Scientific activities / projects

Detection of abrupt climate transitions and extreme events from large-scale spatio-temporal climate datasets

Starting date


Duration of contract

temporary for 3 years


According to the German TVöD 13

Type of employment


"Cutting-edge research requires excellent minds – particularly more females – at all levels. Launch your mission with us and send in your application now!" Prof. Pascale Ehrenfreund - Chair of the DLR Executive Board

Your mission:

DLR and the Friedrich-Schiller-University (FSU) Jena in collaboration with the Max-Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry established a research group on Climate Informatics at the new DLR Institute for Data Science in Jena, Germany. Climate Informatics is a challenging and promising research field where a concentrated effort will have a high impact both to advance science and to address climate change topics of critical importance for the society. The group combines innovative data science methods from different fields (machine learning, causal inference, nonlinear dynamics) and closely works with experts in the climate sciences.

Your task will be to develop data science methods for the detection of abrupt climate transitions and extreme events from large-scale spatio-temporal climate datasets. The core methodological expertise in the group includes graphical models, causal inference, nonlinear time series analysis, and deep learning. But the methods you choose are flexible and open for your ideas!

The position will consider the following research tasks:

  • development of data science methods for the detection of abrupt climate transitions and extreme events from large-scale spatio-temporal climate datasets
  • integration of methods into ESMValTool ( in collaboration with DLR's institute of Atmospheric Physics
  • application of methods on output of CMIP climate model ensembles and observational datasets
  • publication of results in machine learning as well as climate journals
  • presentation on national and international conferences

To support your international research experience, the position has a generous travel budget for conferences and extended research stays. We have collaborators at Imperial College London, Oxford, Carnegie Mellon University, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), and California Institute of Technology, among others.

The position allows to obtain a PhD degree at a collaborating university. World-class research requires diverse teams and we especially welcome female applicants that want to develop their career in our inspiring atmosphere.

Your qualifications:

  • Master degree in computer science, physics, quantitative geosciences, applied mathematics or data science
  • the creativity and strong motivation to develop new algorithms and learning paradigms for using machine learning for climate science applications
  • practical knowledge of the current state-of-the-art in machine learning
  • desire and ability to work in an interdisciplinary team
  • commitment and dedication to develop robust, working systems
  • fluency in written and oral English, desire to learn German
  • strong programming expertise especially in Python and general knowledge in computer science

Your benefits:

Look forward to a fulfilling job with an employer who appreciates your commitment and supports your personal and professional development. Our unique infrastructure offers you a working environment in which you have unparalled scope to develop your creative ideas and accomplish your professional objectives. Our human resources policy puts great value on a healthy work-life balance as well as equal opportunities for men and women. Individuals with disabilities will be given preferential consideration in the event their qualifications are equivalent to those of other candidates.

Technical contact

Dr. Jakob Runge
Institute of Data Science

Phone: +49 2203 601-3770

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Vacancy 14408

HR department Cologne

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DLR site Jena

DLR Institute of Data Science

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