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PhD position in high resolution regional Earth system modelling

26.07.2018 - Institute of Bio- and Geosciences – Agrosphere (IBG-3), Forschungszentrum Jülich

The Institute of Bio- and Geosciences – Agrosphere (IBG-3) belongs to the Forschungszentrum Jülich, one of the biggest research centres in Germany and part of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers. In IBG-3's Integrated Modelling Group, we perform cutting edge Earth system research on terrestrial systems and the water cycle using integrated modelling systems and advanced supercomputing technologies in close collaboration with the Jülich Supercomputing Centre.

Your Job:

  • Contribute to our range of simulations by performing convection-permitting (less 4km) continental-scale numerical model runs with the fully coupled Terrestrial Systems Modelling Platform (TerrSysMP) (ParFlow + CLM + COSMO, OASIS3-MCT) for hindcast and future time slices over Europe
  • Assess the added value in these high-resolution coupled simulations w.r.t. the reproduction of water cycle-related processes (e.g., land-atmosphere interactions, soil moisture-precipitation feedbacks, atmospheric moisture budgets), perform sensitivity studies and analyse future changes
  • Collaborate with impact modelling teams using additional data from existing regional climate change ensembles such as CORDEX; statistical analysis of regional climate change; data synthesis approaches using multiple data sources, e.g., in bias adjustment of RCMs; data provisioning

Your Profile:

  • University degree in either meteorology, geosciences, physics, computer sciences, applied mathematics, civil engineering, or equivalent
  • Some experience in conducting numerical model simulations, preferably with a regional climate model (e.g., WRF or CCLM); ideally also experience in model system setup, trouble shooting, etc.
  • Knowledge in the areas of meteorology and hydrology, and ideally in the modelling of fluxes at compartmental interfaces as well as knowledge in numerical methods is an advantage
  • Some experience in handling, processing, analysing large datasets, such as RCM ensembles; ideally some experience with advanced statistical and bias-adjustment methods
  • Proficiency to work on the command line under Linux is a must; some experience having worked in a high-performance scientific computing is a clear advantage
  • Good programming skills, e.g., using Python, Fortran, or C/C++ is a must; some experience with big datasets and scientific data formats (e.g., netCDF) is a clear advantage
  • Ability to work independently in an international, interdisciplinary team across institutes; good communication skills; very good command of the English language is necessary

Our Offer:

  • Intense PhD supervision and close collaboration
  • An exceptional research and high-performance scientific computing infrastructure at one of Europe's leading supercomputing centres
  • The thesis is embedded in an international EU project and linked to the World Climate Research Programme's (WCRP) Coordinated Regional Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) project
    Comprehensive PhD training programme; extensive possibilities for further scientific and technical Training
  • Participation in national and international conferences and workshops
  • International, interdisciplinary working environment on an attractive research campus, ideally situated between the cities of Cologne, Düsseldorf, and Aachen
  • A further training programme, including English language courses
  • Limited for 3 years
  • Salary and social benefits in conformity with the provisions of the Collective Agreement for the Civil Service (TVöD).

More information and application:

For further information about the application please contact Dr. Klaus Görgen, e-mail:

Forschungszentrum Jülich aims to employ more women in this area and therefore particulary welcomes applications from women. We also welcome applications from disabled persons.