The Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) is a member of the Helmholtz Association (HGF) and funded by federal and state government. AWI focuses on polar and marine research in a variety of disciplines such as biology, oceanography, geology, geochemistry and geophysics, thus allowing multidisciplinary approaches to scientific goals.

PhD position "Eddy-rich Earth System Modelling: Mesoscale ocean processes in a warming world" (m/f/d)


The Climate Dynamics section at the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) in Bremerhaven, Germany, invites applications for a PhD student position in the field of eddy-rich climate modelling with a focus on polar regions.

You will work with some of the leading European climate modellers and IT experts in the EU Horizon Europe project "European Eddy-rich Earth System Models (EERIE)" on building, running and analysing a new generation of Earth System Models that are capable of explicitly representing a crucially important, yet unexplored regime of the Earth system - the ocean mesoscale (~10 km at the equator to few km at high latitudes).


You will be part of a team responsible for analyzing eddy-rich climate change simulations (1950-2100) with the IFS-FESOM model. More specifically, you will analyze how mesoscale processes in the world's ocean (e.g., eddies) change in a warming climate, and how they impact extreme events and large-scale changes - including possible climate surprises (i.e., eddy-rich simulations lie outside the range of previous CMIP simulations). This will also include the development of storylines of the impacts of climate change as well as the influence of freshwater pulses on the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation in eddy-rich models. On the more administrative side you will also contribute to reporting activities.


A master in climate science, atmospheric physics, oceanography, physics, informatics or a related field is required (excellent or very good grading). In-depth knowledge of at least one programming language (e.g., Python or R) is also expected. Furthermore, excellent English skills, both written and spoken, are required. Given that the success of this project hinges on effective collaboration between partners, strong communication skills and the ability to work in teams are both a necessity.

Having some of the following skills would be a distinct advantage:

  • Demonstrated skill/proficiency in working with climate models (development, running and/or analysis)
  • Experience with Unix systems
  • Good understanding of climate dynamics, especially related to sea ice and ocean processes
  • Experience with HPC systems
  • Experience in publishing research in peer-reviewed journals
  • Presentation of results in front of peers and the general public
  • Experience with publishing datasets and software

Further Information

Please contact Prof Thomas Jung (; +49 15146722091) or Dr Nikolay Koldunov (, @oceanographer on Twitter) 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, aiming at other positions and beyond AWI
  • a culture of reconciling work and family - an audited and well-supported aspect of our operation
  • our outstanding research infrastructure - ships, stations, aircraft, laboratories and more
  • an international environment - everyday contacts with people from all over the world
  • having an influence - fundamental research with social and political relevance
  • flat hierarchies - facilitating freedom and responsibility
  • exciting science topics, with opportunities also in technology, administration and infrastructure

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

AWI offers the possibility of mobile working to the extent of up to 50% of regular working hours.

Disabled applicants 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 January 31st 2023, exclusively online.

Reference number:23/9/D/Kli-b

posted: 13 January 2023     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.