Skip to main content
Bayi Glacier in Qilian Mountain, China (Credit: Xiaoming Wang, distributed via

Job advertisement PhD Position (f_m_x) in Mineral Crystallization

EGU logo

European Geosciences Union

PhD Position (f_m_x) in Mineral Crystallization

PhD Position (f_m_x) in Mineral Crystallization

Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences logo

Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences

The Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences is the national centre for geosphere research. As a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres we are part of the largest scientific organization in Germany. With approximately 1,500 employees our key mission is to secure a profound understanding of the systems and processes of solid Earth, to develop strategies and options for action in addressing global change and its impacts on a regional level, to understand natural hazards and to minimize associated risks, to ensure the sustainable provision of energy and raw materials for a high-tech society and to evaluate the influence of human activity on system Earth.


Potsdam, Germany


Relevant division
Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Petrology & Volcanology (GMPV)


Student / Graduate / Internship


Preferred education

Application deadline
18 June 2023

23 May 2023

Job description

To complement the Interface-Geochemistry team of the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, we are looking for a PhD (f_m_x) in Mineral Crystallization (reference 7662).

The aim of the PhD project is to improve our understanding on how various additives used in gypsum board formulations impact the kinetics and mechanisms of gypsum crystallization and the microstructure of the resulting gypsum matrix. The ultimate goal is to identify the reactions leading to a reduction in the gypsum quantity used in gypsum boards, while keeping the sustainable performance requirements.

The experimental PhD project will be carried out in our GFZ Mineral Synthesis Laboratories and this work will be complemented with training and experiments related to mechanical testing and scaling up of the experimental results to ‘real’ factory conditions. This latter part will be done in close collaboration with ETEX staff and in dedicated ETEX laboratory facilities.

The successful candidate will become an integral part of the Interface Geochemistry section, work closely with other students and postdocs in the group and be registered in the PhD programme of the Freie Universität Berlin.

Your responsibilities

  • Perform lab synthesis experiments to investigate the formation of calcium sulfate dehydrate CaSO4.2H2O (gypsum) under different industry relevant conditions for plasterboard production
  • Determine the changes in structure, composition, size, orientation and 3 D distribution of gypsum in the produced materials
  • Publish in international peer-reviewed journals and present research results at scientific meetings

Your qualifications

  • MSc degree (or equivalent) in material sciences, chemical enginering, or (geo)chemistry
  • Documented hands on experience in laboratory experimental procedures
  • Strong knowledge and experience in reaction kinetics ideally with mineralogical or environmental applications
  • Hands on experience in a range of solid characterization techniques (e.g., diffraction, imaging or spectroscopy) is an advantage
  • Experience in inorganic chemical / mineral synthesis is an asset
  • Capacity for interdisciplinary and international teamwork and excellent communication skills
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English

Start date: 1st October 2023; Fixed-term: 36 months; Place of work: Potsdam
Salary: The position is classed as salary group 13 (75%) according to “TVöD Bund (Tarifgebiet Ost)”. The salary group is determined on the basis of the Collective Wage Agreement and the respective personal qualifications.

How to apply

In order to apply, please use our online application form only and you must submit the following documents:

1. Cover letter stating how you fit the required qualifications outlined above.
2. Detailed CV including presentations / publications and names and emails of 2 potential referees.

Application deadline: June 18th, 2023