The Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) is a member of the Helmholtz Association (HGF) and funded by federal and state government. AWI focuses on polar and marine research in a variety of disciplines such as biology, oceanography, geology, geochemistry and geophysics, thus allowing multidisciplinary approaches to scientific goals.

Physical Oceanographer / Expedition Scientist (m/f/d)

Background The section Oceanography of the Polar Seas invites applications for the tenure track position of a Physical Oceanographer / Expedition Scientist (m/f/d) to support the operation of our long-term, autonomous observatories in the Polar Seas.

The physical oceanography team operates marine infrastructures to enable year-round time-series observations both in the Arctic Ocean and the Southern Ocean, which contribute to international efforts towards comprehensive global ocean observations. The main purpose of maintaining permanent infrastructures in the Arctic Ocean and the Southern Ocean - covering the ocean from the sea surface to the sea floor - is the provision of continuous observations for the study of ocean dynamics, sea ice decline, glacier and ice shelf retreat, climate variability and ecosystem change. The infrastructures will provide ocean data from a range of measurement platforms and sensors that will be made available to a multitude of users.

Tasks You will

  • manage the oceanographic time-series programs on an operational level (under scientific guidance) in the framework of the FRAM and HAFOS observatories

  • improve and further develop the measurement strategies for year-round, under-ice observation according to the scientific requests

  • join expeditions and be responsible for the acquisition and high-quality processing and documentation of mooring-based and ice-tethered data

  • maintain, develop and provide the software for data processing and archiving of time series data

  • both compute derived quantities (e.g., volume transport, heat content, energy fluxes) from the mooring data and publish those as derived data products in data journals

  • Prepare scientific expeditions including measurement equipment (such as CTD systems)

  • work in close cooperation with scientists, including physical oceanographers, numerical modellers, and marine biologists as well as engineers and technicians.


  • Master (MSc) degree in physical oceanography, sea ice physics or related fields.

  • Extensive experience in marine equipment operation (particularly in high-latitude and ice-covered oceans) and the analysis of sensor-based environmental (preferably marine) data.

  • A strong background in high-level programming is required.

  • Practical knowledge in the application of statistical methods to be used for the analyses of time series and spatial patterns is desirable.

  • You should be open to interacting with an interdisciplinary and international science community and should be willing to participate in research expeditions (typically 2 months per year).

  • Very good communication skills in English - both written and oral - are mandatory.

Further Information

For further information, please contact Prof Dr. Torsten Kanzow (, +49(471)4831-2913). This is a full-time position, limited to 3 years with the potential to become permanent employment. It is also suitable for part-time employment. Tenure time can be shortened depending on the candidate?s degree of qualification. The salary will be paid in accordance with the Collective Agreement for the Public Service of the Federation (Tarifvertrag des ?ffentlichen Dienstes, TV-D Bund), up to salary level 13. The place of employment will be Bremerhaven.

The AWI is characterised by

  • our scientific success - excellent research

  • collaboration and cooperation - intra-institute, national and international, interdisciplinary

  • opportunities to develop - on the job, aiming at other positions and beyond AWI

  • a culture of reconciling work and family - an audited and well-supported aspect of our operation

  • our outstanding research infrastructure - ships, stations, aircraft, laboratories and more

  • an international environment - everyday contacts with people from all over the world

  • having an influence - fundamental research with social and political relevance

  • flat hierarchies - facilitating freedom and responsibility

  • exciting science topics, with opportunities also in technology, administration and infrastructure

Equal opportunities are an integral part of our personnel policy. The AWI aims to increase the number of female employees and therefore strongly encourages qualified women to apply.

Disabled applicants will be given preference when equal qualifications are present.

The AWI fosters the compatibility of work and family in various ways and has received a number of awards as a result of this engagement.

We look forward to your application!

Please submit your application by July 28th 2021, exclusively online.

Reference number 21/124/G/Kli-tt.

Apply here