PhD Researcher position: Integrated Environmental Impact Assessment (m/f/d)

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)

Potsdam, Germany 🇩🇪

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.

If you enjoy working in a very collaborative, supportive and international team, you love writing and improving code, you like analytical thinking and constructive problem-solving, you want to contribute to tackling one of the big challenges of our time and co-develop with us the REMIND model, one of the world’s leading integrated energy-economy-climate modelling systems – then you may want to apply to the position in our team.

For the energy system research group of PIK`s Research Department 3 on “Transformation Pathways” PIK is offering

Researcher position: Integrated Environmental Impact Assessment (m/f/d)

 (Position number: 29-2022-Researcher position LCA)

in the field of Energy Systems Analysis, starting as soon as possible.

Candidates wishing to pursue a PhD in these areas with a PIK supervisor as well as those already at postdoc level are encouraged to apply.

The position is funded until 31.07.2024. PhD positions will initially be funded for three years. Remuneration is in accordance with the German public tariff scheme (TV-L Brandenburg), salary group E 13 (100% for a postdoctoral and 75% for a doctoral researcher). 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.

Key responsibilities:

The focus of this position is on integrating the REMIND model with life-cycle inventories to perform life-cycle analyses of future technologies and products, using the PREMISE tool. With the integrated system it can be assessed how environmental impacts of individual technologies deployed in the future depend on overall energy and land transformation strategies. For instance, the environmental impact from the production and operation of battery-electric vehicles in 2030 will depend on the progress in the decarbonization of the overall economy. In addition to greenhouse gas emissions, also other environmental impacts such as air pollution, water use and biodiversity loss are considered. The methods will be developed and applied both to assess individual technologies and to explore the environmental performance of transformation strategies on the system level. A central goal is to derive holistic sustainable approaches to achieving climate neutrality.

  • Contributions to the development of the integrated assessment modeling framework REMIND, with a special focus on integration with life-cylce assessment methodologies
  • Model-based analysis of various technology options and their environmental impacts, as well as environmentally sustainable energy decarbonization strategies
  • Participation in project meetings
  • Presentation of results at international conferences
  • Publication of results in scientific journals


  • Master’s Degree or PhD in Physics, Engineering, Economics, Environmental Sciences, Mathematics, System Sciences or a related field
  • Training in formal, quantitative methods, excellent analytical skills
  • Experience in research software engineering, programming experience (e.g. Python, R, GAMS)
  • Active interest in energy and environmental systems analysis
  • Willingness to travel for work and participate in further training
  • Strong motivation and good organizational skills
  • Team-orientation and strong communication skills in English. The working language at PIK is English.

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 subsidized travel card.
  • High-impact research: PIK researchers publish in renowned international journals, including Nature, Science, or PNAS
  • Participation in solution-oriented research with immediate policy relevance and impact on international assessments such as IPCC reports
  • Opportunities for cooperation with PIK’s national and international network of leading climate & energy research institutes and think tanks
  • Insights and experience in strategic research management and stakeholder consultation and advice
  • A structured PhD programme with supervision agreements, a supervision team, reporting obligations, a career development plan, a mediator team and an interdisciplinary education programme
  • Career development opportunities for PostDocs, e.g. via Humboldt Graduate School

PIK values equality and diversity. 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 10.07.2022 directly using our application form.

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

Application documents should comprise a letter of motivation, including research interests, a CV with the contact details of two referees, and a sample of your work (e.g., term paper, thesis or journal publication, exam records, GitHub profile, online publication profile or similar. For further information or to discuss the position please contact Prof. Dr. Gunnar Luderer at luderer[at]