Postdoc position in aerosol-cloud-climate research

Postdoc position in aerosol-cloud-climate research

Published Deadline Location
19 Oct 17 Dec Leiden

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Are you the ambitious post-doctoral scientist with enthusiasm for climate research that will improve climate model simulations with satellite observations, enabling a better understanding and quantification of climate change?

Job description

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 climate models and satellite observations. The NASA PACE mission (launch January 2024) with onboard the SPEXone instrument will play an important role. 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 30 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 quantify the magnitude if this cooling effect it is needed to combine climate model simulations with novel satellite observations from the NASA PACE mission, as well as the ESA missions Earthcare and METOP-SG. We are looking for a scientist to work on the development of methods to constrain climate model simulations with satellite observations. The candidate will create a Perturbed Parameter Ensemble (PPE), which is a set of simulations created using a single model with perturbations made to physical parameters or inputs to the model (related to emissions, properties, processes). The candidate will then consistently compare model output with satellite observations to determine which model variants from the PPE agree with the observations.  The candidate will work within a large European consortium with experts on aerosol-cloud-climate modeling and satellite and ground-based observations.




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 aerosol-cloud-climate modeling, aerosol and/or cloud remote sensing 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 absolutely required.

Conditions of employment

The position we offer at SRON is a full-time position in which you will be employed by NWO-I (The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research Institutes) for a period of 2 years with the possibility of extension to 4 years total. The salary will be in accordance with NWO salary scale 10 with a maximum of € 5.141,– gross per month on a full-time basis (depending on your level of education and experience). Compensation for commuting expenses will be provided.

NWO has good secondary employment conditions such as:

  • An end of year bonus of 8,33% of the gross yearly salary;
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross yearly salary;
  • 42 days of vacation leave a year on full-time basis;
  • An excellent pension scheme;
  • Options for (additional) personal development;
  • Excellent facilities for parental leave;
  • Ample training opportunities;
  • Possibility of flexible working hours;


SRON institute for space research

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.


  • Postdoc
  • Natural sciences
  • 32—40 hours per week
  • Doctorate
  • 2109


Niels Bohrweg 4, 2333 CA, Leiden

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