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Early career


W2W Early Career Scientists, November 2023, Landau (Pfalz)


The ECS committee members, including the ECS representative, are elected for a period of one year. The current committee consists of:

In addition to the ECS committee, a contact person in the Steering Group is available to provide support and information to the ECS. This person is Tijana Janjic-Pfander. (During Phase 1, this person was Peter Knippertz.)


The coordinated training and promotion of early career scientists (ECS), i.e., students, doctoral candidates, postdocs and future junior group leaders, forms an explicit commitment of all members and participating universities of W2W. We strive to stimulate and support young talents and future weather researchers and to prepare them for leading positions in academia, research laboratories and weather services in a truly international context.

The concept for support of ECS is based on self-determination, with support and oversight from the W2W management as well as university resources. The elected lead ECS representative or deputy takes part in all Steering Group meetings as a non-voting member, representing the ECS interests. In addition, an ECS representative at each location is elected, together forming the ECS committee (see below) who is responsible for the organization of ECS activities.

The ECS in W2W substantially benefit from the interdisciplinary approach combining atmospheric dynamics, ensemble techniques, physical processes, inverse and statistical methods, and novel visualization tools and from the close links to related research efforts on the international scene.

Although W2W does not intend to establish an integrated PhD program, the consortium is determined to create and foster a strong W2W identity. The consortium integrates the W2W ECS horizontally between the three hosting sites, in particular within each of the Research Areas, and vertically within each of the academic sites.

Horizontal integration is achieved by:

  • web-streaming or video-conferencing of presentations from regular seminars of internal, national and international speakers
  • interdisciplinary practical courses offered by the participating academic partners on topics including ensemble techniques, cloud processes and visualization methods
  • W2W-wide Early Career Scientist workshops organized by the ECS themselves with informal exchanges and mentoring sessions (see the "Meetings" section for more information)
  • inviting lecturers for specific skills such as presentation and scientific writing techniques

Vertical integration at each university site ensures a vivid interaction with scientists at different levels of their academic career and the participation at local W2W seminars.

All doctoral candidates are encouraged to present their results at international conferences and use this opportunity of international exposure and networking early on in their career. The ECS also have the opportunity to pursue an international research visit lasting from one week up to four months. These visits are initiated and organized by the ECS themselves and are an outstanding opportunity to gain insight into the research projects, the research at another institute, and life in another country.

Activities during COVID19

The COVID19 situation is a great challenge for everyone, for the W2W community, and in particular for the ECS at the start of their scientific career. Collaborating within and outside of W2W and constructing, expanding, and maintaining a scientific network online is a great challenge. To foster the group dynamics in W2W and at each institute, and to help the ECS getting to know each other and cope with home office, a number of activities have been organized, either for all ECS in W2W or for all ECS at a W2W partner institute. Below is a non-exhaustive list of them:

  • Language exchange: small groups of ECS (3-5) meet regularly online to practice their language skills (e.g. German, English).
  • Game events: the whole W2W community is invited to join regular game events (on Friday late afternoon) where small groups can form and play online games such as Geoguessr, Codenames or Broken Picture Telephone.
  • Writing club: once every two weeks, ECS can upload a text they have been writing (e.g. a draft article, an abstract, a report) and can receive constructive feedback from other ECS. The ECS reviewing these documents can in turn upload their written contributions and receive feedback.
  • Journal club: once per week, an ECS presents an article, which is relevant to her or his research and discusses it with the other interested ECS.

Supervisory agreement

An agreement (”Betreuungsvereinbarung”) was created between PhD students and their supervisors to ensure that the PhD students have a W2W member as a second mentor, thereby fostering networking, scientific discussions, and constructive feedback within the consortium. The document is available below in German and in English and must be signed by all PhD students and their supervisors in W2W.