PhD candidate position (m/w/d) in the project „Enabling Lagrangian Particle Tracking for High-resolution and unstructurEd meshes (ELPHE)”

Deadline: 28th April 2024

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel is a foundation under public law jointly financed by the Federal Republic of Germany (90%) and the State of Schleswig-Holstein (10%). It is one of the internationally leading institutions in the field of marine research.

Through our research and our commitment to the transfer of knowledge and technology, we contribute significantly to the preservation of the function and protection of the ocean for future generations. The research unit Ocean Dynamics at GEOMAR uses large amounts of data generated by numerical ocean models and observations to advance our understanding of physical processes in the oceans and the climate system. Scientific foci are, among others, i) the global relevance of oceanic eddies, turbulence, and upwelling, ii) the interaction of different physical processes und their role in ocean mixing, iii) scale interactions between ocean and atmosphere, and iv) the role of the oceans and their circulation in the climate system. These foci are imbedded in the research division 1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics at GEOMAR, requiring a close collaboration between research units that carry out measurements and those that do climate modelling, as well as further interdisciplinary collaborations.

The PhD candidate will contribute to the evaluation and interpretation of ocean models and our understanding of particle pathways in the oceanic circulation. In particular, the focus is on particle paths in the Atlantic and how these depend on different ocean models and their ability to accurately represent physical processes and regimes. Data from three state-of-the-art ocean models will be used, namely ICON, FESOM, and NEMO. The PhD candidate will use the Lagrangian Ocean Analysis Toolbox Parcels to compute the particle paths based on such model data, conceptualize new adjustments to the toolbox, support the implementation and test new options. This work is part of the research project „Enabling Lagrangian Particle Tracking for High-resolution and unstructurEd meshes (ELPHE)” in the context of the funding measure „Development of a new extremely high-resolution global climate model (WarmWorld)“ of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The project will involve close collaboration with project partners from the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, the Utrecht University and an external software development company. This collaboration enables the direct intercomparison between models as well as comprehensive physical analysis und further development of the particle tracking methodology. The PhD candidate is therefore not only directly working as part of a larger, interdisciplinary and team-oriented group at GEOMAR but will also have the opportunity of regularly visiting the partner institutions.  

The research unit Ocean Dynamics of the research division 1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics is offering a

PhD candidate position (m/w/d)

in the project „Enabling Lagrangian Particle Tracking for High-resolution and unstructurEd meshes (ELPHE)”

starting as soon as possible (subject to financial project approval). The position offers the possibility to attain a doctoral degree in natural sciences.

Job Description

  • Application, adjustment and testing of particle tracking to ocean model data from ICON, FESOM and NEMO
  • Physical analysis and interpretation of particle paths based on high-resolution numerical simulations of the ocean
  • Close collaboration with project partners and an external software development company
  • Publication of scientific results in the fields of ocean science in international journals and presentations at international conferences



  • Completed (master’s) studies in oceanography, climate science, physics, applied mathematics, or another related field
  • Experience in programming (e.g. FORTRAN, Python) and in analyzing and interpreting data sets
  • Ability to work in a team, open-mindedness, creativity and determination
  • Very good command of English in speech and writing


  • Experience in climate and/or ocean modelling (e.g. with ICON, FESOM or NEMO); experience in ocean dynamics and/or theoretical oceanography
  • Experience with analyzing large datasets

At a workplace, directly on the Kiel Fjord with many leisure and recreational opportunities, we offer you:

  • Good conditions for work-life balance: We offer, among other things, the possibility of mobile working and individual working time arrangements, vacation courses for the children of our employees, and good support in finding a place in a daycare center at the Kiel site
  • Support services for professional and personal life situations
  • An exciting work environment with the opportunity to provide important impetus for the development of sustainable solutions
  • Exciting topics in an international environment
  • Work in the field of marine and climate research, a forward-looking area with social significance
  • 30 vacation days + additional time off at Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve
  • Company pension plan and capital-forming benefits

The position is to be filled for a fixed term of 3 years.

The salary depends on qualification and could be up to the class 13 TVöD-Bund of the German tariff for public employees. This is a part-time position according to 75 % of a full-time equivalent. The position can not be split. Flexible working time models are generally possible.

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel seeks to increase the proportion of female scientists and explicitly encourages qualified female academics to apply.

GEOMAR is an equal opportunity employer and encourages scientists with disabilities to apply. Qualified disabled applicants will receive preference in the application process.

Please send your application (CV with names and addresses of 2 references, certificates, brief motivation letter) for this post not later than April 28th, 2024 under the following link:

Online application

As soon as the selection procedure has finished, all your application data will be removed according to data protection regulation.

For further information regarding the position and research unit please contact Prof. Dr. Stephan Juricke (Tel.: 0431 600-4003, E-Mail: sjuricke(at)

However, we will answer all your questions if you send us an e-mail to bewerbung(at) In doing so, please refer to the keyword “Lagrangian- Particle- Tracking”.

For further information on GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel or the Helmholtz Association, please visit or

GEOMAR is committed to an objective and non-discriminatory personnel selection. Our job advertisements address all people. We expressly renounce the submission of application photos.