Open Positions

The Leipzig Institute for Meteorology (LIM), Germany, invites applications for a PhD Position

Characterising the spatial variability of ice water content in mixed-phase clouds

The position is funded within the Transregional Collaborative Research Center TR172 on “ArctiC Amplification: Climate Relevant Atmospheric and SurfaCe Processes, and Feedback Mechanisms (AC)³” by the German Research Foundation (DFG, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft). Within the TR172, LIM together with the collaboration partners (Universities of Cologne and Bremen, TROPOS and Alfred Wegener Institute) aim to better observe, understand, and simulate processes leading to the current drastic climate changes in
the Arctic.

Position & project description

The processes determining spatial variability of ice water content (IWC) in mixed-phase clouds are not sufficiently understood. The project is targeted at better understanding and quantifying these processes. While it is challenging to observe cloud processes directly, the PhD student will advance techniques for quantifying ice water content with low uncertainty from airborne radar measurements. The student will use data collected during the Arctic aircraft campaign ACLOUD in 2017 and data from the upcoming HALO-(AC)³ in 2022 where collocated in-situ and cloud radar observations are available from aircrafts flying in a tandem formation. For these flights, a seamless Bayesian Optimal Estimation retrieval will be developed that can combine radar and in situ observations for obtaining ice water content along a flight track ’curtain’. This will allow to observe the vertical and horizontal spatial variability of ice water content in clouds with high accuracy and high spatial resolution. Based on the improved observations, the student will link the observed ice water content variability to other microphysical and macrophysical cloud properties such as dominating particle growth process, cloud type, liquid water content, cloud depth, cloud top phase variability, and surface coupling.

Terms of employment

The funded PhD position (65% of the TV-L E13 pay scale of the German public sector) is awarded for 3 years and is open immediately. We offer a productive and interdisciplinary work environment including comprehensive supervision and integration into the thriving Leipzig
Graduate School on Clouds, Aerosol and Radiation (

Details are given in the PDF.

Qualification requirements

Applicants should have a Master in Meteorology, Physics or a related field. We expect strong interest in atmospheric science, in particular in cloud physics, remote sensing, inverse retrievals and polar meteorology. Previous experience with these subjects would be advantageous for the position. Experience in high-level scientific programming for data analysis e.g., with Python is desirable. Candidates must possess excellent communication skills in written and spoken English.


Interested candidates should send applications including a motivation letter, a CV, BSc and MSc transcript of records, other qualifications and the contact information of two referees as a single PDF to


The application deadline is January 12th 2021.


The selection for the position will be based solely on scientific merit without regard to gender, religion, national origin, political affiliation, marital or family status or other differences. Among equally qualified candidates, handicapped candidates will be given preference.

Notes on the Data Protection

By sending us your application documents you consent to the processing of the data contained within for the purpose of the selection process for the advertised position. You can revoke your consent at any time. The processing takes place exclusively for this selection process and is carried out on the basis of Article 6 of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). This includes passing on data to the members of the selection committee, the HR office, the Commissioner for Equal Opportunities, the Representative Body for Severely Disabled Employees and the Staff Council as part of their organizational or legal responsibilities. Your data will be stored for a maximum of 6 months following completion of the selection process and subsequently deleted.

In accordance with the GDPR you have the right to receive information from the recipient of the application about your personal data, the right to correction, deletion or restriction of processing, as well as a right to object to processing.

If you have any questions, please contact the Leipzig University data protection officer (Mr Thomas Braatz, Augustusplatz 10, 04109 Leipzig, Tel.: 0341-9730081).