PhD position: mountain meteorology and atmospheric modelling

University of Innsbruck, Austria
Closing date: 14 September 2018

The Atmospheric Dynamics group of the Department of Atmospheric and Cryospheric Sciences (ACINN) at the University of Innsbruck (Austria) is looking to fill a doctoral position in the field of mountain meteorology.

The PhD student will join a dynamic research group led by Prof. Mathias Rotach and will collaborate closely with other members of the team ( The position is sponsored by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) through project P 30808-N32, “Multiscale Interactions in Convection Initiation in the Alps (MICIA)”, led by principal investigator Dr. Stefano Serafin. The project deals with the processes that cause the formation of cumulus clouds near mountains during summer. In this season, convective storms occur over and near mountains more frequently than over plains. Often, convection initiation over mountains is affected by meteorological processes that operate at very different spatial and temporal scales, posing a challenge both to the scientific understanding and to the forecasting of the phenomenon. The major aspects of interest are the possible impacts of mountain waves and of terrain-induced breeze systems on convective pre-conditioning, storm initiation and storm development. These topics will be investigated through simulations with high-resolution state-of-the-art numerical weather prediction models.

The position is initially awarded for one year and will be extended to a total duration of 3 years after positive evaluation. The starting date is preferably not later than 1 December 2018. Remuneration is specified by the Austrian collective agreement for university employees (indicative figures are provided on the funding agency’s website,

Essential qualifications
Master (or equivalent) degree in Meteorology/Atmospheric Sciences or a related subject, basic experience with numerical weather prediction codes, familiarity with Linux/UNIX environments, strong motivation, positive attitude toward teamwork, excellent verbal and written communication skills including fluency in English.

Knowledge of mesoscale and mountain meteorology, demonstrated proficiency in Python and Fortran programming, familiarity with high-performance computing. Knowledge of the German language is beneficial but not required.

Applications received before Friday, 14 September 2018, will be given full consideration. The application package should be submitted via e-mail to Dr. Stefano Serafin,, and should include the following information:

  • A curriculum vitae;
  • A formal letter of motivation, explaining the reasons why you are interested in the position and why you believe you are a good candidate for it;
  • Degree transcripts and thesis abstract;
  • Publications, if any;
  • Contact information for referees (at least one, no more than three).

The University of Innsbruck aims at increasing the proportion of women at all employment levels, and therefore encourages applications by qualified women.

Candidates wishing to receive further details about the position are welcome to contact Dr. Serafin via e-mail.

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