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1 x 65% PhD position (f/m/d)

The Institute of Environmental Physics (IUP) at the University of Bremen offers  - under the condition of job release - at the earliest possible date a
3-year PhD position (f/m/d)
German federal pay scale E13 TV-L (65 %)

in the research area

Analysis of  top-of-atmosphere radiation over the Arctic as well as to retrieve and analyse cloud properties for historical and current satellite data.

The time limitation is subject to the scientific qualification according to the Act of Academic Fixed-Term Contract, §2 (1) (WissZeitVG – Wissenschaftszeitvertrags-gesetz). Therefore, candidates may only be considered if they dispose of the respective scope of qualification periods according to §2 (1) WissZeitVG.

The post is embedded into the second phase of the Collaborative Research Center (Transregio TR172) "Arctic Amplification: Climate Relevant Atmospheric and Surfacean Processes and Feedback Mechanisms (AC)³", funded by the German Research Foundation starting January 1st, 2020. The overall project aims to improve the understanding of the processes that cause the onset of Arctic warming. One core aspect is to use modeling and observation approaches in a synergetic way. Therefore, close cooperation with national partners (Universities of Leipzig and Cologne, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research and TROPOS, Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research) is envisaged.

One of the scientific objectives of the task is to study changes in reflectivity in the Arctic region and beyond (60°N-90°N) by spectral observations from UV to thermal infrared using various satellite-based instruments (e.g., GOME2, SCIAMACHY, Sentinel-5p, IASI). After that, an assessment of the changes in the cloud properties is to be carried out. Especially clouds over snow and ice play a very important role. Data sets from the first phase of (AC)³ as well as new developments are to be promoted in this area: in the area of cloud retrievals during polar night as well as the temporal extension of the existing datasets. Time series analyses that allow the determination of changes / trends shall be assessed with dedicated climate modeling.

During the first half, the doctoral student will work closely with the Multidisciplinary Drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC). The focus of the expedition is related to the (AC)³ project and requires about one year of satellite data analysis of clouds, surface and aerosol parameters, which the candidate has to create, select, prepare and deliver with the team. Data will be evaluated or visualized along the drift route of the ship and on larger scales. Conversely, the ship measurements will also help to validate the satellite data evaluations.


  • Required is a scientific degree (diploma or master of science in physics, geophysics, environmental physics, meteorology, mathematics or computer science). The overall average grade should be better than 2.0 (according to German grading system) or better than B (English grade)
  • The candidate should have good to very good experience in Unix / Linux working environments and very good programming skills in at least one high level language
  • Already existing knowledge in dealing with satellite data is expected
  • Candidates should have a strong interest in atmospheric science with a focus on light scattering, radiation transfer, remote sensing / observation and climate
  • Candidates should bring a creative and independent research mentality
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills in written and spoken English

The activities are performed in the Cloud, Aerosol and Surface Parameter Retrieval – group led by Dr. Marco Vountas – within the Department of Professor John P. Burrows at the IUP / IFE (University of Bremen). The group and institute provide a very good working atmosphere and facilities in an international working environment. Further general information can be found here: Information about the specific working group can be found here:

As the University of Bremen intends to increase the proportion of female employees in science, women are particularly encouraged to apply. In case of equal personal aptitudes and qualification priority will be given to disabled persons.


For more information. please contact Dr. Marco Vountas (vountasprotect me ?!iup.physik.uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de).

Please send your application documents, including a cover letter stating the research interest, a curriculum vitae with research and technical background as they relate to the position, a list of publications (if applicable), transcripts and contact information of, at least, two referees until February 26, 2020 by indicating the job id A12/20 to:

Institut für Umweltphysik
Universität Bremen FB1
Marco Vountas
Otto-Hahn-Allee 1
D-28359 Bremen

or (as a single PDF file) by e-mail: vountasprotect me ?!iup.physik.uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

For applicants wishing to send your applicants by surface mail, please send us your application on plain paper (no folders) and do not send us original certificates as we are not able to return your applications.



Created on 31.01.20 by Alexandra Gutherz