Fundamental courses

The following fundamental courses are offered on a regular basis at the universities:


  • Hydrology
  • Physical oceanography
  • Weather, climate, and environment
  • Plate tectonics and geodynamics

Mathematics & Informatics

  • Numerical methods for ODEs and numerical linear algebra
  • Numerical solution of Partial Differential Equations

Advanced courses

Also the advanced courses will be offered on a regular basis. Students will attend these courses upon consultation with their advisors so as to judiciously build their expertise as needed for their research projects. Potential subjects comprise (but are not limited to):


  • Seismic hazard assessment
  • Mechanics of earthquakes and faulting
  • Numerical geodynamics
  • Numerical methods in geo-materials research
  • Mathematical modeling of hydrological processes
  • Numerical modeling of flow and reactive transport in porous media
  • Global and regional climate modeling

Mathematics & Informatics

  • Theoretical and computational fluid dynamics
  • Multi-grid methods and domain decomposition
  • Computational continuum mechanics
  • Software engineering for explorative geo-simulation
  • Computational Bayesian statistics (data assimilation, parameter estimation)
  • Stochastic dynamics
  • Markov chains and applications
  • Multi-scale analysis for SDEs

Transferable skills

The Research School offers an elaborate training for doctorate students in transferable skills including the areas of language and information technology, career planning, scientific project management and scientific communication.

Helmholtz offers three 3-4 day courses at a central location in Germany to students in all of their research schools. The courses are designed for the first, second and third year of the PhD and are mandatory for all GeoSim students. In addition, GEOSIM students may participate in the courses of the Potsdam Graduate School (POGS) or Dahlem Research School (DRS).

Course program of the POGS

Participation in the POGS courses is covered by GeoSim directly.

DRS Professional Development Program

Participation in the courses of the DRS Professional Development Program costs 100 euro per day (fixed rate). You may use your personal travel budget for financing this.

Courses offered by HGF:

1. Research Skill Development Course (1st year students)

• group1: April 10 -13 2014

• group2: November 24-27 2014

• group3: November 27-30 2014

Venue, group 1-3:
Schloss Buchenau
Hermann-Lietz-Str. 13
36132 Buchenau (Eiterfeld)

2. Presentation and Communication Skills Course (2nd year students)

• group1: June20-22 2014

• group2: June22-24 2014

3. Career and Leadership Course (3rd year students)

• group 1: 3-5 März 2014 (fully booked)

• group 2: 22-24 September 2014

• group 3: 24-26 September 2014

Venue, group 2+3:
Tagungsstätte Hohe Rhön
Fischzucht 1
97653 Bischofsheim


HGF transferable skills courses - procedures

You are expected to participate in all three courses during your PhD. Procedure for registration:

  • GeoSim covers the expenses for the course (course fee and accommodation), as well as the travel expenses. These are NOT deducted from your personal travel budget;
  • all communication about participation (registration/cancellation) is through the GeoSim coordinator, not with the organizers directly;
  • cancellation is possible only until the registration deadline of the course. In case of a too late cancellation or no show - unless of course you have a valid reason for not being able to attend (such as illness) - the course participation fee will be subtracted from your personal travel budget. The participation fees are in the range of 500-800 euros, so please be careful about this!!