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RV Polarstern

Call Closed: North South Atlantic Training Transect 2016

Improving our knowledge of the ocean requires a new generation of well-trained researchers who are able to combine practical field work at sea with modern multi- and cross-disciplinary research methods and techniques. The 2016 North South Atlantic Training Transect (NoSoAT) will investigate Ocean, Atmosphere and Climate interactions on a transect from Bremerhaven, Germany to Cape Town, South Africa from 12th November to 12th December 2016. NoSoAT is a joint cooperation between the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), the Strategic Marine Alliance for Research and Training (SMART), the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO), the Nippon Foundation and AtlantOS.

During the transit, postgraduate students will be trained in the principles of oceanographic and atmospheric interactions and their impacts on climate. Work on board will focus on practical applied research techniques, along with lectures, exercises and student presentations. Participants will gain hands-on training in deployment and operation of scientific gear, acquisition and processing of the sample material and analysis and interpretation of the respective data. In addition, participants will receive training in understanding climate processes, simple climate modeling and the legal framework of ocean governance and its impacts on research activities at sea. Students will also receive training in:

  •          Physics of climate: processes and models
  •          Atmospheric Lidar systems
  •          Oceanographic sampling and data acquisition
  •          Remote sensing techniques
  •          Data analysis and dissemination
  •          Climate advocacy and governance

Course prerequisites and target group:

The course is open to all International postgraduate students (MSc and PhD) of marine, atmosphere and climate-related sciences. A good command of the English language is required.

For Doctoral students this summer school can be taken as either an Expert Training or a Transferable Skills course. If the project is thematically related with the PhD project of the student, then the NoSoAT can be considered as an expert training. If there is no close relation, then the training should be considered as a transferable skills course.

Important notes:

Applicants who are positively evaluated will need to submit a medical history and perform a complete medical physical examination. This can be done with any general practitioner, according to the regulations required for the RV Polarstern. Once accepted, detailed information will be provided. The completed medical checklist must be submitted not later than 22nd July 2016.

Applicants must hold a valid passport. They should make sure that they are eligible for a tourist visa to enter Germany (starting point) and South Africa (ending point).

Applicants should take into account that the cruise dates are preliminary and may still be subject to change by a few days. Final cruise schedule to be expected for early summer.

Participation quota:

24 students in total.


We are committed to admitting talented students from diverse backgrounds. Accepted applicants will receive a scholarship to cover tuition, travel to Bremerhaven and from Cape Town, lodging and food. Please note: Costs for visa (if applicable) and medical checks cannot be covered.


The online application form for NoSoAT 2016 will close on Monday 23rd May 2016 at 18:00 UTC. 

Please note you will need to upload one PDF document containing the following sections:

  1.  Statement of motivation stating how NoSoAT 2016 will benefit your research and career (300 words max)
  2.  Statement of support from your Supervisor or Head of Department
  3.  A copy of your Curriculum Vitae
  4.  A copy of a valid passport

Applicants will be notified by 15th June 2016 and will have one week to accept the position. Please make sure you have access to email within that time. 


NoSoAT 2016 is a joint project between the Alfred Wegener Institute, the Strategic Marine Alliance for Research & Training (SMART) and the NF-POGO Centre of Excellence. NoSoAT 2016 is jointly supported by the Nippon Foundation/POGO Centre of Excellence.

Any questions related to participation should be addressed to Interested applicants from across the island of Ireland can contact

Please feel free to download and display a NoSoAT 2016 poster.