May 2013
Message 87

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[Met-jobs] 2 PhD/Postdoc projects at IMAU, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

From "Berg, W.J. van de" <>
To "" <>
Date Fri, 31 May 2013 14:22:14 +0000

Dear all,

IMAU is looking for two motivated PhD students or Postdoctoral researchers (m/f).

Carleen Reijmer, Willem Jan van de Berg and Michiel van den Broeke

Project 1: Firn Processes Modelling
The first PhD student or Postdoctoral researcher will study firn processes on the Greenland ice sheet. The infiltration and subsequent refreezing of water in snow/firn affects the mass budget of a glacier/ice sheet in several ways: it reduces runoff, it increases the temperature and density of the snow/firn, it reduces melt in the ablation zone since it delays bare ice exposure, and impacts mass balance profiles since it enhances mass accumulation around the equilibrium line and in the percolation zone above. At present estimates of the amount of refreezing are neither well constrained nor validated while a correct representation of firn processes in climate models is crucial when making prognoses of the changes in the ice sheet mass budget, and hence contribution to sea level, in a changing climate.

Aim of this project is to improve the representation of firn processes in a climate model. To that end changes will be made to a stand-alone firn model, then the model will be evaluated against observations. When deemed satisfactory the changes will be implemented in the firn module of a regional atmospheric climate model to study the impact of refreezing on the mass budget of the Greenland ice sheet. In a parallel project the mass budget of the ice caps and glaciers adjoining the Greenland ice sheet are studied.

Project 2: Regional climate modelling
The second PhD student or Postdoctoral researcher will study the climate of the larger adjoining ice caps and glaciers on Greenland. Although their area and volume are much less than the Greenland ice sheet, their contribution to global sea level rise is significant due to their fast response to climate changes. Using the well evaluated regional climate model RACMO2, the surface mass balance of these larger adjoining ice caps and glaciers on Greenland as well as the Canadian Arctic will be modelled at very high resolution. 

Specific research foci are the temporal evolution of these smaller ice caps and their sensitivity to global climate change and regional changes like arctic sea ice cover reduction or tundra vegetation change. Furthermore, the effect of the grid resolution and melt water refreezing parameterization on the model results will be analysed. An improved scheme for the percolation and refreezing of melt water will be developed in a parallel project.

Aim of this project is to improve our understanding of past and future changes of these secondary ice caps on Greenland; to improve the representation of physical processes relevant for glaciers and ice caps as well as to improve the quality of model output.

Applicants preferably have a strong background in meteorology/geophysics at the MSc level (at the PhD level in case of a post doctoral researcher), and have experience with numerical models and FORTRAN90 programming on UNIX-based computer systems. Good English oral and writing skills are essential.

The candidate is offered a full-time position for 4 years (3 years in case of Postdoctoral Researcher); PhD: The gross salary starts at € 2,062 and increases to € 2,638 per month in the fourth year of the appointment.

 Postdoc: The gross salary is in the range between € 2,403 and maximum € 4,418 per month.

 The salary is supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8,3% per year. In addition we offer: a pension scheme, a partially paid parental leave, flexible employment conditions. Conditions are based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities. The research group will provide the candidate with necessary support on all aspects of the project. More information: terms of employment.

About the organisation
Utrecht University has great ambitions for its teaching quality and study success rates. This also applies to its clear research profiles, which are centred around four themes: Sustainability, Life Sciences, Youth & Identity, and Institutions. Utrecht University plays a prominent role in our society and contributes to finding the answers to topical and future societal issues.

The Faculty of Science consists of six departments: Biology, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Information and Computing Sciences, Physics and Astronomy, Chemistry and Mathematics. The Faculty is home to 3500 students and nearly 2000 staff and is internationally renowned for the quality of its research. The Faculty's academic programmes reflect developments in today's society.

The Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht (IMAU) is an interfaculty research institute that focuses on the fundamental aspects of the climate system. Research is organized in five main themes: ice and climate, ocean circulation and climate, atmospheric physics and chemistry, atmospheric dynamics and boundary layer meteorology and Coastal and shelf sea dynamics. The IMAU includes some 15 faculty members, 15 postdocs and 30 PhD students. The graduate programme is organized in the Buys Ballot research school.
Additional information
Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from:
Project 1: Dr. C.H. Tijm-Reijmer (+31 30 2533273, email:
Project 2: Dr. W.J. van de Berg (+31 30 2533273, email:
Projects 1&2: Prof.dr. M.R. van den Broeke (+31 30 2533169, email:

As part of the selection procedure, the candidate is expected to give an outline of his/her master/phd research in a written report and an oral presentation.

To apply please attach a letter of motivation, curriculum vitae and (email) addresses of two referees.
You can apply online:
The vacancies are open until 01/07/2013

Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht
Utrecht University

PO Box 80000, NL-3508 TA Utrecht, the Netherlands
Tel. +31 (0)30 2533275 Fax +31 (0)30 2543163


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