PhD/Postdoc position in Cloud-Aerosol interaction (1.0 FTE)

PhD/Postdoc position in Cloud-Aerosol interaction (1.0 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
3 Mar 17 Apr Utrecht

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Join us as part of a larger consortium and investigate Cloud-Aerosol-Interactions in a Nitrogen-dominated Atmosphere (CAINA) using ACSM and PTR-MS instruments.

Job description

For the CAINA (cloud-aerosol reactions in a nitrogen dominated atmosphere) project we are looking for a PhD/Postdoc candidate to join our endeavors.

Reactive nitrogen is quickly becoming the dominant pollutant in many regions in the world, with important consequences for ecosystems, human health and climate. This leads to changes in atmospheric chemistry and physics that need to be understood. The CAINA project investigates how aerosols and clouds interact in this new chemical regime by combining field experiments, chamber studies and modeling. The project is located mainly in the Netherlands, where nitrogen pollution evolved to be a serious problem. We make extensive use of the Ruisdael atmospheric observatory with its advanced in-situ and remote sensing infrastructure.

The CAINA team consists of atmospheric scientists from 4 Dutch Universities (University of Groningen, Wageningen University, TU Delft, and Utrecht University) in collaboration with project partners from Germany (MPIC-Mainz, Leibnitz Institute for Tropospheric research, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) and from Cyprus (The Cyprus Institute). We closely collaborate on the project, combining our expertise in atmospheric and aerosol physics, atmospheric chemistry, cloud remote sensing, and atmospheric modeling.

You will be part of the CAINA research community and participate in a large, international field campaign, yearly workshops, and regular CAINA meetings. Research stays at our international partners can be facilitated. Your specific duties will be performing measurements with Time-of-Flight mass spectrometry (TOF-MS) instruments. Our lab operates two Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitors (ACSM) and three Proton-Transfer-Reaction Mass-Spectrometers in different setups. With both instruments you will perform long-term measurements that cover several seasons, and you will analyze aerosol filter and cloud water samples with our offline Thermal-desorption (TD) PTR-MS method. A major task will be the synthesis of all CAINA experiments/measurements (including the modelling efforts) which requires a close collaboration with the entire CAINA team.


Utrecht University


You have completed a PhD or master degree in physics, chemistry or another area related to environmental sciences with a strong quantitative mathematical background. You already have good background knowledge in atmospheric composition, pollution, clouds, aerosols, and climate, and experience with PTR-MS, ACSM, or other related mass spectrometry techniques. Next to this you find yourself in multiple of the following characteristics:

  • You like working hands-on with scientific instruments in a laboratory and are interested to deploy your instruments at different locations during the project.
  • You are interested in harmonization of measurements and setting standards in terms of measurement quality.
  • You have good programming skills for data processing and analysis, ideally using an programming language such as Python, IDL, or Matlab.
  • You are interested in environmental processes and climate change. You want your work to contribute to realizing pollution reductions.
  • You are a good team player and can find your position in a larger consortium, but are also self-motivated to take over increasing levels of responsibility for your project.
  • Your oral and written English skills are good and you can work (and publish!) independently.
  • You have an open mind, enthusiasm, curiosity and creative thinking.

We highly encourage applicants from all members of our community and of diverse background to join us.

Conditions of employment

For the PhD candidate position, you will be offered a temporary position (1.0 FTE), initially for one year with an extension to a total of four years upon a successful assessment in the first year, and with the specific intent that it results in a doctorate within this period. The gross salary ranges between €2.541,- in the first year and €3.247,- in the fourth year of employment (according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year.

For the postdoc position, you will be offered a temporary position (1.0 FTE), initially for one year with an extension to a total of three years upon a successful assessment in the first year. The gross salary ranges between €3.413,- and €4.670,- (according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year. 

In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University.

For more information, please visit working at the Faculty of Science.


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  • Postdoc; PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2541—€4670 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1206524



Padualaan 8, 3584 CH, Utrecht

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