Doctoral Scholarship: Earth Systems Science – Oceans and Climate – Western Cape

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is a leading scientific and technology research organisation, implementing projects throughout Africa and making a difference in people’s lives.

Doctoral Scholarships: Earth Systems Science – Oceans and Climate

About the opportunity:

The CSIR has Doctoral Scholarships in the Ocean Systems and Climate Research Group, within the Southern Ocean Carbon-Climate Observatory (SOCCO), which is hosted by 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 NRE and SOCCO please visit and

Research domains:

Ocean Carbon – Climate and CO
2 – 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 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 defend the work successfully;
  • Contribute to extra activities that may be outside the scope of the Doctoral 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, and 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 (including the latest academic results or transcript);
  • Copies of tertiary qualifications and ID;
  • CV (highlighting relevant skills and experience) and cover letter.

Closing date: 15 February 2109


For more info, please contact the CSIR Recruitment Centre on 012 841 4774 or email us at [email protected]

is an equal opportunity employer. As such, it is committed to the Employment Equity Act of 1998. By applying for this position at the CSIR, the applicant understands, consents and agrees that the CSIR may solicit a credit and criminal report from a registered credit bureau and/or SAPS (in relation to positions that require trust and honesty and/or entail the handling of cash or finances) and may also verify the applicant’s educational qualifications and employment history. The CSIR reserves the right to remove the advertisement at any time before the stated closing date and it further reserves the right not to appoint if a suitable candidate is not identified.

Apply here!