PhD position or Postdoc (m/f/d)

Transport of aerosols and precursors from the planetary boundary layer into the UTLS - Bridging Surface emissions, Transport and UTLS Matter (BISTUM) - Sub-project 3

Job Code:

Job Offer from May 28, 2021

The Particle Chemistry Department, a joint facility of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry (MPIC) and the Johannes Gutenberg University (JGU) Mainz, invites applications for a

PhD position or Postdoc (m/f/d)

funded within the Transregional Collaborative Research Centre 301

TPChange – The Tropopause Region in a Changing Atmosphere

by the German Research Foundation (DFG, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) and partially by MPIC.

Within TPChange we aim to improve the understanding of relevant multiscale processes in the tropopause region and to specify their impact on composition, dynamics and ultimately on future climate and climate variability. The PhD candidate or Postdoc will work in project B02,

Transport of aerosols and precursors from the planetary boundary layer into the UTLS - BrIdging Surface emissions, Transport and UTLS Matter (BISTUM),

led by Friederike Fachinger, Ralf Weigel, Konrad Kandler, and Frank Drewnick, which focuses on in-situ measurements of aerosol particle composition, number concentration, and size distribution from the ground through the planetary boundary layer up to the extratropical tropopause region in order to investigate UTLS aerosol sources, transport, and processing.

Here we are looking for a PhD student or a Postdoc for this research project, in which we want to investigate small-scale mixing and gradients of aerosol particles within the planetary boundary layer. We plan ground-based, real-time size distribution and composition measurements using our Mobile Laboratory MoLa in conjunction with 3D measurements within the planetary boundary layer. For this purpose, the candidate will develop a measurement drone with on-board aerosol and trace gas measurement instrumentation. Additionally, we plan to investigate vertical transport and accompanying processing of aerosol particles by convection up to UTLS heights in a joint field campaign with other project partners of this CRC, by combined measurements at the ground and in the lower boundary layer with those from project partners within this (vertical profiles from balloon soundings) and other projects (in-situ UTLS measurements using a research aircraft).

The tasks of the PhD candidate or Postdoc include especially the set-up and validation of a drone measurement platform, which will complement the MoLa ground-based measurements, and the development of adequate measurement strategies in order to obtain information on the homogeneity of the planetary boundary layer aerosol concentration. The PhD candidate or Postdoc is expected to operate the instruments on-board MoLa and the drone in various test field campaigns as well as in a large joint field campaign with several project partners who perform UTLS in-situ measurements, and to evaluate the resulting data, in close cooperation with TPChange partners. The joint field campaign with the research aircraft is coordinated by JGU Mainz and MPIC and will be a close collaboration between all partners involved.

The second sub-project of BISTUM (handled by another PhD student) concentrates on balloon-borne measurements from the ground up to UTLS heights. An additional Postdoc will support the ground-based measurements. This Postdoc and the two appointees in this project are expected to work together and to support each other in the experimental and data analysis work.

Master degree or Ph.D. in physics, chemistry, meteorology, atmospheric sciences, or comparable degree. We are looking for candidates with a background in aerosol measurements and in handling of complex measurement systems, and with enthusiasm for atmospheric aerosol research and technical and method development. We expect participation in measurement campaigns. Good English language skills are required, and basic programming skills (e.g., LabView, Igor, Python) are desirable.

Employment conditions
The position is limited until 06/2025 and the place of employment will be Mainz. The targeted starting date is 1 July 2021. The salary follows the guidelines of the German Research Foundation. The prospective PhD student will be affiliated with the Paul Crutzen Graduate School (PCGS) (

Applications and deadline
Please send applications with reference to the code B02-PHD-MPIC as one single pdf file to , including a motivation letter including your preferred project, CV, copies of relevant certificates, preferred starting date, and the names of at minimum two references.

Review of all applications will start on 1 June 2021 and will continue until the position is filled.
For further information, please contact Dr. Friederike Fachinger ) or Dr. Frank Drewnick ().
Further reading can be found here:

TPChange offers a comprehensive and structured training for early career researchers. In addition to self-organised activities such as workshops, trainings and a guest program, the successful candidate will have the opportunity, if desired, to pursue international research visits. The consortium conducts an ambitious program to gradually enhance gender equality on all career levels.

The Max Planck Society and the Johannes Gutenberg University actively support equality, diversity and inclusion, and as equal opportunity employers, both institutions explicitly encourage applications from women as well as from all others who will bring additional diversity to research and teaching. Applicants with disabilities will be preferentially considered if suitably qualified.

We look forward to your application!

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