Early-Stage Researcher (PhD positions) in Climate Science in the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovativ...

University of Leeds
September 20 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

PhD positions in climate science: The CLOUD-MObility, Training and InnOvation Network (CLOUD-MOTION)

The University of Leeds is recruiting two Early-stage researchers (PhD students) in the framework of the CLOUD-MOTION Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network. The Early-stage researchers (ESRs) will be employed for a period of 36 months at the University of Leeds, UK, and will be part of a network of 15 PhD students enrolled in a European network of ten academic and private institutions.

The aim of CLOUD-MOTION is to investigate how new aerosol and ice particles form in the atmosphere and how they affect Earth's climate. These atmospheric processes are the source of some of the largest uncertainties in climate models. The major research activity of the network will be three sets of joint experiments carried out at the CLOUD aerosol chamber at CERN to which all ESRs contribute. At the CLOUD chamber, nucleation experiments are performed at an unprecedented level of precision and completeness using highly innovative instrumentation. The research programme at the University of Leeds focuses on atmospheric modelling to investigate climate impacts.

The Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science at the University of Leeds (http://www.see.leeds.ac.uk/research/icas/) is one of the world's leading institutes in this field of research, with 35 faculty and over one-hundred PhD students and postdoctoral researchers. The CLOUD-MOTION ESRs will be embedded in a vibrant research community covering all aspects of atmospheric and climate science.

A well-structured research and training plan is set up for every ESR as well as a comprehensive, quality-controlled supervision. The ESRs are brought together for network training events such as summer schools and workshops for data analysis. Courses by world leading experts are taught, ranging from general atmospheric aerosol chemistry and physics to specialized sessions. Transferable skills training includes courses on scientific writing, presenting talks, interaction with media, entrepreneurship, IPR, and management. The ESRs at Leeds will also become highly proficient in using and developing advanced models of weather and climate. The partners from the private sector are closely integrated in CLOUD-MOTION and provide the opportunity for secondments during the period of study.

Funding is available for two 36-month ESRs at Leeds and a comprehensive package of living, mobility, and family allowances and training budget. The project start dates are expected to be between September 2017 and September 2018.

The ESR cannot hold a PhD and, at the start of the contract, must have less than 4 years research experience. As of the same date, they cannot have lived, studied, or worked in the country of their employing organization for more than 12 months in the previous 36 months.

Enquiries with a CV to: Professor Ken Carslaw (K.S.Carlaw@leeds.ac.uk)


Project 1 at University of Leeds

High-resolution modelling of polluted and natural environments

This PhD focuses on the development of parameterized model mechanisms of new particle formation and growth and their inclusion in detailed high-resolution models of atmospheric chemistry, aerosols and clouds. Model simulations at scales of a few kilometres will be used to explore particle formation in complex atmospheric environments, like plumes as well as urban, forest and cloudy environments. This PhD will be closely involved in the interpretation of the experimental results at CERN so that robust and physically-based mechanisms can be developed for the models. This PhD will also work closely with other research partners to ensure that model mechanisms work effectively across all scales. The PhD researcher will quantify the effects of natural and anthropogenic emissions over large areas for testing lower-resolution global climate models. The student will be trained to use and develop complex aerosol and cloud models. This will include use of national supercomputers, advanced training in parallel programming, data archival and documentation, model version control, debugging, data analysis, and visualization.


Project 2 at the University of Leeds

Global modelling of nucleation and impacts on climate

This PhD focuses on the global climate impacts of particle formation, primarily through the effects on cloud processes. The research will be based on development and application of the UK Earth System Model and the Global Model of Aerosol Processes (GLOMAP). The aim will be to: quantify the effect of particle formation and growth rates (from CLOUD measurements) on the global aerosol system in pre-industrial and present-day conditions and to evaluate the model against ambient observations and assess the uncertainty. The model results will be used to refine the definition of chemical environments to be studied in the CLOUD chamber. The effect of new CLOUD discoveries on global and regional climate change will be assessed. The PhD will be closely integrated in the experimental aspects of CLOUD-MOTION by using identified weaknesses in model performance to refine experimental conditions and the experimental programme. The student will be trained to use and develop complex global chemistry and climate models. This will include use of national supercomputers, advanced training in parallel programming, data archival and documentation, model version control, debugging, data analysis, and visualization.

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess