Research Software Engineer for RD 3 Transformation Pathways


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 Research Department 3 “Transformation Pathways” we are offering the following position, starting as soon as possible.

Research Software Engineer (m/f/d)

 (Position number: 03-2021-Research Software Engineer)

The position is funded until 31 May 2023 with potential for extension. 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. Appointment is conditional on approval by the funding agency. The position can be filled on a part-time basis. Working remote is possible.

The position:

The successful candidate will explore and develop processes and tools for dynamic interfaces between models for scientific model coupling. The work builds on the R-based open-source tool madrat ( for structured data processing. The work aim is to create a tool which can deal with dynamic sources the same way it can deal with static sources allowing for better plug and play capabilities between models and data sources and improving the transparency, reproducibility and reusability of data exchange processes.

The work will contribute to the “Potsdam Integrated Assessment Model Framework” (PIAM), a collection of internationally recognized models (REMIND, MAgPIE, LPJmL and others) for an integrated view on the global energy-economy-climate-land system exploring consistent transformation pathways. PIAM and its components contribute to international reports on climate change (e.g. IPCC, UNEP gap, “Shared Socioeconomic Pathways” (SSP)). The successful applicant will be part of the working group “Research Software Engineering for Transformation Pathways”, and will work in close collaboration with the current developers and continuously growing number of users of the PIAM and madrat frameworks.

Key responsibilities:

  • Explore and develop concepts and tools for model coupling
  • Expand the capabilities of the R-based open-source tool madrat to handle highly dynamic data sources
  • Enhance transparency, reproducibility and reusability for madrat-based data workflows
  • Improve accessibility and visibility of your work (e.g. documentation, tutorials, presentations)


  • A Master’s degree in Informatics, Computational Sciences, Engineering, Physics, Mathematics, or a related field
  • Profound experience in programming, specifically in R (including creation and maintenance of packages as well as testing)
  • Experience in data handling, including metadata handling
  • Fluency in version control management (e.g. git)
  • Familiarity in scientific modeling and model coupling is an asset

We expect:

  • Strong analytical and organizational skills and ability to work reliably and independently
  • Team-oriented attitude with strong communication skills in oral and written English
  • Capacity to familiarize yourself quickly with new topics
  • Creativity and openness to new approaches

We offer:

  • The chance to be part of a creative and interdisciplinary team
  • Opportunities for cooperation with PIK’s national and international network of leading climate and economic research institutes, as well as the growing community of research software engineers
  • A stimulating working environment in an internationally recognized research institute on Potsdam's beautiful, historic Telegrafenberg campus, a short commuting distance from Berlin
  • A collective pay scheme and associated benefits

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. Applications by persons with a migration background are expressly encouraged. Applications of disabled persons with equal qualifications will be regarded favourably. PIK also encourages applications by parents returning from parental leave.

Please apply by 28.02 2021 directly using our application form including code samples (e.g., working program code or GitHub repository).

For further information or to discuss the position please contact Dr. Jan Philipp Dietrich ( and Dr. Lavinia Baumstark (