Research Group Leader

Research Group Leader / Young Investigator Group Leader (m/f/d) in Artificial Intelligence for Earth System Analytics and Modelling code no. 2019/KS 9.  The place of employment is Geesthacht (Germany).

The Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG) in Geesthacht, near Hamburg, and in Teltow, near Berlin, conducts materials and coastal research. For further information please refer to:

Our Institute of Coastal Research invites applications for a 5-year Research Group Leader/ Young Investigator Group Leader (m/f/d) position in the field of Artificial Intelligence in Earth System Analytics and Modelling. The position is part of the local Hub of the Helmholtz Artificial Intelligence Cooperation Unit, for further information see: <>. The HAICU-Local Unit Artificial Intelligence for Earth System Analytics and Modelling will focus on the application of advanced machine learning methods to Earth System and Climate Science, specifically focusing on Earth System Analytics, Earth System Modelling and Predictability. Preferred starting date is as soon as possible, ideally not later than January, 1st 2020. A connection of the position to the University of Hamburg with teaching responsibility and the right to supervise and examine PhD candidates is desired; all details of this connection can be negotiated, based on personal qualifications. A joint W2 appointment procedure with the University of Hamburg is not excluded.

HZG is moreover strongly involved in the Cluster of Excellence Climate, Climate Change and Society CliCCS at the University of Hamburg together with the Max-Planck Institute for Meteorology and other partners. The activity of this group will likely be highly relevant for several cluster projects and contributing to societal relevant climate research and support societal adaptation to climate change.

Background The Helmholtz-Association initiated the Helmholtz Artificial Intelligence Cooperation Unit (HAICU). This future-oriented network for applied Artificial Intelligence will develop, implement, and disseminate methods of Artificial Intelligence for purposes including the analysis of complex systems in the fields of energy, transport, climate, and health. HAICU consists of an internationally visible, central unit in Munich and five local units at further Helmholtz Centers that focus on specific HGF research areas.

To boost the broad application of new powerful Machine Learning algorithms to Earth System Science, the HAICU local unit ‘Artificial Intelligence Innovation for Earth System Analytics and Modelling (AIM)’ has been established at the Helmholtz-Centre Geesthacht (HZG) and the German Climate Computing Centre (DKRZ) in Hamburg. AIM consists of a Research Group (RG) / Young Investigator Group (YIG) and an AI Consultant Group. The RG/YIG Group will be based within the research unit System Analysis and Modelling (head Prof. Corinna Schrum) at the Institute of Coastal Research in Geesthacht. A focus of the RG / YIG will be on deep learning for improving predictions of extremes and climate change. Further topics are application of machine learning for data assimilation and reduced-complexity models. The application-oriented research will be conducted in close collaboration with other research departments at HZG, including the Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS) in Hamburg, as well as other collaborating institutions.

Your tasks:
–       lead  the AIM Research Group/Young Investigator Group on application
of AI to environmental and climate research
–       development  and  implementation  of  AIM research projects in close
collaboration with scientists at the unit and beyond
–       supervision of Ph.D. candidates and Postdocs within the Group
–       report  on  quality  measurements  and  control  mechanisms based on
defined criteria and milestones
–       ensure  intensive  exchange  with  AI  consultants at DKRZ and HAICU
Central and other HAICU local units and foster cross-topic collaboration

Essential qualifications:
–       M.Sc. and Ph.D. in geoscience-related subjects, mathematics or computer
science, or related disciplines
–       strong  scientific  track record and ideally experience in mentoring
and teaching and/or outreach
–       high degree of creativity and flexibility; enjoying independence and
creative freedom
–       strong  interest and previous experience in complex machine learning
tasks   and   an  application  of  supervised  and  unsupervised  learning
–       ability  to identify and apply application dependent complex machine
learning techniques to coastal and climate research challenges, making use
of existing expertise within the HAICU units
–       strong   communication   skills   and   ability   to   work  in  an
interdisciplinary team

Desirable qualifications:
–       experience/expertise  in  oceanography, meteorology or environmental
research  and  experience  with  big  data  applications  such as Regional
Climate  and  Earth  System  Models  and/or  Earth  Observation,  and data
assimilation will be an advantage

For further questions, please contact Prof.  Dr.  Corinna  Schrum (

We offer:
–       a multinational  work  environment  with over 950 colleagues from more
than 50 nations
–       extensive options for vocational training (i. a. expert seminars,
language courses or leadership seminars)
–       flexible working hours and various models to ensure the compatibility
of family and career
–       excellent infrastructure, including a scientific in-house library as
well as modern work spaces
–       remuneration  according  to  the  standards  of  the collective wage
agreement  TV-AVH  including  further  social benefits, up to remuneration
group 15 (according to EntgO Bund)

Moreover, a 5-year start package is offered, enabling the establishment of the research group/ young investigator group. After successful evaluation, a permanent position at HZG will be offered, a research package can be negotiated.

The promotion of equal rights is a matter of course for us. Severely disabled persons and those equaling severely disabled persons who are equally suitable for the position will be considered preferentially within the framework of legal requirements.

Geesthacht is located 35 km southeast of Hamburg in Northern Germany. Its location combines proximity to Germany’s second-largest city and its cultural offerings with easy access to numerous outdoor activities in a beautiful setting. We are a family-friendly employer and operate our own kindergarten on campus.


Please send your application indicating job offer code no. 2019/KS 9 including your CV, description of your scientific expertise, publication list, copies of credentials including grades, and contacts of three reference persons by e-mail in one pdf-file not larger than 10 MB to <>.

Closing date for applications is August 25th, 2019.
Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht
Zentrum für Material- und Küstenforschung GmbH
Max-Planck-Straße 1 I 21502 Geesthacht I Deutschland/Germany

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