PhD scholarship in Physics and Atmospheric Complexity

University of Copenhagen
Closing date: 01 October 2019

The Niels Bohr Institute, Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen, is offering a PhD scholarship in Physics and Atmospheric Complexity commencing 1 January 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter. 

Description of the scientific environment

The Niels Bohr Institute is one of the leading physics institutes in Europe. The ERC-funded interdisciplinary Atmospheric Complexity ( team at Niels Bohr Institute is seeking a creative, self-driven, and highly motivated PhD student. The team’s focus is on the physics of atmospheric self-organization on varying spatio-temporal scales, in particular on the interaction of the convective cloud field and the origin of extreme precipitation in a changing climate. The team uses methods from non-equilibrium statistical physics, fluid dynamics and geoscience to describe, understand and generalize complex processes in the atmosphere. The university offers a creative, international and strongly interdisciplinary work environment.

Project description

Please propose your own project!

You will be working as part of the Atmospheric Complexity team and the complex systems community at Niels Bohr Institute, as well as collaborate with climate modeling and meteorological institutes. In tight collaboration with the team, you will be able to propose new theoretical approaches or suggest new ways to look at observational data, as well as design and analyze numerical experiments, e.g. by using high-resolution fluid dynamics simulations. You will have the opportunity to make strong research contributions within the field of convective self-organization, but will also be free to explore adjacent areas within complex systems research. You should be interested in building mathematical models of complex systems. Solid computational and mathematical skills will be necessary. Curiosity, personal drive, as well as strong social and communication skills are expected. Some experience with climate data would be beneficial but is not required.

Principal supervisor is Associate Professor Jan O. Haerter, Niels Bohr Institute,

Job description
The position is available for a 3-year period and your key tasks as a PhD student at SCIENCE are:

  • To manage and carry through your research project
  • Attend PhD courses
  • Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
  • Teach and disseminate your research
  • To stay at an external research institution for a few months, preferably abroad
  • Work for the department

Formal requirements
Applicants should hold an MSc degree in Physics, Mathematics, or a related discipline, with good results and good English skills. As criteria for the assessment of your qualifications emphasis will also be laid on previous publications (if any) and relevant work experience.

Terms of employment
The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

The starting salary is currently at a minimum DKK 322,642 (approx. €43,015) including annual supplement (+ pension up to DKK 44,567). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

Application Procedure
The application, in English, must be submitted through the website

 Please include

  • Cover Letter
  • CV
  • Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc)
  • Acceptance Letter for the relevant MSc Programme at SCIENCE, if any
  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications (if any), MSc thesis (PDF)
  • Full contact details (Name, address, telephone & email) of 1-3 professional referees

The University wishes the staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

The deadline for applications is 01 October 2019.

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee. Afterwards an assessment committee will be appointed to evaluate the selected applications. The applicants will be notified of the composition of the committee and the final selection of a successful candidate will be made by the Head of Department, based on the recommendations of the assessment committee and the interview committee.

The main criterion for selection will be the research potential of the applicant and the above mentioned skills. The successful candidate will then be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD school of Science. You can read more about the recruitment process at


For specific information about the PhD scholarship, please contact the principal supervisor: Associate Professor Jan O. Haerter, Niels Bohr Institute,

General information about PhD programmes at SCIENCE is available at

TALENT doctoral program:


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