Scientist Atmospheric Composition

Scientist Atmospheric Composition

Published Deadline Location
6 Dec 3 Feb De Bilt

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Job description

As a scientist in the field of atmospheric composition you will contribute to the development of physical modeling of reactive trace gases in the earth atmosphere measured by satellite instruments such as Tropomi. You will enable the uptake of Tropomi observations of formaldehyde in the CAMS global system, to improve our understanding of current state of biogenic emissions, and in turn, other emission sources.

To reach this goal you will work in an international environment that is closely connected to the CAMS consortium that is working on global modeling efforts ( If you are interested in a job on the interface of atmospheric modeling, satellite retrievals, numerical methods and high-performance computing, then this vacancy is the perfect opportunity. You will be based in De Bilt.

The CAMEO project will support the CAMS service by developing novel methods on the use of satellite data of atmospheric composition through data assimilation. For this, CAMEO will enhance the CAMS system to enable the use of new Sentinel data for aerosol and trace gases that can already be assimilated, such as carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ozone (O3). CAMEO will further develop the system to be able to take up non-standard observations. In this respect KNMI contributes strongly by (1) improving the data assimilation procedure through a better method for matching observations to coarse-resolution model values, and (2) enabling the use of formaldehyde (HCHO) observations. HCHO plays a central role in the atmospheric chemistry that is associated to emissions from biogenic sources, and thereby is part of the puzzle that explains the observed variability in CO. Due to its central role it is a challenging trace gas to work on, requiring strong collaboration with experts working on emissions and chemistry modelling, satellite retrievals, as well as mathematical, and numerical methods.

You will work will be on the interface of these aspects, with focal point on the development of optimal use of Tropomi observations of formaldehyde through a detailed understanding of its sources and sinks. You will evaluate differences between modelled and observed formaldehyde columns, and interpret this in terms of uncertainties in modelling, and retrieval products. You will develop methods to enable assimilation of formaldehyde observations, by describing the formaldehyde chemistry in an efficient way, and link this to biogenic sources of formaldehyde precursors. This will be done in close collaboration with various experts in the consortium, and will gradually put you in a central position in regard to global reactive trace gas modeling aspects in the next version of the CAMS global system, hence opening up opportunities beyond this particular research project.




You are an enthusiastic scientist with a background in atmospheric chemistry or physics, meteorology or data science, who likes to work in an international, and multi-disciplinary environment while also having the perseverance to overcome challenges from technical, scientific and communicative nature.


  • You have a degree in atmospheric chemistry or physics, meteorology or data science, preferably with experience in handling large data sets;
  • You enjoy working in a team, both taking up responsibilities, and organizing an efficient solutions through collaboration with partners in the project.
  • You are acquainted with satellite data products and/or model data;
  • You are experienced in programming in Python (and Fortran), and preferably Linux applied for the development of new source code;
  • You are fluent in English (spoken and written) and preferably have a basic understanding of the Dutch language.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 3 years.

  • Salarisniveau: schaal 11
  • Maandsalaris: Min €3.503 – Max. €5.343 (bruto)
  • Dienstverband: Arbeidsovereenkomst voor bepaalde tijd
  • Contractduur: 3 years
  • Maximaal aantal uren per week: 36

Naast het salaris ontvang je een Individueel Keuzebudget (IKB). Het IKB bestaat uit geld (16,37% van je bruto jaarsalaris) en tijd. Met het IKB maak jij de keuzes die bij jou passen en kun je een deel van je arbeidsvoorwaarden zelf samenstellen. Je kunt er bijvoorbeeld voor kiezen om een deel van je maandinkomen te laten uitbetalen wanneer jij dat wenst. Ook kun je dit budget omzetten in verlof en andersom of besteden aan fiscaal vriendelijke doelen. De Rijksoverheid hecht sterk aan persoonlijke groei en loopbaanontwikkeling en biedt daarvoor tal van mogelijkheden. Tot de secundaire arbeidsvoorwaarden behoren onder meer verschillende studiefaciliteiten, bedrijfsfitness, volledige vergoeding van je OV-reiskosten woon-werkverkeer en gedeeltelijk betaald ouderschapsverlof.



  • Research, development, innovation
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 36 hours per week
  • €3503—€5343 per month
  • University graduate
  • AT PL 20221206



Utrechtseweg 297, 3731 GA, De Bilt

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