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CSIR: Doctoral Scholarships 2018 / 2019 in Earth Systems Science

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) invites students to apply for Doctoral Scholarships 2018 / 2019  academic year.

Closing Date: 30 April 2018
Cape Town.

Doctoral Scholarships in

Earth Systems Science: Oceans and Climate

About the job:

The CSIR has Doctoral Scholarships in the Global Change competence area, within the Natural Resources and the Environment (NRE) Unit. The scholarships are in a range of disciplines that address the research needs of earth systems science with a focus on the oceans, which includes research in physics, marine biology, chemistry, mathematics, statistics, computer science, oceanography, biological sciences and engineering. These opportunities will be based in Cape Town.

For more information about the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observatory (SOCCO) please visit

For more info about NRE, please visit:

Research domains:

The Scholarships are offered in the following research domains:

Ocean Physics: Surface ocean physical dynamics of the Southern Ocean, links between fine scale dynamics and large-scale climate sensitivities.

Ocean Carbon – Climate and CO2 – The coupling between physics and biogeochemistry that leads to a better understanding of the links between CO2 and Climate.

Ocean Biogeochemistry: Phytoplankton primary production in relation to Fe and light availability

Ocean Iron: Analytical techniques in performing high precision trace metal analysis

Ocean Bio-optics: Research towards the development of new and improved ocean colour algorithms for the Southern Ocean.

Computational Oceanography/Numerical Modelling: Evaluating Southern Ocean model simulations using high performance computing, computer skills in model performance, dataset analysis and visualisation.


Key responsibilities:

  • Prepare research proposal to be approved by both the CSIR and the university;
  • Prepare a written literature overview of the current state-of-the-art around the research topic;
  • Perform original research to solve the open research problem that the student identified in his/her proposal;
  • Produce sufficient quantity and quality of peer-reviewed publications around this research topic;
  • Compile the Doctoral thesis and defending the work successfully;
  • Contribute to extra activities that may be outside the scope of the doctoral’s research as per the needs of the research group. The amount of such work shall be limited to 20% of the total time.

Qualifications, skills and experience:

  • A Master’s degree in biological sciences, computer science, statistics, oceanography, mathematics, physics, chemistry, engineering;
  • Basic computer science and coding experience (e.g. Matlab / Python) will be advantageous;
  • An understanding of basic statistics for the processing of large datasets will be advantageous;
  • Knowledge/familiarity with performing data processing, analysis and visualisation on Matlab or Python beneficial;
  • Effective communication skills (oral, written and presentation);
  • Be independent and able to work under pressure.

Applicants must attach the following documents:

  • Copies of academic results for all tertiary education
  • CV (highlighting relevant skills and experience) and cover letter

How to apply

Click here to apply online