Researcher position (f/m/d) in energy systems modeling: Ocean-based carbon dioxide removal


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, and you want to contribute to tackling one of the big challenges of our time – then you may want to apply to the position in our team, starting in as soon as possible:

Researcher position (f/m/d)

in energy systems modeling: Ocean-based carbon dioxide removal
(Position number: 37-2021-Researcher position)

You will be working in the energy system research groups of PIK’s Research Department III on “Transformation Pathways”. More specifically, you will co-develop with us the REMIND model, one of the world’s leading integrated energy-economy-climate modelling systems. 

The focus of this position is on carbon dioxide removal (CDR) from the atmosphere via ocean alkalinization. CDR is an essential part of ambitious mitigation strategies aiming to achieve net-zero or even net-negative emissions. So far, CDR strategies have focused on terrestrial methods. Due to the ever-growing importance of CDR in the scientific debate, the integration of the oceans into integrated assessment models (IAMs) can hardly be overestimated in its importance.You will implement ocean alkalinization as an additional CDR option in the REMIND model, making it the first IAM to compare and assess marine CDR methods with terrestrial methods and mitigation options. You will analyze the economic feasibility of ocean alkalinization and its potential contribution to the Paris climate goal.

Candidates wishing to pursue a PhD in this area with a PIK supervisor as well as those already at postdoc level are encouraged to apply. The PhD position is funded for three years. Remuneration is in accordance with German public tariff scheme, salary group E13 TV-L. PhD positions are funded with a 65% share of the total E13 salary. It is a full-time position with a weekly working time of 40 hours per week. 

Key responsibilities:

  • Contributions to the development of the integrated assessment modeling framework REMIND for the analysis of marine CDR methods
  • Literature review of the techno-economic parameterization of ocean alkalinization
  • Implementation of this technology in the integrated assessment model REMIND
  • Model-based analysis of  various technology and policy solutions
  • 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. R, GAMS)
  • Active interest in energy systems analysis and climate change mitigation
  • Willingness to travel for work and participate in further training
  • Strong motivation, good organizational skills and team-orientation 
  • Strong communication skills in English. The working language at PIK is English.

We offer:

  • An inspiring, international and interdisciplinary work environment in one of the world’s leading research institutes on climate change mitigation and energy systems transformation
  • 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

You will be co-supervised by Prof. Gunnar Luderer (Deputy Head of Research Department III and Professor of Global Energy Systems at Technical University Berlin), and by Dr. Jessica Strefler (Team lead Carbon Management in Research Department III).

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 an international 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 31.08.2021 directly using our application form. 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 please contact Dr. Jessica Strefler, Email: [email protected].

Title Researcher position (f/m/d) in energy systems modeling: Ocean-based carbon dioxide removal
Employer Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
Job location Telegraphenberg A 31, 14473 Potsdam
Published July 14, 2021
Application deadline August 31, 2021
Job types Researcher  
Fields Energy Technology,   Oceanography,   Geophysics,   Marine Engineering,   Environmental Engineering,   Climatology,   Geoinformatics (GIS)  

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