Eye catcher

For any questions, do not hesitate to ask:
Dr. Michael Bussmann Tel.: +49 3581 37523 11,
+49 351 260 2616
Prof. Dr. Justin Calabrese Tel.: +49 3581 37523 71,
Mrs. Inken Köhler Tel.: +49 3581 37523 10,
Mrs. Weronika Mazur Tel.: +49 3581 37523 23,
+49 171 3635554
Dr. Weronika Schlechte-Welnicz Tel.: +49 3581 37523 72

Place of work:

Working hours:
39 h/week

22 June 2021

Online application
English / German
Job-Id: 2021/95 (1218)

The HZDR is committed to equal opportunity employment and we strongly encourage applications from qualified female candidates. We also carefully consider all applications from job candidates with severe disabilities.

Bautzner Landstraße 400
01328 Dresden

Postdoctoral Researcher (f/m/d): Analysis and optimization of COVID-19 testing

As member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers, the HZDR employs about 1,400 people. The Center's focus is on interdisciplinary research in the areas energy, health and matter.

The Center for Advanced Systems Understanding (CASUS) is a German-Polish research center for data-intensive digital systems research. We combine innovative methods from mathematics, theoretical systems research, simulations, data science, and computer science to provide solutions for a range of disciplines - materials science under ambient and extreme conditions, earth system research, systems biology, and autonomous vehicles.

CASUS was jointly founded in August 2019 by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, the Technical University of Dresden and the University of Wroclaw. CASUS is located in the heart of Görlitz at the border between Germany and Poland. The CASUS start-up phase is hosted by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf and is financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Saxon State Ministry of Science and Art. For more information visit https://www.casus.science/home-2/.

The Center for Advanced Systems Understanding (CASUS) invites applications as

Postdoctoral Researcher (f/m/d): Analysis and optimization of COVID-19 testing strategies

Review of applications will begin immediately, but consideration of candidates will continue until the position is filled. The employment contract is limited to 31.12.2022.

The Earth System Science department seeks a postdoctoral researcher focused on the analysis and development of algorithms for optimizing the timing, location, prioritization and test type/strategy of SARS-CoV-2 testing. Crucially, these optimizations must be performed under a constraint on the total amount of testing that can be done, which change over time and by location.

Job Background and Scope:

The successful candidate (f/m/d) will be part of a team studying how to optimize testing strategies throughout all stages of an epidemic. This position will focus on quantifying the efficiency of existing COVID-19 testing strategies and developing novel optimization algorithms that achieve higher efficiency given the testing resources and constraints at different stages of the pandemic. Use cases will include general population testing as well as testing within organizations such as schools, retirement homes, and businesses. These algorithms will leverage an extensive dataset on existing testing strategies, health care services, and demographics, as well as parameterized spatio-temporal epidemiological models. The initial focus will be on the state of Saxony in Germany, with subsequent expansion to the rest of Germany and possibly other countries.


  • Develop constrained optimization algorithms that prioritize which individuals, locations, and strategies should be focal points for testing

  • Evaluate and refine the optimization algorithms against a broad array of model-generated epidemic scenarios

  • Implement the algorithms in software that will form the foundation for an open webportal for test policy optimization

  • Work with our team to facilitate a coordinated approach to optimizing testing locations and strategies

  • Publish results in academic, peer-reviewed journals

  • Present results at scientific meetings


  • Ph.D. in computer science, operations research, epidemiology, statistics or a related field
  • A solid background in mathematics, statistics, and data science
  • Excellent programming skills in languages such as R and Python
  • Strong motivation to work in a collaborative environment
  • Excellent communication skills in English and in a professional context (presentation of research results at scientific meetings, colloquial discussions, preparation of manuscripts)
  • Evidence of the ability to publish results in top peer reviewed journals
  • Experience in epidemiology is advantageous but is not required

We offer:

  • A vibrant research community in an open, diverse, and international work environment
  • Scientific excellence and extensive professional networking opportunities
  • Broad national and international science networks
  • Salary and social benefits in conformity with the provisions of the Collective Agreement TVöD-Bund
    • 30 Vacation Days per year
    • Company pension scheme (VBL)
  • A good work/life balance for which we offer assistance in the form of:
    • possibility to work part-time

    • flexible working hours

    • in-house health management

Kindly submit your completed application (including cover letter, CV, diplomas/transcripts, etc.) only via our Online-application-system.