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PhD in Energy, Environment and Atmospheric Sciences (Research Project: Coupling Climate Change to Cities for Spatial and Temporal Variable Heat Mitigation Measures)

Scientific Context

Cyprus is centrally located in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East (EMME), a region with a population of about 400 million, affected by dust storms, dryness, heat extremes and air pollution. The EMME region has been identified as one of the few climate change “hot spots”, with adverse impacts among others to the state of urban thermal environment. Taken that excessive heat influences energy consumption, thermal comfort and urban health at the city level, it is important to couple climate change to cities and define and assess heat mitigation measures for future climate conditions. This requires an approach which combines three distinct scales, namely climate, mesoscale-urban and microclimate ones; however, such an approach is yet to be developed and applied in cities in the region, thus preventing the adequate development of heat mitigation plans for future climate periods.

Scientific Objectives

The overall scientific objective of the PhD research project is to (a) address the coupling of climate change to cities, in view of defining heat mitigation measures at the urban scale for future climatic periods and various RCPs, (b) develop a methodology for the categorization of cities into urban climate zones with the use, among others, of earth observation, (c) apply cascade modelling so as to link three distinct spatial scales namely the climate, urban and microclimate scales and (d) define, in fine spatial detail, and assess heat mitigation measures. The project will be exemplified for selected cities in the EMME region and will also result in a database of effective adaptation measures to heat as far as future climate conditions are concerned.

Experimental Strategy

The experimental strategy will consider the analysis of earth observation data and the combined use of climate, mesoscale and microclimatic models, for instance by exploiting the WRF urban parametrizations or promoting statistical downscaling of CORDEX and thereafter forcing a microclimatic model with its output data. Through the strategy above, tailor made heat mitigation measures for heat at the urban scale will be defined for future climate periods.

Coordination of the PhD

The PhD project will be jointly offered by the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Prof. C. Cartalis) and The Cyprus Institute (Assoc. Prof. P. Hadjinicolaou). Upon the completion of the PhD project, a dual PhD degree will be awarded by the entities above.

Qualifications and Application Process

The successful candidate will hold a Master of Science in Environmental Sciences (preferably a Master’s in atmospheric or climate science, or with concentration to these disciplines) with excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Previous exposure to earth observation and urban climate as well as the use of climate models, will be an asset for this position. Good proficiency in English is a requirement.

Applicants should also refer to additional information about admission requirements which can be found on the website of CyI under the PhD in Energy, Environment and Atmospheric Sciences Admissions section and the website of the Department of Environmental Physics of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.  

Applications should be sent through the online application system of The Cyprus Institute Graduate School. When applying through the online application, in Step 2 of the application under the section Scholarship or Financial Aid: applicants should select: Specific PhD Project and they should enter the project reference code: GS-EAS-EMME-21-6 in the Project Code field. Applicants should also mention in their statement of intent that they are applying for the PhD position with reference code: GS-EAS-EMME-21-6. If the code is not entered in the online application, the applicant may not be considered for this position.

Application Deadline

The regular application deadline for admission for Fall 2021 is April 1, 2021 (for all applicants) and the late deadline is July 3, 2021 (only for applicants not requiring a student visa). Please refer to our website for important details on the application deadlines.

Financial Support

Financial aid will be available for this project based on merit.

Contact Information

Prof. Jean Sciare (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Prof. C. Cartalis (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Assoc. Professor Panos Hadjinicolaou (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)              

For general information about the application process please contact the Office of Graduate Studies at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or tel: +357 22208614.