The AWI has evolved from modest beginnings to one of the world's recognized centres of polar and marine research since its foundation in 1980 and makes significant contributions to Earth system and climate research in the polar regions and coastal waters. Our work aims to identify past and future changes in the global environment from a marine and polar perspective.

The institute is a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres and pursues long-term research goals of the federal government on its own responsibility. The guideline for our work is the multidisciplinary research programme whose specific goals and quality are defined or reviewed. On this basis, we compete - both individually and in general - at the national and international level. Outstanding success in this competition enables further growth.


Our particular strength is that many different scientific disciplines and thus ways of thinking are represented within the institute, which together enable us to find new ways of understanding the polar and coastal regions. In this way, we can point out ways to sustainability and pro-active social behaviour.

We cooperate with many national and international institutes and organizations and trustfully share knowledge, resources and personnel. These cooperations support and enrich our work.

We have an important responsibility in the science system through the provision and operation of large research infrastructure. We not only perform this task in our own capacity, but also work trustfully together with partners from the private sector, make use of manifold synergies and are a reliable partner.

Advice and Innovation

 A particular concern for us is to provide the public with sound and comprehensible information about our research results and the way in which we achieve them. In addition, we provide knowledge-based consulting services for politics, business and society.

Wherever possible, we strive to leverage research and development results to support green innovation or the development of sustainable technologies. Likewise, we maintain high standards in occupational, health and environmental protection.


In addition to excellence in research, we attach great importance to the promotion of young talents and education. We are therefore committed to school-based projects and vocational training and offer our doctoral students excellent working conditions and structured training concepts.

We offer equal opportunities and promote the compatibility of family and work. In a special way we take care of our foreign employees and support the integration of people with disabilities into education and work.


The work at the AWI is characterized by mutual trust among all employees. This applies not only within the areas of science, technology and administration or even within the individual locations, but beyond all boundaries.

Employees can and should assume responsibility in an environment characterized by flat hierarchies. We see ourselves as a community that has always shown its inner cohesion, especially when unforeseeable events - e.g. on expeditions - make the rapid action of many necessary.

Every job at the AWI offers the opportunity for lifelong learning, allows independent, responsible action and opens up all possibilities for personal satisfaction in the working world.