PhD Researcher in Atmospheric Sciences - Unraveling the mesoscale organisation of shallow convective clouds for better climate projection.

PhD Researcher in Atmospheric Sciences - Unraveling the mesoscale organisation of shallow convective clouds for better climate projection.

Published Deadline Location
14 May 10 Jun Wageningen

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Job description

Do you have a passion for tropical clouds, convection and climate change? Do you want to work in an open, collaborative and international environment to resolve long-standing questions of fundamental climate science? Then we have an exciting PhD position for you.

The tropical oceans are blanketed by shallow convective clouds, which cool the planet. These “trade cumuli” are almost always organised into striking patterns of tens to hundreds of kilometres across, which arise from a subtle interplay between clouds and circulations. Unravelling this cloud-circulation coupling, and its sensitivity to changes in climate, is therefore crucial to understand how rapidly Earth is warming. In recent years, we have made major advances in observing and simulating the organisation of tropical shallow clouds. Yet we miss a simple, systematic theory for why they organise the way they do, and how they shape our climate.

You will advance this understanding, by studying observations, large-eddy simulations and global models of unprecedented resolution, surrounding the large, international field campaigns EUREC4A and ORCESTRA. You will develop understanding for how shallow mesoscale circulations develop and decay, how they influence the mesoscale distribution of deep tropical convection and how they regulate Earth’s radiative balance. You will work at the Meteorology and Air Quality Group, and within in an ambitious, international, open science-oriented community.


Wageningen University & Research


  • You have recently completed – or will soon complete – an MSc degree in atmospheric science, physics, mathematics, engineering, or a related field;
  • you are interested in clouds and climate change;
  • you like coding, performing numerical experiments and handling large data sets;
  • you have a strong affinity for theory, and love discussing it;
  • you are ambitious, proactive, enthusiastic and collaborative;
  • you are fluent in English (C1 level), and write well.

Conditions of employment

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
  • 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, up to 40 hours per week;
  • 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 € 2.770 - per month rising to € 3.539,- 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 for 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 19th 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.

Because we expect you to work and live in the Netherlands 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. We can assist you with any additional advice and information about for example helping your partner to find a job, housing, or schooling. Finally, certain categories of international staff may be eligible for a tax exemption on a part of their salary during the first five years in the Netherlands.


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, 7,600 employees (6,700 fte) and 13,100 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 the video below 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
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • P1517645-1


Wageningen University & Research

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Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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