PhD Position (Research Associate) (m/f/d)

for the project A5: The Land-ocean transition zone, in the framework of the DFG Cluster of Excellence "CliCCS-Climate, Climate Change and Society"

code no. 2019/KS 1
The place of employment is Geesthacht, Germany.

Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Institute of Coastal Research invites applications for a PhD position (Research Associate) (m/f/d) for the project A5: The Land-ocean transition zone, in the framework of the DFG Cluster of Excellence ´CliCCS-Climate, Climate Change and Society´. The Institute of coastal research at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht hosts a number of highly motivated and experienced researchers in the broad field of coastal research. Our research focus lies on coastal system research with specific expertise in regional coupled modelling on regional and coastal scales. At Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht numerical models are developed with the aim to determine the past and current state of the environment and to understand the impact of major drivers for future changes in the system.

The Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht is partner in CliCCS, an ambitious research program at the University of Hamburg, which is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and part of Germany’s Excellence Strategy. CliCCS aims to understand climate changes, taking into account internal variability, extreme events, and unexpected side effects, addressing the natural and social spheres as well as their interactions. CliCCS’ overarching research question is: Which climate futures are possible and which are plausible? The programme will investigate how climate changes and how society changes with it, thereby feeding back on climate. It will identify those climate futures that are consistent with both climate and social dynamics (possible), and those we expect to unfold with appreciable probability (plausible).

The position is for the duration of 36 months and commences on 01. April 2019. CliCCS PhD candidates are members of the SICCS graduate school, which aims to help young academics thrive through all stages of their training, for more information please check the link: Graduate School (


Duties include academic services in the project named above. Research associates can also pursue independent research and further academic qualifications.

Specific Duties:

The candidate will study shelf-specific coupled physical-biogeochemical processes and their role for carbon cycling and biogeochemical turnover through a combination of data analysis and advanced shelf sea modelling. The PhD candidate will apply and extend existing coupled physical-biogeochemical models and support the implementation of shelf specific processes in the global ICON-coast and ICON-ESM model framework. Active cooperation with climate scientists from different disciplines at the University of Hamburg and the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology is expected.


  • master or diploma in climate science or related disciplines
  • strong interest in marine physical and biogeochemical processes
  • good knowledge in oceanography and biogeochemistry
  • experience in scientific programming with FORTRAN and related analysing programming languages (e. g. MATLAB, R, Python)
  • the candidate must have either profound knowledge in English - native or TOEFL-score with a minimum of 25 in each of the four sections or equivalent (e. g. "DAAD-Sprachzeugnis") - or German (native or "Deutsches Sprachdiplom", Stufe 1) with good knowledge in English
  • good communication skills and ability to work in an interdisciplinary team of various fields of geosciences

We offer:

  • multinational work environment with over 950 colleagues from more than 50 nations
  • extensive options of vocational training (i. a. expert seminars, language courses or leadership seminars)
  • flexible working hours and various models to ensure the compatibility of family and career
  • excellent infrastructure, including a scientific in-house library as well as modern work spaces
  • remuneration according to the standards of the collective wage agreement TV-AVH including further social benefits
  • cooperation within an interdisciplinary project team and within the Cluster of Excellence at the University of Hamburg

The promotion of equal rights is a matter of course for us. Severely disabled persons and these equals severely disabled persons who are equally suitable for the position will be considered preferentially within the framework of legal requirements.