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.

PhD position “Erosion of Permafrost Coasts” (m/f/d)

A large portion of Arctic coasts is made of unconsolidated frozen material. In the context of climate warming, the erosion rates of these coasts are accelerating, yet the interplay between environmental driver and erosional behaviour is poorly understood.
The goal of this project is to test the erosion of permafrost coasts for the first time under laboratory conditions and in a broad field study, in order to gain knowledge about the connection between environmental drivers and the responding erosion rate. This will be done by creating an artificial model of permafrost coast for tests in a wave tank. Here, several hydrodynamical and ground mechanical conditions will be modelled, to test their influence on the erosion, to ultimately project permafrost coastal erosion rates under upcoming climatic conditions.

The position is part of our recruiting initiative AWI INSPIRES - INternational Science Program for Integrative Research in Earth Systems. AWI INSPIRES aims at strengthening our new research program “Changing Earth, Sustaining our Future”. Details about all open positions and the general application requirements can be found at

You will:


Further Information
For further information, please contact Prof. Dr. Hugues Lantuit (; +49(331)288-2216).

The position is limited to 3 years. The salary will be paid in accordance with the Collective Agreement for the Public Service of the Federation (Tarifvertrag des öffentlichen Dienstes, TVöD Bund), up to salary level 13 (66%). The place of employment will be Potsdam.

All doctoral candidates will be members of AWI's postgraduate program POLMAR or another graduate school and thus benefit from a comprehensive training program and extensive support measures.

The AWI is characterised by

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, including (1) a letter of motivation, (2) CV and copies of relevant certificates (master degree; training), (3) two letters of recommendation or the contact information of two references and (4) a list of publications, by February 17th, 2021 exclusively online.

Selected candidates will be invited to present their research ideas and motivation during the “Annual recruitment days”, planned from 01. to 23. April 2021 and expected to be online.

Reference number 21/21/G/INSPIRES-b