Scientist Atmospheric Composition

Scientist Atmospheric Composition

Published Deadline Location
21 Nov 10 Dec De Bilt

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Job description

As a scientist in the field of atmospheric composition, you will contribute to the modelling of aerosols in the Earth’s atmosphere. You will introduce an alternative aerosol scheme into the operational version of the Integrated Forecasting System (IFS), as employed in the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) global system. You will also review and update the description of the formation of secondary organic aerosols and emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOC). Your activities will be closely connected to the global and regional aerosol modelling efforts that are ongoing in the CAMS consortium ( If you are interested in working at the interface of atmospheric composition modelling and high-performance computing, then this job is the perfect opportunity. You will be based in De Bilt.

The project
The CAMAERA project will enhance the quality of aerosol products in CAMS by a wide range of methods, including:

  • a better use of satellite observations through data assimilation.
  • better parameterization of emissions.
  • a better understanding of aerosol processes including the production of secondary organic aerosol.
  • the implementation and testing of a modal aerosol scheme (‘M7’), as currently developed in the OpenIFS model for the EC-Earth climate model.

In this project, KNMI contributes strongly on two topics. The secondary organic aerosol formation scheme will be reviewed, building on its expertise in precursor gas modelling along with the use of satellite retrievals for validation purposes. Secondly, the M7 aerosol scheme will be integrated into the most recent version of the IFS, allowing a direct comparison with the currently available more simplified aerosol scheme. This work is done in close collaboration with partners across Europe.

What will you be doing?
You will focus on the introduction and testing of the M7 scheme into the most recent version of the IFS, building on pre-existing modules as part of an OpenIFS version that is in development for EC-Earth. This work is done in close collaboration with experts from FMI, and includes both technical tasks (ensuring that the model runs stably and in a cost-effective manner) and scientific tasks (quantify the model improvement versus the operational model configuration and reduce the largest sources of uncertainty). Moreover, you will review and update the existing parameterization of BVOC emissions, and assess its impact on secondary organic aerosol production. This will build on expertise at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute on BVOC emissions, along with existing evaluation capabilities of the current CAMS global system.


Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut


Academic level
PhD degree

Skills and experience
You are an enthusiastic scientist with a background in atmospheric aerosol, chemistry, or meteorology modelling, who likes to work in an international, and multidisciplinary environment.


  • You have a degree in atmospheric chemistry or physics, meteorology, or data science, with substantial experience in handling large datasets.
  • You enjoy working in a team, both taking up responsibilities and organizing efficient solutions through collaboration with partners in the project.
  • You are acquainted with atmospheric models or satellite data.
  • You are an experienced user of Linux and have good programming skills in Python and preferably Fortran.
  • 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 €3.608 – Max. €5.503 (bruto)
  • Dienst­verband: Arbeidsovereenkomst voor bepaalde tijd
  • Contract­duur: 3 jaar
  • Maximaal aantal uren per week: 36

Other conditions of employement

In addition to your salary, you will receive an Individual Budget (IKB). The IKB consists of funds (16.37% of your gross annual salary) and time. With the IKB, you make choices that are right for you, and you can decide on some of your employment conditions yourself. For example, you could opt to receive part of your monthly salary at a date of your choosing. You could also use the budget to purchase additional leave, or vice versa, or spend it on tax-efficient purchases. The Government of the Netherlands strongly values personal growth and career development and offers a wide range of options to achieve that. The fringe benefits include various study facilities, company fitness, a full compensation of your public transport expenses for your commute and partially paid parental leave.


Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute (KNMI)

The weather is temperamental, the ground moves and the climate changes. For our safety and prosperity, we need to know what risks and opportunities this brings. And: how we can best prepare ourselves. The Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute (KNMI) is the national knowledge and data center for weather, climate and seismology. Reliable, independent and focused on what the Netherlands needs. For a safe Netherlands that is prepared for the impact of weather, climate and earthquakes.

We use our core values - Development, Cooperation and Relevance - to achieve our ambition, both within and outside KNMI, nationally and internationally. We develop our knowledge and expertise and work together to create a single KNMI that makes a difference to society!

Talent as the basis, diversity as the strength
The KNMI is an inclusive organization. An organization that provides space for everyone and uses the strength of its diverse workforce to achieve better results together for the Netherlands. Inclusive means that everyone feels involved and valued; not in spite of their differences, but thanks to them.

Organisationally, KNMI falls under the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (IenW) is committed to a safe, accessible and liveable Netherlands. That is why the Ministry is working on powerful connections by road, rail, water and air. And IenW protects against flooding, ensures the quality of air, water and soil and the realization of a circular economy.


The department Research and Development of Weather and Climate models (RDWK) investigates and develops research tools for weather and air quality prediction applications and climate research. We work on detailed physical processes, data assimilation, long term climate projections and practical applications including storm surge forecasts and statistics of extremes. RDWK participates in international projects directed towards a variety of weather and climate related research and development areas. The department has a strong international network.

The department performs its activities in collaboration with partners like ACCORD, EC-Earth, the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts and universities. We work for the national road and water authority Rijkswaterstaat, the Ministry for Infrastructure and Water Management, the Dutch research funding organisation (NWO), the European Copernicus programme and other European research programmes; and on servicing the operational weather forecast centre, climate scenarios and strategic research. The department collaborates with the other KNMI departments.


  • Research, development, innovation
  • Natural sciences; Engineering
  • max. 36 hours per week
  • €3608—€5503 per month
  • Doctorate
  • AT KNMI 20231021


Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut

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Utrechtseweg 297, 3732 GK, De Bilt

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