PhD student in high resolution ocean modelling in Zürich

Studierende finden an der ETH Zürich ein Umfeld, das eigenständiges Denken fördert, Forschende ein Klima, das zu Spitzenleistungen inspiriert.


100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The Environmental Physics Group at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich) is a vibrant interdisciplinary team of researchers studying the ocean, its physics, biogeochemistry, and ecology and their interactions with climate. One of the foci of the group is the investigation of ocean mesoscale processes (eddies) and their role in ocean biogeochemistry and climate from regional to global scales. In this context, we are searching for a PhD student.

Project background

The position is part of the Horizon-Europe funded European Eddy-Rich Earth System Models (EERIE) project. EERIE brings together a total of 17 partners across Europe and Africa, with the goal to quantify the role of ocean mesoscale processes in shaping the climate trajectory over seasonal to centennial time scales. In this project, we will use the 10 km global setup of the ICON Earth System Model in close collaboration with researchers at the project partner Max Planck Institute of Meteorology in Hamburg. The position also benefits from the opportunities offered through the project led by the PI that aims to ready ICON for the next generation of supercomputers in order to be run at resolutions approaching 1 km.  

Job description

You will analyze multi-decadal numerical experiments with the ICON model with the objective of elucidating the impact of resolving the oceanic mesoscale on marine heatwaves, especially the role of mesoscale ocean-atmosphere interactions in altering the structure and intensity of these extremes. Of particular interest is also the investigation of the penetration and subduction of the heatwaves into the ocean’s interior and in what way this may feedback onto the atmosphere upon resurfacing. 

Your profile

As the ideal PhD student, you have a master’s degree in atmospheric, oceanic and/or climate sciences, physics, computational sciences or a closely related discipline with a strong interest in quantitative science. You are fluent in English, like to communicate and write, and ideally have already experience with a higher programming language like Python, C, or Fortran. You enjoy working as part of a team, and love to further your understanding of how the Earth works. You will work in the Environmental Physics group of Prof. Nicolas Gruber.

Your workplace
Your workplace

We offer

At the Environmental Physics Group, we offer a rich and diverse research setting, providing many opportunities for further developments in both your scientific and transferable skills. We pay special attention to the development of a strong group spirit, providing support and helping to ensure that everyone succeeds. We also profit from the broad modelling environment offered by the weather and climate modelling groups at ETH and beyond and facilitated by the .

We value diversity
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 to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.
Curious? So are we.

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

  • A Curriculum Vitae
  • A statement of research interests
  • Names of two academic referees
  • Copy of the record of your master's degree including a list of courses and grades.

Please submit your application until February 15, 2023, but the position stays open until 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 Environmental Physics Group can be found on our website Questions regarding the position should be directed to Prof. Nicolas Gruber via email at (no applications).

About ETH Zürich
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.

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