PhD Student in High-Resolution Climate Modeling

ETH Zürich

Zürich, , CH

The Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science at ETH Zürich is a leading climate research institute, and has an open position in the research group “Climate and Water Cycle” led by Prof. Christoph Schär for a PhD student in high-resolution climate modeling. The ideal starting date is fall 2020. The position is for a period of three years.

Project background

The aim of our research is to better understand the role of the water cycle in past, current and future climates, and to improve the predictive power of climate models. Recent work of our group has strongly contributed to the development of km-resolution climate modeling (see Schär et al. 2020 in BAMS, This particular position will be devoted to regional climate modeling by employing a range of horizontal resolutions (12-2km) over the tropical Atlantic. The position is part of the project “Exploiting km-resolution climate models in the tropics to constrain climate-change uncertainties” (trCLIM), funded through the Swiss National Science Foundation. The overarching goal of this project is to assess the role of tropical clouds for climate change and thereby the response in the equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS). This will be done by conducting comprehensive limited-area climate-change experiments, and by assessing the sensitivity of the model response to computational resolution and model parameter uncertainty.

Job description

The main objective of the PhD project is to investigate parameter uncertainty in high-resolution convection-resolving climate simulations. The targeted work includes performing regional climate simulations as well as exploiting and further developing an objective parameter calibration methodology. The PhD position is embedded in an experienced research team, provides access to high-performance computing systems, and is linked to ongoing international and national initiatives (e.g. CORDEX, COPERNICUS, HORIZON2020).

Your profile

We are looking for a curious young scientist with the ability to work well in a team. Requirements include: a degree in atmospheric or climate sciences or a related discipline; solid background in computing and statistics; experience with Unix and programming (Python and/or Fortran); proficient writing skills in English; good communication skills. Previous experience with atmospheric models is a plus.

We offer an attractive research environment at a leading climate research institute, a friendly working atmosphere in a young and ambitious research team, and excellent infrastructure.


We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

A cover letter, your CV, your transcript of records, names and contact details of 2-3 references. Upload all documents (as PDF files). The evaluation of applications will start on July 13 and proceed until the position is filled.

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

Further information about the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science can be found on our website Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr. Silje Lund Sørland, by email [email protected] (no application documents).