Research position for a Postdoc (m/f/x) (initially limited to two years) at salary scale E13 TV-L, 100 %



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The Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment (ICBM) at the School of Mathematics and Science (Faculty V), Universität Oldenburg offers a third-party funded

research position for a Postdoc (m/f/x) (initially limited to two years) at salary scale E13 TV-L, 100%.

The position is suitable for part-time work commencing as soon as possible.

This position is part of the project “Optimal control of hybrid ecological-economic systems with regime switching” (the Project), a collaboration of the ICBM with the Faculty of Applied Mathematics and Control Processes at St. Petersburg State University, Russia. The Project is jointly funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR).


Description of the Project

The aim of the Project is to identify optimal policies to protect ecological systems that provide ecological services to nature and mankind, when these systems are potentially vulnerable to abrupt and significant changes; that is, systems that are subject to potential regime switches occurring at specific thresholds. Since these thresholds as well as other data governing the dynamics of a system may be possibly unknown, decisions must frequently be made under uncertainty.

Frequently, though, uncertainty may, to some extent, be reduced by means of further data collection and explorations, the deployment of an information service, or simply by waiting. If so, the cost of information acquisition has to be contrasted with the expected benefit of this information – and only if the expected value of information is sufficiently high, is it worthwhile to gather it in the first place.

Your Tasks

As a member of the Project, your task is (i) to apply and extend the methods of hybrid control theory and dynamic programming to ecological-economic problems with regime shifts, and (ii) to integrate the concept of Value of Information (Vol) in this framework of dynamic decision making. You will thus help solve inter-temporal ecological and environmental problems in the presence of abrupt shifts within a framework of uncertainty, and will, in this way, contribute to ensuring a better and more sustainable use of most valuable natural resources.

Specifically, your tasks will be:

  • Research in the area of Optimal control of hybrid ecological-economic systems with regime switching with a special focus on the Value of Information (Vol) (75%). This includes, among other things:
    • mathematical modelling of ecological-economic decision problems, and analyzing optimal (or equilibrium) decision making under varying levels of information;
    • theoretical derivation of the value of (additional) information by comparing optimal (or equilibrium) decisions made under varying levels of information;
    • development and advancement of the Vol concept and its application on ecological-economic decision problems;
    • collaboration with Russian Partners in St. Petersburg, Russia, as well as with the members of the Vol- group at the University of Oldenburg, the Helmholtz-Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity (HIFMB) and Bielefeld University;
    • supervision of doctoral students of the Project and the Vol group.
    • Preparation of proposals for third-party funding (15%)
    • Collaboration in research-related organizational tasks, e.g. organisation of the Group’s workshops, and providing administrative support (10%)

Your Profile

Required skills and experience:

  • Qualifying academic university degree (Master or Diploma, not of a University of Applied Sciences) in mathematical economics, applied mathematics, (quantitative) economics, or a comparable degree;
  • a Ph.D. in a field relevant for the Project, e.g., optimal control, dynamic programming, (dynamic) decision making under uncertainty, optimal stopping, Bayesian statistics, information theory, or a related topic;
  • related publications in refereed international journals;
  • solid knowledge in optimal control and mathematical modelling;
  • distinct interest in decision making and optimal management in environmental economics, ecology, nature conservation and biodiversity;
  • experience in the preparation of third-party funds proposals;
  • excellent command of scientific English, written and oral;
  • self-dependent and committed as well as co-operative and team-oriented working method.

Preferable qualiflcations:

  • experience in implementing and solving those problems by means of suitable software packages (e.g. Mathematica, Matlab or ‘R’);
  • particular interest in scientific research and interest in interdisciplinary collaboration;
  • experience in ecological and/or economic modelling of regime switches;
  • willingness to and interest in presenting research results at national and international conferences.

The job will be at the University of Oldenburg in Oldenburg. Yet, the position will allow and require flexibility regarding the place of work, as, among other things, collaboration with the Vol Group in Bielefeld is essential.

The University of Oldenburg is dedicated to increasing the percentage of female employees in the field of Science. Therefore, female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. In accordance with Lower Saxony regulations (§ 21 Section 3 NHG) female candidates with equal qualifications will be preferentially considered. Disabled applicants will be given preference when equal qualifications are present.

An application should consist of a letter (2 pages maximum) explaining your background, interests and motivation for this job, alongside your CV, your list of publications, your list of third party funds, 3 references, relevant qualifications documents. Please submit your application as a single PDF file (max. 5 MB) to until 15.12.2021.

More information about the Vol-Group can be found here:

If you have any questions please contact Thorsten Upmann

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