June 2018
Message 5

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[Met-jobs] PhD on convective aggregation in the tropics at ICTP/University of Trieste

From Tompkins <>
Date Tue, 05 Jun 2018 14:13:04 +0200

Deadline for application is June 14th 2018

A funded PhD grant is available for applicants of any nationality in the joint University of Trieste/ICTP/OGS PhD programme on Earth Science, Fluid Dynamics and Mathematics, under the supervision of myself, Adrian Tompkins, and Fred Kucharski.

The PhD research will focus on convection in the tropics and its role in climate. Recent work (Emanuel et al. JAMES, 2014) suggests that convection may cluster more strongly over warmer sea surface temperatures, which could lead to a  negative feedback on climate.  If this process operates at small scales not resolved by climate models it is likely to be missing from their parameterization schemes and could possibly imply climate models overestimate climate sensitivity.  The focus of the PhD project would be to use a combination of high resolution, convective permitting models, in tandem with observations and simplified climate models, to examine questions such as:

-       The nature of convective clustering onset and break up

-       Are clustered states “sticky”? – is there a hysteresis behaviour?

-       The sensitivity of clustering to boundary conditions such as the surface temperature

-       How can clustering be represented in larger scale models?

-    Do observations support modelling studies?

Candidates can have a background in mathematics, physics or meteorology. Experience in meteorology is not necessary as ICTP offers a full range of courses that can be followed in the first year of the PhD to provide the required background; thus a strong motivation for the research topic is sufficient. Good experience in programming (particularly in FORTRAN) is definitely an advantage, however.

ICTP is an international research centre located directly on the Adriatic sea in north-east Italy, 8km from the city of Trieste, and a short drive to the Alps.  It is vibrant international environment with over 4000 international researchers and students each year attending a wide range of conferences, schools and workshops. The working language at the centre is English.


The Italian entry requirement for a PhD is a Masters degree equivalent of an Italian Laurea Magistrale. However, international applicants lacking a masters degree can alternatively demonstrate that they have the necessary qualifications to enter a PhD programme in the country of their nationality. 


Further details of the PhD programme:

Application process and the application form:

ICTP website:

Deadline for application is June 14th 2018.
Adrian Tompkins        
Earth System Physics   
ICTP, Trieste, Italy

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