PhD in Climate Science – Understanding and quantifying changes in precipitation extremes

Updated: 3 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 02 Dec 2021

PhD in Climate Science – Understanding and quantifying changes in precipitation extremes

We invite applications for a PhD position under the supervision of Dr. Erich Fischer and Prof. Reto Knutti at the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich, Switzerland.

Project background

The overall objective is to understand, quantify and reduce uncertainties in projections of future extreme precipitation intensities with the help of dynamical constraints. The project will combine large initial condition ensembles of global climate models with reanalysis data and observations of extreme precipitation intensities. Storylines of future regional changes in extreme precipitation will be developed following different dynamical changes. Constrained estimates of future extreme precipitation changes will be produced considering the models' fidelity in representing the driving weather systems, seasonality and relation to the large-scale spatial patterns. The PhD is part of the project "dynamicAL ConstrAints on regional projections of future PrecipitatiON Extremes (AL CAPONE)", funded jointly by the German Research Foundation and the Swiss National Science Foundation as a collaborative project between ETH Zurich and the Weather and Climate Processes Group of Prof. Stephan Pfahl at FU Berlin.

Job description

We offer a dynamic and inspiring research environment, excellent work conditions, supercomputing infrastructure, and a large degree of freedom for the successful candidate to bring in her/his own research ideas and experience. The position is fully funded for 3-4 years, the typical time to complete a PhD at ETH. The Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science is a world-leading institute in the field of research on global and regional climate change.

Your profile

Successful applicants have a MSc degree, Diploma or equivalent in physics, atmospheric or climate sciences, or related subjects, ideally experience with UNIX/Linux operating systems and data analysis frameworks (such as Python, R, NCL etc.). Regardless of background, the successful applicant will have an interactive personality, motivation to work with cutting-edge numerical climate models and their output, the ability to carry out research in an interdisciplinary and international environment, and a strong desire to disseminate results in conference talks and journal articles. Fluency in English (written and spoken) and strong communication skills are required.

ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.


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

  • CV incl. publication list
  • Master’s thesis as a pdf file
  • academic transcript of your studies
  • one page statement on your motivation
  • past research experience and research interests (in English)
  • contact details of three persons (academic if possible) that may be contacted for reference.

Review of applications starts on November 18 and will continue 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 our institute can be found on our website . Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr. Erich Fischer by e-mail . Administrative requests should be directed to Barbara Wittneben by e-mail (no applications by e-mail).

In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our Equal Opportunities and Diversity website to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

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