PhD position in Uncertainty Quantification in Seismic Imaging

The Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences is the national research centre for Earth sciences in Germany. With approximately 1.280 employees (including visiting scientists), the GFZ is conducting interdisciplinary research on the "System Earth" and the influence of humans on the planet. As a member of the Helmholtz Association, it is part of Germany’s largest science organization.

For Section 2.4 "Seismology" we invite applications for a

PhD position in "Uncertainty Quantification in Seismic Imaging"
Job Vacancy No. 3880

DeepEarthshape - Geophysical Imaging: Imaging weathering fronts in deep regolith with seismic and electromagnetic methods [GIDES] - this project is part of the interdisciplinary DeepEarthshape package.

The interdisciplinary UQ project addresses the understanding and quantification of uncertainties in data, models and predictions through methods of probability theory, as well as their communication in the context of both research and outreach. The project connects applied researchers from the four Helmholtz research fields Earth & Environment, Energy, Health, and Information among each other and with Helmholtz data science and software experts, as well as external with university partners from mathematics and econometrics (see for more details).

The work package hosted at GFZ focusses on “Seismic Imaging”, i.e., the statistically sound inference of seismic structure and its uncertainties based on seismic waveforms directly or on secondary observables (travel times, surface wave dispersion etc).

Activities and responsibilities

  • develop and adapt new approaches of quantifying and visualising uncertainty for seismological imaging problems
  • implement prototypes demonstrating application of these approaches and conduct case studies based on existing datasets
  • present results at workshops, international conferences and in scientific publications
  • Interact with other domain scientists, software engineers and mathematicians within the UQ project. ‘Agile’ working groups of these actors will develop solutions and promote the methodological advances on the domain-specific research questions.

Qualification profile

  • Master’s degree (or equivalent) in geophysics, mathematics, computer science, physics or related field
  • background in either seismology, wave propagation in elastic media, inverse methods or in the mathematical and computational methods of uncertainty quantification (e.g. Markov Chain Monte Carlo, Bayesian inference)
  • scientific programming skills (e.g. Python, Matlab, C/C++, Fortran, etc)
  • strong verbal and written communication skills in English

  • Desirable:
  • knowledge of Unix environment and scripting in Linux/MacOS
  • cooperative software development tools (e.g. git)

We offer

Starting date:15th March 2020
Fixed term: 36 month
Working hours: part-time 75% (currently 29.25 h/week)
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.
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 (, 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.

Send application to

Please submit your application by 7th February 2020 using the "Apply" button.
If you have any questions regarding this job offer, please feel free to call Ms Buge at +49 0331 288-28878.

For questions regarding the scientific aspects please contact Prof Frederik Tilmann at

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.

Bitte beziehen Sie sich bei Ihrer Bewerbung auf jobvector und geben Sie die folgende Referenznummer an: 3880

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