Atmospheric Scientist

Atmospheric Scientist

Published Deadline Location
20 Jan 19 Feb Leiden

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Are you an ambitious, highly motivated and result driven scientist with good skills in data analytics and experience in the interpretation of atmospheric (satellite) data? Then you are the person we are looking for.

Job description

You and SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research

SRON is the co-Principal Investigator Institute for TROPOMI, a Dutch instrument realised together with ESA that has been a game-changer for studying various atmospheric trace gases and emissions from space. SRON’s responsibilities include the development and maintenance of the operational algorithms for methane and carbon monoxide. We have a research project focusing on using the TROPOMI carbon monoxide to better understand emissions from biomass burning. We have detected major sources of wildfires and deforestation fires all over the world. As such we have used TROPOMI carbon monoxide to quantify the amount of CO2 emissions from the major Black Summer fires that raged through Southeast Australia in 2019 and 2020. These estimates shed new light on the importance and magnitude of these kind of large wildfires relative to the contribution of fossil fuel emissions. It demonstrated the possibilities to detect and characterize carbon monoxide – and indirectly CO2 – emissions from fires using space-based observations. You will join the team at SRON working on this exciting topic where science also enables and supports climate action.

Your position and team

You will be part of our team of scientists working on the interpretation of TROPOMI – and other – satellite data in the Earth Science Group (ESG) of SRON. The ESG consists of approximately 25 scientists (permanent, postdocs, PhD students) that work on the interpretation of satellite data, data processing, as well as the definition of new instrumentation. Our team develops methods to detect and identify sources and quantify emissions of various trace gases using satellite data in conjunction with atmospheric modelling. Our research aims to address topics with societal relevance.

Your project

In this NWO-funded project you will use high spatial resolution TROPOMI carbon monoxide data to assess biomass burning and wildfire emissions – and their burden on the greenhouse gas budget like CO2 – at several major fire regions (e.g. Africa, Indonesia, North America, and Siberia). Emissions will be derived with a data assimilation technique using satellite data and atmospheric transport modeling. You will contribute to the development of the regional inversion framework, and you will evaluate the derived fire emissions against existing global fire emission models and other datasets. You will present your work within our research community and at scientific conferences, and publish your work in scientific peer reviewed journals.




We are looking for an ambitious, highly motivated, and result driven scientist with a PhD in atmospheric sciences/(astro)physics or a similar degree, experience in the interpretation of atmospheric (e.g. satellite, aircraft, …) observations using transport models, and good data analytics and computer programming skills. Experience with flux inversions is considered an asset. A good command of the English language is essential and you should be able to work both independently as well as in a team.

Conditions of employment

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

Employees of NWO-I/SRON are covered by the collective labour 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 Netherlands Institute for Space Research


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

We have a strong international reputation as 'excellent in space research'. The quality and societal relevance of our science is considered ‘world-leading’. Our mission is to bring about breakthroughs in international space science.

Therefore our Instrument Science Group, supported on project basis by the Engineering Group, technologically enables breakthroughs in our science programmes:

Technology, Astrophysics, Earth science (atmospheric science), Exoplanetary science.


  • Research, development, innovation; Postdoc
  • Natural sciences; Engineering
  • max. €4789 per month
  • Doctorate
  • AT SRON Atmospheric Scientist 979389


Niels Bohrweg 4, 2333 CA, Leiden

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