May 2014
Message 15

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[Met-jobs] PhD position at University of Groningen: Isotope and chemical methods to study organic aerosol

From Uli Dusek <>
Date Thu, 8 May 2014 17:02:54 +0200


Centre for Isotopic Research (CIO), Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen (ESRIG), University of Groningen, the Netherlands

Duration: 4 years

Job description:

Atmospheric aerosols are small particles in the ambient air. They are a major source of air pollution leading to significant health risks and influence climate by interacting with radiation and clouds. The study of atmospheric aerosols and their origin and fate in the atmosphere has therefore become an active and exciting research field. The organic fraction of the aerosols is the least understood, because it contains hundreds of individual compounds, which are continuously changing in the atmosphere by chemical reactions. Isotope methods can provide new insights into sources and chemical processing of the aerosol.

 In Groningen we started a new research group with a strong focus on developing isotope methods to study organic aerosols. Within this PhD project we want to study the origin and evolution of organic aerosol in the Netherlands using newly developed isotopic and chemical methods. We are looking for a PhD student to use radiocarbon (14C) analysis as a tool for source apportionment and establish stable isotope methods (primarily 13C) as a tracer for chemical reactions in the aerosol. The PhD project will include improvement of the isotope methods developed in earlier projects, ambient measurements at key field stations and laboratory experiments to study important processes in more detail. There is some flexibility with respect to individual research projects, which gives opportunity to develop your own ideas within the project framework.


The most important qualifications are

·      strong experimental skills

·      the ability to develop scientific ideas  

·      good writing skills

·      experience with data evaluation

We are looking for an enterprising person who is able to set and pursue goals, likes to take responsibility and enjoys working in a team. Moreover, you should have an interest in atmospheric aerosols, and like getting out from behind the desk to make measurements in different field stations. 

We will give priority to candidates with prior experience in aerosol research, programming skills (preferably in Matlab, IDL, or Python), and demonstrated experience in scientific writing.


The University of Groningen is situated in the North of the Netherlands.  Groningen is a lively university town with around 200,000 inhabitants and 50,000 students. Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative center of higher education. It is regularly placed among the top 100 Universities worldwide (

 The PhD position is available in the Centre for Isotopic Research (CIO). The CIO has at its disposition an accelerator mass spectrometer for radiocarbon measurements, as well as several other mass spectrometers for stable isotope measurements. Aerosol instrumentation includes an EC/OC analyzer and the possibility to use an aerosol PTR-ToF-MS for chemical analysis. The institute also manages its own coastal field station (Lutjewad), and has access to the regional measurement station in Cabauw, both of which can be used for aerosol sampling and measurements.


Conditions of employment:

The University of Groningen offers a minimum salary of € 2,083 gross a month in the first year to a maximum of € 2,664 gross a month in the final year, based on a full-time position (1.0 fte). The position is limited to a period of 4 years. The first year constitutes a probationary period, with an evaluation of the candidate's performance after the first year. The objective of this evaluation is to establish whether the candidate will be able to finish a PhD thesis in the remaining three years. If the performance evaluation is positive, the candidate's contract will be extended by another 3 years, for a total of 4 years.



The position will remain open until filled. To be considered for this position, please submit your application before 1 June 2014. The application should contain

                   a curriculum vitae

                   a letter of motivation

                   academic records          

                   the contact information for 3 academic references


Please submit your application via the university website:           

For further questions on the project or application process please contact:

Ulrike Dusek

Tel: +31 50 363 4689

Uli Dusek, assistant professor
Centre for Isotope Research (CIO)
Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen (ESRIG)
Nijenborgh 4, 9747 AG Groningen, the Netherlands  

Tel: +31 50 363 4689 email:

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