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Bayi Glacier in Qilian Mountain, China (Credit: Xiaoming Wang, distributed via

Job advertisement PhD student (f/m/d) for Arctic air mass transformations.

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European Geosciences Union

PhD student (f/m/d) for Arctic air mass transformations.

PhD student (f/m/d) for Arctic air mass transformations.

Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Marine and Polar Research (AWI) logo

Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Marine and Polar Research (AWI)

As an internationally respected centre of expertise on polar and marine research, the Alfred Wegener Institute is one of the very few scientific institutions in the world that are equally active in the Arctic and Antarctic. It coordinates German polar research efforts, while also conducting research in the North Sea and adjacent coastal regions in Germany. Combining innovative approaches, outstanding research infrastructure and years of expertise, the Alfred Wegener Institute explores nearly all aspects of the Earth system – from the atmosphere to the ocean floor. In this regard, initiatives to better grasp the climate-related processes on our planet have increasingly taken centre stage.


Bonn, Germany


Relevant division
Atmospheric Sciences (AS)

Part time

Entry level


Required education

Application deadline
Open until the position is filled

6 June 2023

Job description


Within the ERC-funded junior research group “Understanding Arctic amplification of climate change through air-mass transformations”, we are looking for a PhD student to study how air masses cool and dry on their trajectory through the Arctic. The student will employ both observations and modelling to understand how long liquid-containing clouds can be sustained under cold and dry conditions, and how the processes controlling such clouds affect Arctic climate.


- Launch and evaluate air-mass following balloons in collaboration with other team members and external partners
- Employ single-column models to evaluate the representation of processes driving air-mass transformations against observations and high-resolution simulations
- Participate in expeditions to the Arctic


- MSc in Physics, meteorology or a related subject
- A high degree of scientific curiosity and willingness to explore new methods and ideas
- English skills that allow to communicate in an international working environment, and to read and write scientific publications in English
- Willingness to participate in expeditions to the polar regions for several weeks

Additional skills and knowledge

- Prior experience with climate models or meteorological observations
- Knowledge of boundary-layer and cloud processes
- Experience with data analysis (eg Python)

Further Information

Please contact Dr. Felix Pithan (; +49(471)4831-2601) for further information.

This position is limited to 3 years. The salary will be paid in accordance with the Collective Agreement for the Public Service of the Federation (Tarifvertrag des öffentlichen Dienstes, TVöD Bund), up to salary level 13 (66%). The place of employment will be Bremerhaven.

All doctoral candidates will be members of AWI’s postgraduate program POLMAR or another graduate school and thus benefit from a comprehensive training program and extensive support measures.

The AWI is characterised by

- our scientific success – excellent research
- collaboration and cooperation – intra-institute, national and international, interdisciplinary
- opportunities to develop – on the job and towards other positions
- an international environment – everyday contacts with people from all over the world
- flexible working hours and the possibility of mobile working up to 50% of regular working hours
- health promotion and company fitness with qualitrain
- support services and a culture of reconciling work and family
- occupational pension provision (VBL)
- jobticket

Equal opportunities are an integral part of our personnel policy. The AWI aims to increase the number of employees who are women, and therefore strongly encourages qualified women to apply.

Applicants with disabilities will be given preference when equal qualifications are present.

The AWI fosters the compatibility of work and family in various ways and has received a number of awards as a result of this engagement.

We look forward to your application!
Please submit your application by June 15th 2023, exclusively online.

Please apply with a letter of motivation, your CV, transcript of records for you BSc and MSc studies and the introduction and one chapter of your MSc thesis. Please also provide names and contact information for two references.

Reference number: 23/96/D/Kli-b

How to apply

You can apply by following the steps on the AWI webpage.