March 2012
Message 50

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[Met-jobs] PhD studentship on West African monsoon, University of Leeds

From Peter Knippertz <>
Date Thu, 15 Mar 2012 16:44:24 +0000

The Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science within the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds, UK is
looking for an excellent candidate for a NERC-funded PhD CASE studentship with the UK Met Office.

Project Summary
In West Africa the timing of monsoon onset is one of the most important factors for agricultural planning, affecting large parts of the population in this highly vulnerable region. Current attempts to forecast the onset date using statistical tools and/or dynamical models show low skill. Past research suggests that the onset is controlled by a range of factors including sea-surface temperatures, soil moisture and the strength and position of the Saharan heat low. However, the interplay of these processes and how to best represent them in dynamical models are still not fully understood. This studentship will use recent data from field campaigns along with the Met Office Unified Model to investigate the physical mechanisms of the monsoon onset and how to improve predictions on seasonal timescales. The project will contribute to the DfID-Met Office Climate Science Research Partnership (CSRP) and the Africa Process Evaluation Group (PEG) at the Met Office. The shared supervision between Leeds and the Met Office will provide strong support for the PhD candidate and ensure application of the results in forecast operations. This way the project is expected to contribute to improving food security within West African communities in the long run.

Please note that only UK students are eligible. 
More information on the project and on how to apply can be found at

Informal enquiries should be sent to Dr Peter Knippertz (

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