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Job advertisement PhD | Doctoral Candidate Earth System Modeling (W-0020)

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European Geosciences Union

PhD | Doctoral Candidate Earth System Modeling (W-0020)

PhD | Doctoral Candidate Earth System Modeling (W-0020)

Max Planck Institute for Meteorology logo

Max Planck Institute for Meteorology


Hamburg, Germany


Relevant divisions
Atmospheric Sciences (AS)
Ocean Sciences (OS)

Full time

Entry level


Preferred education

Application deadline
29 February 2024

13 February 2024

Job description

The Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M) is a multidisciplinary center for climate and Earth system research located in Hamburg, Germany. It is one of the premier climate science research institutes in the world. Located in the heart of one of Europe’s most livable and vibrant cities, it provides a highly international and interdisciplinary environment to conduct scientific research as well as access to state-of-the-art scientific facilities.


We are now opening a 3-year position for

PhD | Doctoral Candidate (W-0020 | all genders)

in the context of the ORCESTRA campaign (Organized Convection Experiments in the tropical Atlantic) initiated by MPI-M to investigate how convective storms and their interaction with the ocean affect the properties of the Atlantic Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ).

The successful candidate will be part of the International Max Planck Research School on Earth System Modeling (IMPRS), as well as the Earth System Modeling and Predictions research group in the Tropical Cloud Observations Group (TCO) in the Department of Climate Physics (CPH), working under the joint supervision of Julia Windmiller and Bjorn Stevens. The TCO collects and uses observations of tropical clouds and convection in the climate system to advance understanding and test hypotheses about the role of clouds and convection in the tropics.


The ITCZ plays a central role in weather and climate in the tropics, being the main precipitation region over the tropical oceans and structures the global circulation. Recent research shows that the ITCZ has an inner life, i.e. a rich dynamical and thermodynamic structure that changes from day to day. A specific question to be addressed is how important the inner life of the ITCZ is for its outer life, by investigating how the inner life influences the efficiency of the ITCZ to export energy. To this end, the successful candidate will analyse the dynamic and thermodynamic structure of the ITCZ and relate it to the net import and export of moist static energy. This will be done firstly by testing and extending existing hypotheses based on the spatial distribution of precipitation in global high resolution simulations and reanalysis data, and secondly by validating the results with data collected during the ORCESTRA campaign. The campaign will take place in the tropical Atlantic in August and September 2024, and the successful candidate will be given the opportunity to participate in the campaign. Results will be published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at conferences.


  • A strong interest in atmospheric convection, atmospheric dynamics, and field experiments
  • A good background in mathematics and physics
  • High skills in writing scientific publications
  • Solid skills in UNIX/Linux, Python, shell scripting, processing, and visualization of simulation data
  • Ability to work both in a team and autonomously
  • Very good spoken and written English language for communication within the group and project partners and for the presentation of scientific results in international conferences are required
  • Candidates should be holding a M.Sc. degree (or equivalent; with written thesis) and have a strong academic background in meteorology, physics, geosciences or related areas


  • Participation in a challenging part of science in an international, intellectually stimulating environment
  • Access to complex workflows on the bleeding edge of what is technologically possible, as well as working for and with an open-source community
  • Very good opportunities for self-realization, freedom in and influence upon the decisions what to do, and how to do it
  • A network of very experienced and innovative colleagues within the institute, and at project partner institutions with a long-proven tradition of sharing knowledge and information
  • Attractive subsidy for job ticket in Hamburg (DeutschlandJobTicket)


The position is to be filled immediately.

Candidates will be evaluated based on their qualifications and ability to fulfill the responsibilities as outlined for this project. Payment will be in accordance with German public service positions depending on qualification (E13 TVöD, 65%), including extensive social security plans. The conditions of employment, including upgrades and duration, follow the rules of the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science and those of the German civil service. The position is in principle full time.

The Max Planck Society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals. We welcome applications from diverse backgrounds and explicitly encourage women to apply. The Max Planck Society strives for gender and diversity equality.


We look forward to receiving your online application by 29 February 2024.

For further information, please contact Dr. Julia Windmiller (

Please do not forward your application to this email address. The application documents should include a cover letter, a detailed curriculum vitae, relevant certificates, the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of two referees. All documents (PDF only) need to be submitted through this online application system.