October 2019
Message 92

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[Met-jobs] PhD position in Atmospheric Science

From "Laube, Johannes" <>
To "" <>
Date Mon, 28 Oct 2019 08:01:04 +0000

The Institute for Climate and Energy 7: Stratosphere at the Juelich Research Centre, Germany, are seeking a PhD student as part of the HITEC Call 2019/2020 (

Research Project #10: Investigating changes in the stratosphere with innovative measurement techniques (IEK-7)

A new high sensitivity measurement system based on gas chromatography and mass spectrometry has recently been constructed at the FZJ. It allows for the detection of multiple atmospheric trace gases. Despite their very low abundances many of such gases can have disproportionally large environmental impacts [1,2].

The project will focus on a novel technique that allows to retrieve air from the stratosphere, notably from altitude ranges that are not accessible with aircraft. This Aircore technique [3] is based on launching small sensors on balloons into the stratosphere and has been developed further to allow for the measurements of over 20 trace gases including CO2, CH4, CO, CFCs, PFCs, and other pollutants.

IEK-7 is currently establishing a regular launch program with the aim of investigating changes in stratospheric composition, chemistry and circulation through the distributions of these trace gases. The importance of such observations is underlined by the current discrepancies between climate models, which are predicting an acceleration of the circulation due to climate change, and previous observations, which do not show such a clear picture. Complications arise from many factors such as the ongoing recovery of the ozone layer and volcanic eruptions.

Key objectives of the proposed PhD project:

  • Investigating the seasonal and interannual variability in stratospheric abundances of 20+ trace gases
  • Exploring air mass origins and implications for stratospheric transport

 Tasks to be completed:

  • Launching Aircores between late 2020 and early 2022 including the respective measurements
  • Developing continuous improvements to the launch and measurement setups including further miniaturization and expanding the range of measurable species
  • Comparing the results with others including those from earlier Aircore launches, aircraft and by satellite-based instruments
  • Scientific data interpretation including comparisons with model results

 [1] J. C. Laube et al., “Newly detected ozone depleting substances in the atmosphere“, Nature Geoscience, 2014.

[2] J. C. Laube et al., “Distributions, long term trends and emissions of four perfluorocarbons in remote parts of the atmosphere and firn air“, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 2012.

[3] A. Karion et al., “AirCore - An Innovative Atmospheric Sampling System“,J. Atmos. Ocean. Technol., 2010.

Project requirements

M.Sc. degree in Atmospheric Sciences, Chemistry or a related field; preferably experience in analytical chemistry and/or meteorology

Project information

  • Location of the HITEC Fellow:
    Forschungszentrum Jülich, Institute of Energy and Climate Research, Stratosphere (IEK-7), Director: Prof. Dr. Martin Riese

Apply here for HITEC 2019/2020 #10

HITEC welcomes applications from any qualified applicants, regardless of gender, ethnicity or country of origin. However, candidates will only be considered if eligibility requirements are met and the application rules are strictly adhered to.

General Requirements

Applicants should hold a M.Sc. (Master’s) or equivalent degree in Physics, Chemistry, Materials Sciences, Meteorology, Mathematics, Engineering or related sciences, including a written masters research thesis. Specific requirements are indicated for each project.

It is not mandatory that you have completed your degree by the time you submit your application. However, the expected date of your final exam should not be later than June/July 2020.

The integration in national and international co-operations requires the willingness to cooperate in teams. We expect that you are able to communicate your results in oral and written form in very good English.


After closing of the call the applications will be reviewed. Only complete applications will be considered. The best candidates will be invited to Germany for a week - from 30 March - 07 April 2020 - to join the respective research group at Forschungszentrum Jülich. You will receive an email notification about the invitation in December 2019. All costs will be covered by HITEC. The task during this one week is to jointly work on the project idea with the group members and your supervisor to turn it into an outstanding and convincing PhD project. On the last day of their stay the candidates will present their projects to the members of the HITEC Advisory Board. The nine best candidates will be nominated for a HITEC fellowship.

General information

Fellowships offered: Up to 9


  • Deadline for submitting the complete application: 01 December 2019
  • Notification about invitation: December 2019
  • Candidates week in Germany: 29 March 2020 (Arrival) until 08 April 2020 (Departure)
  • Presentation of the project to the HITEC Advisory Board: 07 April 2020
  • Start of PhD: June 2020 at the earliest, later starts are possible

HITEC fellows will be employed by Forschungszentrum Jülich as a PhD student in the form of a written contract of employment. Salary and social benefits will be conform with the provisions of the Collective Agreement for the Civil Service (TVöD).
Financial support will be granted for three years. Candidates will be able to finish their dissertation in this period.

6 steps to a successful application

  • Step 1  
    Choose one project or one research field for application.
    If you want to apply for more than 1 project or research field, please note: you have to file a seperate application form for each project or research field.
  • Step 2
    Make sure that you get all the information about your project: check the websites of the institutes for more information about their research.
  • Step 3        
    Register in the online recruitment system. You get access to the recruitment system via the individual project or research field.
    You will receive an automatically generated email with your password for login and some information about the technicalities.
    If you apply for several projects use your password to login, you will find your personal data saved.
  • Step 4
    Probably, two letters of reference are required from faculty members or others well aquinted with your work. Within the online recruitment system you are therefore asked to provide contact data of two possible referees.
  • Step 5
    Add your attachments. Some are marked as mandatory. Details here.
  • Step 6
    Complete your application until 01 December 2019.
    You can work on your application until you send it. However, please note: the data will be only transferred to us after you click 'approve application'.



Dr. Johannes Laube

IEK-7: Stratosphere

ERC Starting Grant EXC3ITE:


Forschungszentrum Juelich GmbH

52425 Juelich

Sitz der Gesellschaft: Juelich

Eingetragen im Handelsregister des Amtsgerichts Dueren Nr. HR B 3498

Vorsitzender des Aufsichtsrats: MinDir Volker Rieke

Geschaeftsfuehrung: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Marquardt (Vorsitzender),

Karsten Beneke (stellv. Vorsitzender), Prof. Dr.-Ing. Harald Bolt,

Prof. Dr. Sebastian M. Schmidt



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