The Antarctic Research Centre (ARC) at the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand is a world leading institute in Antarctic studies. NZ SeaRise, a 5-year programme aims to investigate and quantify future sea-level changes and subsequent environmental impacts on global and regional scale.

The Antarctic Ice Sheet is losing mass predominantly through discharge into the ocean. The ocean cavities beneath ice shelves are some of the most remote and poorly sampled waters on Earth. Yet these waters control the melting and stability of ice shelves, and their ability to prevent the accelerated discharge of Antarctica’s grounded ice sheets into the ocean. Numerical simulations are a critical tool to predict the future evolution of the complex ice-atmosphere-ocean system in the Southern Hemisphere. However, currently available coupled ice-ocean numerical models on realistic continental scales are lacking explicit representations of a number of important physical processes.


This scholarship is to support the objectives of the programme at the ARC, who are seeking one or two highly motivated PhD students to undertake research in advancing specific aspects of analytical and/or numerical models in either one or a combination of the following fields:

  1. Representation of ocean dynamics near the ice shelf grounding line in ocean models.

  2. Processes at the ice shelf front:

    a) Wall melting, b) Ice berg calving and tracking, c) Ocean-ice cliff interaction.

  3. Coupled ocean–ice shelf–ice sheet simulations.

  4. High resolution regional ocean-ice shelf modeling.

  5. Coupled atmosphere–ocean–ice shelf modeling.

  6. Diffusion/ mixing/ advection beneath ice shelves.


Applicants will have a profound interest in the physics of ice-ocean interactions and an intrinsic motivation to be working independently on related scientific questions. A background in fluid dynamics, physical oceanography, thermodynamics, applied mathematics, computer science or related fields is desirable. Depending on the chosen subject some affinity to programming (Fortran, C, Python, etc) is essential. If applicants have worked with ocean models such as Fluidity, MOM, GERRIS, FESOM or comparable systems we would like to hear from them. All international applicants are welcome.

Application process

Applicants are required to submit a CV and any supporting documents (e.g. presentation, reports) they wish to be considered to stefan.jendersie@vuw.ac.nz. Please include a short abstract about research interests, not necessarily confined to the subjects outlined above by 1 July 2019.

Scholarship specific documentation

  • Curriculum Vitae

  • Any supporting documents (e.g. presentation, reports)

  • A short abstract about research interests, not necessarily confined to the subjects outlined above

Selection process

Successful recipients will be selected by Nicholas Golledge, Stefan Jendersie and Richard Levy.

Additional information

The scholarship covers living allowance of NZD$25,000 per annum plus tuition fees. Additional funding for conference attendance is available.


For further information about this scholarship please contact Stefan Jendersie (stefan.jendersie@vuw.ac.nz) or Nick Golledge (nicholas.golledge@vuw.ac.nz).