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Software Engineer or Data Scientist (Python) in Climate System Modeling (m/f/d)

Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Closing date
30 Apr 2024

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Earth Science
Job Type
Research Assistant
Employment - Hours
Full time
Fixed term

Job Details

Area of research:

Scientific support staff

Job description:Software Engineer or Data Scientist (Python) in Climate System Modeling (m/f/d)

The Climate Dynamics section of the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) in Bremerhaven, Germany, is accepting applications for a position at the intersection of Software Engineering and Data Science, focusing on Python programming. The role entails developing scalable diagnostics and evaluation tools for Digital Twins of the climate system. Candidates with expertise in either data processing software development (especially in geoscience) or climate model data analysis and evaluation are encouraged to apply.

The successful candidate will work with leading European climate modelers, computing scientists, and software engineers on developing Digital Twins of the climate system to support adaptation to climate change.

You will be part of the team responsible for developing and applying a data analysis framework for km-scale climate simulations. Your tasks will include implementing new metrics and diagnostics into the framework and evaluating climate simulations. You will be working on EU Tier-1 HPC systems, and data analytics tasks that you help to design and develop should be scalable, portable, and able to process petabyte-scale data.

At least a master’s degree or more than five years of experience in one or more of the following fields is required: software engineering, data science, computer science, mathematics, physics, meteorology, oceanography, climate sciences, or related fields. A PhD in any of these fields would be an advantage. Demonstrated skill/proficiency in Python or any other high-level programming language and fluency in English are further requirements. We follow good software development practices in our work and expect candidates to have hands-on experience with version control (git), writing tests, and creating documentation. Most of the development will be done in Python, but knowing other languages like R, Julia, and Matlab is beneficial. Familiarity with Python data analytics stack (Dask, Pandas, Xarray, Jupyter) is an advantage, as well as experience with Nix-based systems.

Moreover, having one or several of the following skills would be a distinct advantage:
  • Experience with HPC systems,
  • Parallel data processing (e.g. dask),
  • Working with containers (Docker, Singularity/Apptainer),
  • Data processing on heterogeneous systems (CPU/GPUs),
  • Working with complex climate models and geophysical data formats (netCDF, GRIB, Zarr).

Further Information
The AWI is characterized by

The AWI is characterized by
  • our scientific success - excellent research
  • collaboration and cooperation - intra-institute, national and international, interdisciplinary
  • opportunities to develop – on the job and towards other positions
  • an international environment – everyday contact with people from all over the world
  • flexible working hours and the option of mobile working up to 50% of regular working hours
  • health promotion and company fitness with EGYM Wellpass
  • support services and a culture of reconciling work and family
  • occupational pension provision (VBL)

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

Applicants with disabilities 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.

This research center is part of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers. With more than 42,000 employees and an annual budget of over € 5 billion, the Helmholtz Association is Germany's largest scientific organisation.


The Helmholtz Association contributes to solving major challenges to assure the future of our society. With more than 39,000 people on staff in 18 national research centres, the Helmholtz Association is Germany’s largest scientific organization. The name Helmholtz stands for concerted research in which networks form the key principle behind inquiring thought and action. Concerted research is efficient and flexible.

The profile of the Helmholtz Association

The Helmholtz Association performs cutting-edge research which contributes substantially to solving the grand challenges of science, society and industry. To succeed in meeting these responsibilities, Helmholtz concentrates its work in six research fields: Energy, Earth and Environment, Health, Key Technologies, Matter, as well as Aeronautics, Space and Transport. Within each of these fields, research programs are developed by our scientists and regularly evaluated by renowned international experts. Their evaluation forms the basis for the programme-oriented funding that is allocated to Helmholtz research. Within the six research fields, Helmholtz scientists cooperate with each other and with external partners – working across disciplinary, organizational and national borders.

Promoting young academics

Helmholtz scientists, a high-performance infrastructure and modern and efficient research management are the ingredients to the Helmholtz Association‘s success and global impact.
Promoting young researchers is a major priority for the Helmholtz Association. Its qualification schemes for young researchers are geared mainly towards PhD students, postdocs and young managers. The Helmholtz Association has set high standards for its talent management. Its strategy begins with targeted recruitment of highly qualified staff at all levels, followed by comprehensive support aimed at further developing their potential. Ensuring equal opportunities is an essential element in all talent management activities undertaken by the Helmholtz Association.

The Helmholtz Graduate Schools and Research Schools at almost all Helmholtz Centres provide doctoral students with the general and specific skills and training they need, as well as ample opportunity to network with other working groups. The period following a doctorate is decisive in determining the direction and success of a scientific career. For this reason, we are about to establish Career Centers for postdoctoral researchers in the Helmholtz centres and a mentoring programme for especially gifted PostDocs in order to foster career orientation. This equips young researchers with the skills they need to go on to head a Helmholtz Young Investigators Group, for example. As a Young Investigator Group leader, junior scientists can independently set up their own group to conduct research in their specialist field.

Within its talent management strategy, the Helmholtz Association pays special attention to the increased recruitment of talented female scientists both from Germany and abroad. To this end, there are currently two funding programs supporting this policy Funding of first-time appointments of excellent women scientists (W2/W3)’ and ‘Funding to recruit top-level international women scientists (W3)’.

The increasing complexity of the content, structures and framework conditions of scientific work today requires researchers to organise their projects, their employees and, of course, themselves in a highly professional and effective way. In response to these demands, we have set up the Helmholtz Management Academy to provide junior leaders in science with professional management training. Furthermore, the Helmholtz network provides a platform for the alumni of the Helmholtz Management Academy and Mentoring programme to come together and share their experiences of leadership, career development and lifelong learning.

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