PhD Researcher in Atmospheric Sciences - Deep convection dynamics

PhD Researcher in Atmospheric Sciences - Deep convection dynamics

Published Deadline Location
12 May 12 Jun Wageningen

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Job description

Are you passionate about clouds? Are you fascinated by deep convection and want to work on a research project to better understand the dynamics in deep convective clouds? Then this position may be the perfect opportunity for you!

Tropical convective clouds are key elements of the hydrological cycle, the exchange of air masses between troposphere and stratosphere, the global circulation, and with this, key elements of the global climate. The total cloud coverage and rainfall of the tropics is dominated by deep convective clouds (and cloud systems). Deep convection provides a fast pathway to transport air masses from the boundary layer through the free troposphere into the tropopause region. The transport from air within the boundary layer to 15 km altitude may take 30 minutes or less. Thus, trace gases, water vapour, and aerosols are redistributed effectively in the atmosphere. Not only updrafts play a role here, but also downdrafts may, for instance, cause stratospheric air to enter the troposphere, which has implications on tropospheric chemistry. Downdrafts are also important for helping to maintain existing convective clouds, triggering new convection, and regulating cloud cover.

We are looking for an enthusiastic PhD student with a background on meteorology/atmospheric sciences for fundamental research on cloud dynamics in deep convective clouds above the Amazon rain forest. In this project, you will analyse observational data from the international aircraft field campaigns ACRIDICON-CHUVA and Cafe Brazil and will furthermore use numerical simulations using the Large Eddy Simulations (LES) code MicroHH. The aim of this project is to better understand the processes governing the characteristics of convective downdrafts, such as timing, location, strength, and their implications on the cloud dynamics.

You will be part of the Meteorology and Air Quality group and in this research project you will collaborate with the scientific partners from the aircraft field campaigns ACRIDICON-CHUVA and Cafe Brazil and the related stimulating activities.


Wageningen University & Research


The requirements for this job are –
  • You hold a MSc degree in meteorology/atmospheric science, physics, chemistry, or a related field;
  • You show curiosity and enthusiasm for Meteorology and clouds;
  • You are experienced in handling large data sets;
  • You have prior knowledge in cloud physics, and you enjoy data analysis, performing numerical simulations, and scientific writing;
  • You possess very good programming skills (python/R stats, shell scripts, C++ and/or comparable programming experiences) desirable;
  • You are an enthusiastic, pleasant, and intrinsically motivated colleague
    who takes initiative.
  • You enjoy being part of a team, and also have the ability to work
    efficiently independently.
  • For this position your command of the English language is expected to be at C1 level. Sometimes it is necessary to submit an internationally recognised Certificate of Proficiency in the English Language. More information can be found here.

Conditions of employment

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
  • study leave, and partially paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional compensation / holiday hours by working more,
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme;

In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will receive a fully funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs and the research team.
The gross salary for the first year is € 2.541,- per month rising to € 3.247,- in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale P). This is based on a full-time working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended to the duration of the project if you perform well.

There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.
You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the “ Best University ” in the Netherlands for the 18th consecutive time.

Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees.

Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.
Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling. For instance under the "30% rule", certain categories of international staff can receive tax exemption on approximately 30% of their gross salary.


Wageningen University & Research

Wageningen University & Research
The mission of Wageningen University & Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment. With its roughly 30 branches, 7,200 employees (6,400 fte) and 13,200 students and over 150.000 participants to WUR’s Life Long Learning, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. The unique Wageningen approach lies in its integrated approach to issues and the collaboration between different disciplines.
Read the 5 reasons why your future colleagues enjoy working at WUR and watch this video to get an idea of our green campus!
We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • P1226690-1


Wageningen University & Research

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Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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