We expect:

  • the ability to work independently and on your own initiative
  • structural, creative and goal-oriented thinking
  • capacity to familiarise yourself quickly with new topics
  • high level of competence in oral and written English (German knowledge is welcomed but not necessary)
  • willingness to travel for work (project meetings, workshops etc.) and take part in further training
  • capacity for teamwork

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 subsidised 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 15.10.2023 directly using our application form.
The application process remains open until the position is filled.

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 need to request this if your application is successful. You can find further information on this website:

For further information or to discuss the position please contact Dr. Giorgia Di Capua, Telephone+49 (0)331-288-2514 or via Email:

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