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Job advertisement Research Assistants (PhD student) in Environmental Physics

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European Geosciences Union

Research Assistants (PhD student) in Environmental Physics

Research Assistants (PhD student) in Environmental Physics

Institute of Envirionmental Physics, University of Bremen, Germany logo

Institute of Envirionmental Physics, University of Bremen, Germany

Open to unconventional approaches in research and teaching, the University of Bremen has retained its character as a place of short distances for people and ideas since its founding in 1971. With a broad range of subjects, we combine exceptional performance and innovative potential. As an ambitious research university, we stand for research-based learning approaches and a pronounced interdisciplinary orientation. We actively pursue international scientific cooperation in a spirit of global partnership.

Today, around 23,000 people learn, teach, research and work on our international campus. In research and teaching, administration and operations, we are firmly committed to the goals of sustainability, climate justice and climate neutrality. Our Bremen spirit is expressed in the courage to dare new things, in supportive cooperation, in respect and appreciation for each other. With our study and research profile and as part of the European YUFE network, we assume social responsibility in the region, in Europe and in the world.

The university is family-friendly, diverse and sees itself as an international university. We therefore welcome all applicants regardless of gender, nationality, ethnic and social origin, religion/belief, disability, age, sexual orientation and identity.

As the University of Bremen intends to increase the proportion of female employees in science, women are particularly encouraged to apply.

Disabled applicants will be given priority if their professional and personal qualifications are essentially the same.


Bremen, Germany


Relevant divisions
Atmospheric Sciences (AS)
Climate: Past, Present & Future (CL)
Cryospheric Sciences (CR)

Part time

Entry level

According to German federal pay scale E 13 TV-L (75 %)

Preferred education

Application deadline
3 July 2024

4 June 2024

Job description

The Institute of Environmental Physics (IUP) at the University of Bremen is looking at the earliest possible date for

two research assistant (PhD students) (f/m/d)
German federal pay scale E 13 TV-L (75 %) limited to 3 years (according to § 2 WissZeitVG)

on the research topic
Remote sensing of aerosols and their properties in the Arctic using satellite data

Both positions are embedded in the third phase of the very successful Collaborative Research Center (AC)³, which is funded by the German Research Foundation. (AC)³ aims to develop a better scientific understanding of Arctic amplification (and thus Arctic warming).

Climate models have difficulties in simulating Arctic mixed-phase clouds at low altitudes. A significant part of this difficulty is attributed to the inadequate representation of aerosol particles. Aerosols are a heterogeneous mixture of solid or liquid suspended particles in the air. Arctic aerosols are measured at only a few ground-based stations or during time-limited measurement campaigns. For this reason, Arctic aerosols are relatively poorly characterized. It is therefore important to be able to use satellite data to derive aerosol quantities in order to significantly increase the knowledge base.

The advertised positions thus deal with Arctic aerosols derived from satellite data. This involves the need to investigate changes in the spatial aerosol distribution and its properties as well as the effects on Arctic amplification.

The individual satellite data sets cover a range of 60°N and 90°N and approximately two decades and have been (or will be) derived using data from a number of satellite radiometers. In order to be able to observe the spatial distribution and temporal changes, existing data sets of the aerosol quantity (characterized by the Aerosol Optical Thickness, AOD) are to be examined.

Task for the first PhD student (position 1)

  • Integration: First, existing AOD data sets are to be merged and validated.
  • Trends: Trends are to be determined from this data set and analyzed together with the spatial and temporal patterns of the data set on the pan-arctic scale. Model results should also be included.
  • Analysis of Arctic amplification: Finally, data sets will be evaluated with regard to Arctic amplification and feedback mechanisms. The project will work closely with the (AC)³ partners at the University of Leipzig and Cologne, the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) and TROPOS (Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research).

Task for the second PhD student (position 2)

  • Gap filling and extension: The AOD datasets contain temporal gaps that need to be filled and extended in terms of temporal length. It must be tested to what extent existing data sets from established satellite missions are suitable for filling these gaps or can act as an extension. The individual data sets must then be validated.
  • Analysis with regard to biomass burning and phytoplankton: Partial or the entire data set should then be analyzed with regard to subarctic biomass burning and changes in aquatic chlorophyll growth. In cooperation with partners of the (AC)³ consortium, the extent to which new maritime sources of aerosols can be observed will be investigated.

What you get:

  • You will receive intensive training in the field of satellite data analysis from employees of the IUP and the (AC)³ network by experts in this field.
  • You work closely with globally recognized colleagues from the University of Bremen and the (AC)³ partners.
  • You are part of the very active doctoral network within the (AC)³ project.

The activities are carried out in the cloud and aerosol group led by Dr. Marco Vountas. Information about the specific working group can be found here: The group is part of Professor Hartmut Bösch’s “Physics and Chemistry of the Atmosphere” department. The group and higher-level departments offer a very good working atmosphere and facilities in an international working environment. Further general information can be found at:

How to apply

Please send your application with informative documents: including a cover letter with a statement of personal research interest, CV with references to technical and scientific qualifications, list of publications (if available), certificates and if possible contact information of two references, indicating the job id A210-24 by 03.07.2024 to

University of Bremen
Institute of Environmental Physics
Secretariat Prof. Dr. H. Bösch
Ms Stephanie Drath
Otto-Hahn-Allee 1
D-28359 Bremen

or as a PDF file by unencrypted electronic mail to: sdrath[at]

Please indicate which of the two positions you are interested in or whether you are applying for both positions.

We kindly ask you to send us only copies (no portfolios) of your application documents, as we cannot return them. They will be destroyed after the selection process has been completed.

Eventual costs arising from your application cannot be reimbursed.