MSCA-ITN DEEPICE project offers 15 PhD research positions in ice core related climate science

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Tags: PhD | Calls 2021 | MSCA ITN


The DEEPICE project, funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions – Innovative Training Network) calls for applications for 15 fully-funded PhD positions (early-stage researcher, ESR) to be filled between July and October 2021, with attractive complementary training activities and associated research and travel budgets.

The overall objective of DEEPICE is to equip a new generation of scientists with a solid background in ice-core related climate science with a particular focus on Antarctica, a high level of technical and communication expertise and a large collaborative network across the academic and non-academic world.


The specific main scientific objectives of DEEPICE will be to:

  • Develop novel techniques required for the analyses of precious samples of the 1.5 Ma BE OI deep ice core to obtain the highest possible resolution records of climate and environment ever possible;
  • Document surface climate parameters in the remote East Antarctic plateau, where weather data are very rare and instrumentation deployment is difficult;
  • Quantify potential effects that may affect the quality of climate records in the deepest ice;
  • Document past ice sheet dynamics and flow in East Antarctica in relationship to climate change;
  • Study and document the past climate dynamics in Antarctica on short and long timescales with the ultimate aim to improve predictions on the future climate and the state of the Antarctic ice-sheet;
  • Communicate state-of-the-art research on climate change with a focus on the role of Antarctica in the climate system.

The training program of DEEPICE is a balanced mix between (i) specialized research and technical core skills involving strong links with non-academic partners, (ii) additional methodological skills provided by the networking events and training schools as well as (iii) soft skills for ESR future career academic and non-academic fields.

Moreover, in individual projects, each Early Stage Researcher (ESR) will acquire basic scientific skills (e.g. formulating research questions, developing research projects) and knowledge of climate change in polar regions.

Besides, the complementarity of ESR projects, collaborative host institutions, secondment and training schools will provide the following bunch of research skills to the new generation of scientists:

  • Development of novel, state-of-the-art specialized instrumentation;
  • Climate and ice sheet modelling;
  • Statistics applied to signal processing;
  • Mediation, Education;
  • Inter-disciplinary and cross sectoral research.

To apply, the participants must fulfil the following mobility and experience criteria :

The candidates applying for these positions can have any nationality but must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date in the country of the institution where they apply.

The candidates must, at the time of recruitment by the host organization, be in the first four years of their research careers and must not yet have been awarded a title of PhD.

More information on the PhD positions can be found below on each ESR project page.

More information on Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions – Innovative Training Network programme can be found here.

Description of PhD projects

ESR 1: Geochemical characterization of single dust particles in ice core; Supervisors: H. Fischer (Univ. Bern, CH), B. Delmonte (Univ. Milano Bicocca, IT).

ESR 2: Thermo-desorption PTR-MS for measuring organic compounds in deep ice; Supervisors: R. Holzinger (Univ. Utrecht, NL), M. Hutterli (TOFWERK, CH).

ESR 3: Laser Ablation for water isotopic analysis with particular focus in spectral estimation for diffusion studies; Supervisors: V. Gkinis (Univ. Copenhagen DK), C. Barbante (Univ. Venice IT).

ESR 4: Improvements and application of the laser techniques LA-ICP-MS for high resolution non-destructive elemental analyses on ice cores; Supervisors: P. Bohleber (Univ. Venice, IT), R. Rhodes (UKRI-BAS, UK).

ESR 5: Developing an instrument to make continuous observations of the crystal size on a 1m polished surface of an ice core; Supervisors: D. Dahl-Jensen (Univ. Copenhagen, DK), André Lamott (Schäfter & Kirchhoff GmbH, D)

ESR 6: Quantification and correction of “in situ” production of N2O in ice cores; Supervisors: H. Fischer (Univ. of Bern, CH), T. Roeckmann (Univ. Utrecht, NL).

ESR7: Stratigraphy, impurity and crystal preferred orientation impact on inhomogeneous deformation to locate disturbed basal ice; Supervisors: I. Weikusat (AWI, D), M. R. Drury (Univ. Utrecht, NL).


ESR8: 36Cl in Antarctic ice cores – developing a key dating tool and climate proxy; Supervisors: R. Muscheler (Univ. Lund, SW), E. Wolff (UKRI-BAS, UK).

ESR 9: Retrieval of the oldest paleoclimatic signal in basal ice, insights from a large-scale multi-parametric study? Supervisors: F. Fripiat (Univ. Bruxelles, B), T. Roeckmann (Univ. Utrecht, NL).

ESR 10: Interpretation of the water isotope climate signal on the East Antarctic plateau through continuous measurements of isotopic composition of water vapour, precipitation, surface snow and subsurface snow ; Supervisors: H.-C. Steen Larsen (Univ. Bergen, NW), B. Stenni (Univ. Venice, IT).

ESR 11: Evolution of snow and air circulating in snow beyond the surface of Antarctic ice sheet; Supervisors: A. Landais (CNRS-LSCE, FR), P. Martinerie (CNRS-IGE).

ESR 12: Estimating and accounting for diffusion in deep ice using advanced statistical methods;.Supervisors: T. Laepple (AWI, D), V. Gkinis (Univ. Copenhagen, DK).

ESR 13: Coupled atmosphere-ocean modelling: Interpreting Antarctic deep ice; Supervisors: L. Sime (UKRI-BAS, UK), E. Capron (CNRS-IGE, FR).

ESR 14: Combining an ice flow model with radar observations in the Dome C area, Antarctica; Supervisors: F. Parrenin (CNRS-IGE, FR), O. Eisen (AWI, D).

ESR 15: Investigating the MPT from an Earth System perspective; Supervisors: K. Nisancioglu (Univ. Bergen), R. van de Wal (Univ. Utrecht).


Please visit the project website for more information.