Postdoc position in Computer simulation of calving glaciers (0.8 – 1.0 FTE)

Postdoc position in Computer simulation of calving glaciers (0.8 – 1.0 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
6 Apr 1 Jun Utrecht

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As Postdoc you will carry out computer simulation of calving glaciers in Canada, Iceland and Spitsbergen, and evaluate their sensitivity to climate change.

Job description

Calving glaciers have complex dynamics and their response to climate change is not well understood. Many calving glaciers are surge-type glaciers which makes diagnosis of their current state difficult. However, using computer simulation with a variety of models offers the possibility to integrate existing data and to get more insight in these glaciers. Calibration of the models against past observations on glacier length and ice thickness data increases the reliability of projections of future behaviour under various scenarios of climate change.

You will be part of the project ‘Modelling of the Mueller Ice Cap’, which supports the planning for ice-core drilling on the ice cap, and is funded by the Balzan Foundation. The initial targets are outlets from the Mueller Ice Cap in northern Canada, Iceland and/or Tunabreen in central Spitsbergen. The project is carried out in collaboration with the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen.

You as postdoctoral researcher will be responsible for the adaptation of existing ice-flow models to the glaciers that will be studied. You will participate in a workshop dedicated to the modelling of the Mueller Ice Cap (October 2023), which marks the beginning of the project. You will carry out a large number of numerical experiments to evaluate glacier behaviour related to calving, surging, and interaction with ocean and atmosphere. After careful calibration of the models, you will use them to generate projections of future glacier behaviour for different climate change scenarios, and compare these with earlier more schematic studies.


Utrecht University


You have completed a PhD degree in physics, geophysics or another area related to environmental sciences with a strong mathematical background. You already have good background knowledge on glacier dynamics and physics of the climate system. More specifically you are:

  • Familiar with adapting and running codes in Fortran, Python and other software used in computer simulation
  • A team player that is open and willing to share knowledge with colleagues
  • A positive mind taking the climate problem seriously and willing to advance our knowledge about consequences of global warming

Conditions of employment

  • A 0.8 – 1.0 FTE position for 1.5 - 2 years depending on size of appointment;
  • A full-time gross salary ranging from €2,960 to €4.670 in scale 10;
  • 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • A pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities.

In addition to the employment conditions from the CAO for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. These include agreements on professional development, leave arrangements and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment through the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we encourage you to grow.

For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University.


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The Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht (IMAU) offers a unique research and teaching environment, in which the fundamentals of the climate system are studied. Research is organized in five themes: Atmospheric Dynamics, Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry, Coastal and Shelf Sea Dynamics, Ice and Climate and Oceans and Climate.

In 2017, IMAU research quality and impact were qualified as 'world leading' by an international visitation committee. Currently, IMAU employs 18 faculty members and 10 support staff and some 20 Postdocs and 30 PhD students, and offers a friendly, open and international atmosphere.


  • Postdoc
  • Natural sciences
  • 30—40 hours per week
  • €2960—€4670 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 1208364



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