2 PhD positions in atmospheric dynamics and weather extremes

University of Bern, Switzerland
Closing date: 28 June 2022

The University of Bern invites applications for two 3.5-yr PhD positions within the SNF Project “Dynamics of persistent extreme summer weather in Europe”. The main goal of this project is to study the dynamical pathways leading to extreme summer weather in Europe in reanalysis and CESM-LENS2 data. The two PhD positions will be part of the Mobiliar Group for Climate Impact Research at the University of Bern. In this group we study and quantify the spatio-temporal characteristics of weather and risks, the atmospheric dynamics leading to hazardous weather and impacts upon the Swiss society. The group is part of the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of Bern.

Job description

Position 1: Statistics and dynamics of persistent surface weather extremes
Starting from identifying persistent surface weather conditions in Europe in the CEMS-LENS2 large ensemble data set the aim is to provide descriptive statistics of the persistent extreme events, to quantify changes due to global warming, and to study the dynamics driving the persistent surface extremes in the large ensemble data set using causal discovery. The project will be co-supervised by Dim Coumou and Mathieu Vrac with the opportunity to visit their research groups during the PhD.

Position 2: Jet waveguide dynamics
Starting from identifying persistent jet periods over the Euro-Atlantic basin in the CEMS-LENS2 ensemble data set, the aim is to understand the dynamics governing the persistent jet states, in particular the roles of Rossby wave breaking and diabatic processes will be investigated. The links of persistent jet states to persistent surface extremes and sub-seasonal predictability will be explored in collaboration with the PhD working in position 1. The project will be co-supervised by Tim Woollings with the opportunity to visit his research group during the PhD.

The research foci of the two PhD positions are complementary and the PhDs are expected to collaborate closely with each other.

Your profile

Requirements are a master’s degree in atmospheric, climate, or environmental science, but applications from other relevant backgrounds such as statistics or physics and/or operational / industry experience with demonstrated knowledge of atmospheric science will also be considered. Besides being enthusiastic about weather and climate research, applicants should have a strong quantitative background. For both positions a strong background in meteorology and intermediate knowledge in statistics is an advantage. Solid programming skills are required for both positions. The ability to communicate effectively is desired. Applicants are expected to be fluent in English.

The expected starting date is 1.10.2022 with some flexibility and the positions (100% working contract, salary follows University of Bern regulations) are available for a duration of 3.5 years with the possibility to extend to a maximum of 4 years.


The University of Bern looks forward to receiving your application with the relevant documents (cover letter, CV, diploma certificates, a link to your MSc thesis (draft or final version), two professional references). The application is open until June 28. Interviews will take place in early July. Please send one PDF containing all documents to olivia.martius@giub.unibe.ch .

Further information about the Climate Impacts group can be found on this website
For further information regarding the position, please contact Olivia Martius.

The University of Bern encourages an inclusive culture. Applications from qualified women are highly