The section Atmospheric Physics at the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) invites applications for a permanent scientist position with the focus on "Boundary layer processes in the polar atmosphere".


The polar climate and especially the atmospheric boundary layer are strongly influenced by air-ice-ocean interaction processes, which are governing the exchange of energy, humidity and momentum. A realistic description requires the inclusion of horizontally inhomogeneous sea ice and cloud cover. Even in high resolution climate models these processes can be accounted for only by parameterizations, which depend on sea ice roughness, thermal stratification in variable synoptic forcing, and on forcing by local clouds and radiation. To improve our understanding of the various processes, measurements in the polar regions will be combined with numerical modelling on various spatial and temporal scales.

You will work on the topics turbulence and flow regimes as well as air mass transformation during their drift across the polar oceans. The position is part of the analysis of aircraft measurements at AWI-Bremerhaven in the group Polar Meteorology, which is a part of the research section “Atmospheric Physics”. Sea ice-atmosphere interaction in varying circulation regimes should be investigated and parameterized based on existing and new aircraft measurements (e.g. in the Fram Strait region between Greenland and Svalbard). The application of a meso/microscale model is of advantage. Results should be used for validation and improvement of turbulence parametrizations in climate models.

During the first 3 years you should follow a DFG funded project (‚Arctic Amplification‘ (AC3)) and should become the PI of a subproject. Later, the topics can be extended and can be adjusted to the developing research questions. However, aircraft measurements and their analysis should be continued.


  • Analysis of existing and future measurements of air mass transformation and turbulent processes in the atmospheric boundary layer. New aircraft measurements will play an important role, which are obtained by instrumentation at the aircraft and at a new tethered sonde.
  • Planning and implementation of new airborne measurement programs for sea ice-ocean-atmosphere interaction. This should be done in connection with the stations AWIPEV (Svalbard) and Neumayer (Antarctica).
  • Validation and improvement of boundary layer parametrizations in climate models based on observations. Focus of this work will be the ICON-based model hierarchy of the section Atmospheric Physics.
  • Modellstudies using a mesoscale model, Large Eddy Simulation model (LES) or Boxmodel will be of advantage

It is expected that after some time the candidate will lead the group Polar Meteorology in the section Atmospheric Physics.


  • Excellent PhD in Physics, meteorology, or related subject.
  • Knowledge in numerical modelling of atmospheric processes and analysis of results, experience with the development of parametrizations or their application.
  • Knowledge about atmospheric boundary layer processes.
  • Profound skills in scientific programming, statistics and data analysis.
  • Excellent reporting and presentation abilities and demonstrated track record of presentations at international conferences and publications in high ranking scientific journals.

Additional skills and knowledge

  • Experience in application of flow models and analysis of their results.
  • Knowledge about turbulent processes and the determination of turbulent quantities based on high resolution measurements and their role in air mass transformation during horizontal transport.
  • Experience with the organization and implementation of polar expeditions or of other field campaigns.
  • Knowledge about polar climate processes.

Further Information

Please contact Sabine Helbig (; +49(331) 581745200) for further information.

This is a full-time position, limited to 2 years with the potential to become a permanent employment. It is also suitable for part-time employment. The salary will be paid in accordance with the Collective Agreement for the Public Service of the Federation (Tarifvertrag des öffentlichen Dienstes, TVöD Bund), up to salary level 14. The place of employment will be Bremerhaven.

We look forward to your application!
Please submit your application by January 22nd 2023, exclusively online (
Reference number 22/179/G/Kli-tt

The AWI is characterized by

  • our scientific success - excellent research
  • collaboration and cooperation - intra-institute, national and international, interdisciplinary
  • opportunities to develop – on the job, aiming at other positions and beyond AWI
  • a culture of reconciling work and family – an audited and well-supported aspect of our operation
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Equal opportunities are an integral part of our personnel policy. The AWI aims to increase the number of female employees and therefore strongly encourages qualified women to apply.

Disabled applicants will be given preference when equal qualifications are present.

The AWI fosters the compatibility of work and family in various ways and has received a number of awards as a result of this engagement.

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