Job description

We are looking for a talented and enthusiastic atmospheric scientist for a fully funded 4-year PhD position. The PhD candidate for this position will work at the CIO, under the guidance of Prof. Wouter Peters.
PhD candidates will receive excellent training through cutting-edge research projects, advanced courses and training opportunities, complemented by workshops on generic research, transferable skills and teaching. As a PhD candidate, you are committed to conduct independent and original scientific research, to report on this research in international publications and presentations, and to present the results of the research in a PhD dissertation, to be completed within 4 years. PhD candidates are expected to contribute 10% of their overall workload to teaching.

Project summary
Emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) contribute strongly to climate forcing, and many countries have pledged to reduce their emissions substantially in the next two decades. Urban centres form hotspots of CO2 emissions, as people travel, live, consume, and work in or near cities. This makes urban CO2 emissions a prime target for so-called “emission verification”,i.e. the independent checking of reported emissions from different sectors of the economy. Methods to verify CO2 emissions are under rapid development, and those based on high-precision atmospheric measurements of a variety of trace gases released from fossil fuel burning seem promising. In this project, the universities of Groningen and Wageningen work closely together.

The PhD student will help us further explore the use of measurements of CO2, along with radiocarbon (?14C) and oxygen (O2) in urban environments. Testbed regions in the Rotterdam Rijnmond area and in the German Rhine-Neckar area have been setup where our team can measure these gases frequently. Interpretation of these measurements is done through high-resolution atmospheric transport modeling, in combination with “inverse” methods that allow the formal estimation of the underlying emissions from fossil fuel burning. The candidate will work in a team of researchers (including several PhD students) that focuses on urban measurements and modeling, with the specific responsibility to improve and apply atmospheric (inverse) modeling techniques to the various sets of observations we will gather. The focus of this PhD project is to further develop the existing modeling framework, extend it with additional tracers and to apply it to the measurements collected by other team members.


We are looking for a motivated candidate with a master degree in Atmospheric Science, Physics, or a related field. The successful PhD candidate will have the following required qualifications:
• MSc degree in a related field of research
• experience with numerical modeling or atmospheric data analysis
• good analytical and mathematical skills
• good programming skills (especially Python and preferably also Fortran)
• excellent command of the English language, both oral and written.

In addition to the specific qualifications outlined above, the candidate is enthusiastic and a team player, has a passion for science, is highly motivated to work within the field of atmospheric research, has excellent communication skills and the ability to write scientific papers and deliver presentations.

Conditions of employment

The University of Groningen offers a salary of € 2,325 gross per month in the first year to a maximum of € 2,972 gross per month in the final year (salary scale Dutch Universities), based on a full-time position (1.0 FTE) excluding a 8% holiday allowance and a 8.3% end of the year bonus.
The position offered is for four years, or five years with 0.8 working time. Each successful candidate will first be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the contract period is to be expected. A PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of the Faculty. The conditions of employment are available at the University of Groningen website under Human Resources:

The preferred starting date is 1 March 2019

You may apply for this position until 13 January 23:59 h / before 14 January 2019 Dutch local time by means of the application form (click on “Apply” below on the advertisement on the university website).

Applications for the position should include (as a single PDF file):
• cover letter with background and motivation to apply for this position
• curriculum vitae, including details of bachelor and master degrees, fieldwork experience and publication list, if applicable
• detailed (1-2 pages) description of previous research experience, such as the bachelor/master research projects
• contact details of 2 academic references who can provide information on your suitability for the position.

Interviews are scheduled to take place in January 2019 in Groningen.

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


For information you can contact:

Prof. Wouter Peters, +31 317 486654 ,

Dr Ingrid van der Laan-Luijkx, +31 6 18447050,

(please do not use the email addresses above for applications)