ARCCSS positions

The ARC Centre of Excellence seeks to attract the highest calibre researchers and professional and technical staff. As positions become available they will be advertised on this site as well as on the recruitment pages of the respective collaborating university. Check back regularly for newly advertised positions.

Current positions:

 

Investigating uncertainties in the attribution of heatwaves

Heatwaves are Australia’s deadliest natural disaster. As human influence on the climate continues to increase, climate models project that the frequency, intensity and duration of heatwaves will also increase. In recent years, methods that ascertain the human contribution behind a specific extreme event, such as a heatwave, have become very popular. The employment of these methods, which are heavily based on
physical climate models, result in a statement of how the likelihood of the event in question has altered due to anthropogenic forcing on the climate. However, the latest research suggests that underpinning sources of uncertainty may not be appropriately quantified, which therefore affects the quality and integrity of these attribution claims.

This PhD will examine particular sources of uncertainty behind the attribution of heatwaves, which includes but is not limited to climate model resolution, the simulation of appropriate physical mechanisms, statistical and statistical model uncertainty, and the implicit use of natural and anthropogenic forcings within a given climate model. Through the innovative application of various statistical methods to climate model data, this research will be at the forefront of the rapidly growing global field of the detection and attribution of climate extremes.

The project will be based at the Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC) at UNSW Australia. It will be jointly supervised by Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick of the CCRC, and Prof Scott Sisson of the School of Mathematics and Statistics. The successful candidate will become part of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes, an international research consortium of five Australian universities (The University of New South Wales, Monash University, The University of Melbourne, The University of Tasmania and The Australian National University) and a suite of outstanding national and international Partner Organizations. The Centre provides excellent opportunities for travel and graduate student development.

We are looking for outstanding graduates with a strong academic record including an Honours Class I or equivalent. Graduates with a strong background in statistics, mathematics, physics, mathematics, climate or atmospheric science, or similar quantitative sciences are welcome. A demonstrated track record in both statistics and climate science is desirable but not essential. Programming experience with Matlab, Python, R or a similar language is also desirable.

Informal inquiries may be directed to Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick (sarah.kirkpatrick@unsw.edu.au). A CV, full academic transcript and the names of up to three academic referees should be sent to arccss.grad@unsw.edu.au. Closing date: Monday, January 8, 2018 (for international applicants) and Friday March 30, 2018 (for domestic applicants).

 

 

PhD opportunities available in land surface modelling

The Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science Professor Andy Pitman is looking for PhD students to work in several areas important to climate science. There is also an opportuity for an addititional top up scholarship from the CSIRO

The possible areas of research include:

  • Land surface model development, focusing on the representation of extreme events including drought and heatwaves
  • Innovative evaluation of land surface models using observations
  • Representation and implementation of land cover change in climate model simulations
  • Relationship between hydrological modelling and extremes in climate models

These projects will likely be collaborative with experts in France, UK, US, and/or Switzerland.

All of these projects will lead to considerable experience in high performance supercomputing, and/or an ability to handle “big data”. You will learn Python and other languages. You will also likely develop strong statistical skills. You will also engage with international experts and have opportunities spend time in Europe or the US working with colleagues. 

Students will become part of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science- an international research consortium of five Australian universities (The University of New South Wales, Monash University, The University of Melbourne, The University of Tasmania and The Australian National University) and a suite of outstanding national and international Partner Organizations. The Centre provides opportunities for travel and graduate student development. 

Applicants must have a strong academic track record including an Honours Class I or equivalent. Graduates with a background in physics, mathematics, atmospheric science or engineering are particularly encouraged to apply. 

If you are interested in applying please complete our Expression of Interest form, here.

Note:- This is not an official application, if your expression of interest is accepted we will guide you through the application process.

 

 

Understanding extremes in Australia’s variable rainfall (PhD)

Project
This project will address questions about the range and causes of Australia’s variable rainfall. Australia experiences highly variable rainfall, which is influenced by both unforced climate variability and anthropogenic climate forcings. Hydrological extremes, such as drought and floods, have high socio-economic costs for Australia, so understanding the range of variability and processes that cause changes is critical.

This PhD project will investigate the influence of anthropogenic (e.g. greenhouse gases, aerosols and land use change) and natural (volcanic eruptions and solar variability) climate forcings on hydrological trends and extremes. Using climate models, observations and long-term palaeoclimate records, this project will investigate the processes behind recently observed hydroclimatic events in Australia, such as the persistent decline in rainfall in southwestern Western Australia, the extended Millennium Drought in southeastern Australia and the record eastern Australian rains in 2011.

Research Environment
The candidate will be supervised by Dr Sophie Lewis (ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, Fenner School of Environment and Society) and Associate Professor Nerilie Abram

(ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science and Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University). The student will be based at The Australian National University in Canberra, with collaboration with the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

The candidate will become part of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science- an international research consortium of five Australian universities (The University of New South Wales, Monash University, The University of Melbourne, The University of Tasmania and The Australian National University) and a suite of outstanding national and international Partner Organizations. The Centre provides excellent opportunities for travel and graduate student development. 

Expressions of interest
The successful candidate will receive a stipend of $26,288 (2016 rate) per year which will be indexed annually for the duration of the award. The duration of the award shall be for three years with a maximum possible extension of up to six months (assessed on a case by case basis). The successful candidate will be able to adapt the project to match their background, interests and expertise. To be eligible, a student must have completed a Bachelor Degree with First Class Honours, or be regarded by ANU as having an equivalent level of attainment.

If you are interested in applying please complete our Expression of Interest form here.

Note:- this is not an official application, if your expression of interest is accepted we will guide you through the application process.

For further information on the project, contact Dr Sophie Lewis (sophie.lewis@anu.edu.au).

 

PhD opportunities in Climate System Science at ARCCSS

The Centre has a series of PhD opportunities available. Successful candidates can expect to collaborate with partners in the Centre of Excellence in Australia and overseas. Expressions of interest in any area of Centre-focus are encouraged. Details of possible supervisors, and their areas of expertise, are available by following this link

Further information on admissions and scholarships at our five universities can be found here.

Outstanding students may receive top-up funding above the rates of standard Australian government PhD scholarships (currently ~$25k/year).

We currently offer at least three $10,000 PhD top-up scholarships for projects that focus specifically on climate or weather model development. Students may be based at any university in the ARC Centre of Excellence although this will depend on where Centre expertise is focused. Click for more information.

Generous travel support exists for students to visit our international partners.

To apply please send copies of your academic transcripts, a CV, a statement of research interests and details of any publications to the researcher you are interested in working with. Please do not email all researchers in the centre. Or contact our Graduate Director, Melissa Hart, directly for further information. 

 

PhD top-up scholarships - $10,000 top-ups for Maths and Physics graduates

A major challenge confronting our centre, and similar centres around the world, is the lack of outstanding students undertaking PhDs in the development of the parameterizations used in weather and climate system models.

To help address this, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science offers at least 3 x $10,000 PhD top-ups for students who are successful in gaining Australian government PhD scholarships embarking on a PhD that is focused specifically on climate or weather model development. Most likely, this will be focused on clouds and convection, or land surface processes or physical ocean modeling.

A PhD of this kind is extremely challenging. You most likely will have a first class honours or Masters degree in Mathematics or Physics, or these will form a significant part of your degree. Applicants with other quantitative backgrounds should contact us to see if they are likely eligible.

We further guarantee the successful students unprecedented access to funds to travel to international partners in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, to work closely with colleagues in the Bureau of Meteorology and/or CSIRO as appropriate and to be resourced for training in high performance computing, data analysis etc as required. You may be based at any university in the ARC Centre of Excellence although this will depend on where Centre expertise is focused.

Applications should be forwarded to Dr Melissa Hart (melissa.hart@unsw.edu.au) who will guide potential applicants through the application process for other scholarships as required.

 

 

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