Atmospheric Scientist

Atmospheric Scientist

Published Deadline Location
19 Apr 18 Jun Leiden

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Job description

Are you our new colleague?

Are you the ambitious post-doctoral scientist with enthusiasm for climate research that will improve aerosol measurements from satellites, enabling a better understanding and quantification of climate change?


You and SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research

Your work at SRON will enable a better quantification of the effective radiative forcing due to aerosol-cloud interactions. You will make use of the NASA PACE mission (launch January 2024) with onboard the SPEXone instrument. SPEXone is being developed by a Dutch consortium consisting of SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON) and Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands (Airbus DS NL). The scientific lead is in the hands of SRON.


Your position and team

You will be part of the aerosol-cloud research line in the Earth Science Group (ESG) of SRON. The ESG consists of approximately 25 scientists (permanent, postdocs, PhD students) that work on the data processing and interpretation of satellite instruments as well as the definition of new instrumentation and guiding the development. About 8-10 scientists work in the aerosol-cloud research line on retrieval algorithm development, data assimilation, and quantification of aerosol radiative forcing from satellites.


Your project

The magnitude of the effect of aerosol-cloud interactions on the Earth energy budget is very uncertain, which means that that the warming by Greenhouse gases is masked by an unknown amount of cooling due to aerosol-cloud interactions. The NASA PACE mission will provide measurements that will allow a better quantification these interactions. The Dutch SPEXone instrument has been designed to provide aerosol measurements with unprecedented detail and accuracy, which can be combined with novel cloud products from HARP-2. We are looking for a scientist to work on the development and validation of advanced aerosol and cloud products from PACE and on data exploitation with focus on aerosol-cloud interactions. You will be directly involved in the analysis in the first data provided by PACE and the validation activities as part of a dedicated validation campaign for PACE (PACE-PAX) where airborne versions of the PACE instruments will fly on the NASA ER-2 high altitude aircraft.




Position requirements

We are looking for a person with a PhD in (atmospheric) physics or similar with strong programming skills (preferably Fortran and Python). Experience in polarimetric remote sensing of aerosols and cloud and knowledge on aerosol-cloud interactions would be a clear asset. Good English language skills (speaking and writing) and the ability to both work in a team and independently are a no-brainer for us.

Conditions of employment

What we offer

We offer you an inspiring professional environment with driven teams and colleagues and good career opportunities. This position is for two years, the possibility for an extension depends on the external funding. You will be formally employed by NWO-I, the NWO institute organization to which we belong.

Employees of NWO-I/SRON are covered by the collective labor agreement for research institutes (Cao-OI). Your place of employment is Leiden. This position is placed in salary scale 10 (maximum € 4.789,- gross per month on a full-time basis).

NWO-I has good secondary employment conditions such as:

•            excellent reputation in space science

•            societal relevant, high quality science

•            extensive development opportunities

•            42 vacation days a year

•            a favorable parental leave scheme

•            possibility to partially work from home

•            well-equipped modern labs



SRON's mission is to achieve breakthroughs in international scientific research from space. To this end, SRON develops groundbreaking technology and advanced space instruments. SRON promotes societal applications for space technology. We have a strong international reputation as 'excellent in space research'. The quality and societal relevance of our science is considered ‘world-leading’.


About SRON

SRON is the Netherlands Institute for Space Research. Based at locations in Leiden and Groningen, SRON combines fundamental scientific research, technology innovation, and instrumentation development to enable breakthroughs in astrophysics, exoplanet research, and earth atmospheric research from space. In partnership with leading international partners and space agencies such as ESA, NASA and JAXA, SRON provides scientific and technological contributions to international space missions as well as expertise and support to the Dutch and international scientific communities.

SRON is the national base for the Netherlands participation in the ESA science program. On the national level, it works in close collaboration with the Dutch universities, other NWO institutes, and governmental agencies to pursue a cohesive agenda for space-based research.


At SRON, we are committed to diversity in the workplace and an inclusive culture. We explicitly invite people from all conceivable backgrounds to apply. Everyone is different and has unique talents. We embrace that diversity and believe it makes us stronger, more innovative, and enriches our institute. We therefore strongly encourage qualified applicants of all ages, sexual orientations, gender expressions, members of minorities, persons with disabilities, or other non-traditional backgrounds to apply.


  • Postdoc
  • Natural sciences
  • 32—40 hours per week
  • max. €4789 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 2070


Niels Bohrweg 4, 2333 CA, Leiden

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