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 “Large Scale Changes in Arctic Fresh Water and Upper Ocean circulation (CIAO)” (m/f/d)


The Arctic is important for global change particularly as sea ice declines and glacial meltwater and river inputs change. However, Arctic observations are still limited, and multiple datasets are required to comprehend the large-scale Arctic Ocean–sea ice–atmosphere system.

By examining various datasets from hydrography, sea surface height, surface winds and runoff, this project is to further our understanding of how ocean circulation and freshwater pathways change. Using output from numerical models will extend the analysis in space and time and help us understand the context of glacial meltwater and other processes at the Arctic boundary. It will also shed light on their potential effects on lower latitudes.

  • Data processing and synthesis, including statistical techniques (e.g., optimal interpolation)
  • Analysis of observations and model output using oceanographic theory
  • Combining different data products to obtain ocean velocity
  • Using output from other research to extend the analysis beyond the Arctic as well as temporally
  • Presenting the results at conferences and publishing in scientific journals
  • A good Master’s degree or the equivalent in physical oceanography or environmental science
  • A good understanding of ocean dynamics and observation
  • Willingness to join oceanographic research expeditions and collaborate with colleagues
  • Good knowledge of at least one high-level programming language (e.g., MATLAB, Python)
  • Experience in marine field work and in using reanalysis or model products are assets
  • Good communication skills in English, both oral and written
Further Information
Please contact Benjamin Rabe (; +49(471)4831-2403) and Claudia Wekerle (; +49(471)4831-1813) 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, including (1) a letter of motivation, (2) a CV and copies of relevant certificates (master’s degree; training), (3) two letters of recommendation or the contact information of two references, by September 10th, 2023. Electronic applications only.
Interviews will take place between 04th and 06th October 2023.

Reference number: 23/130/G/INSPIRES-b

posted: 04 July 2023     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.