PhD at the Center for Isotope Research
University of Groningen, Faculty of Science and Engineering

PhD at the Center for Isotope Research 



Founded in 1614, the University of Groningen enjoys an international reputation as a dynamic and creative institution of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Flexible study programmes and academic career opportunities in a wide variety of disciplines encourage our 31,000 students and researchers alike to develop their own individual talents. As one of the best research universities in Europe, We have joined forces with other top universities and networks worldwide to become a truly global centre of knowledge.

Within the Faculty of Science and Engineering, a 4-years PhD position is available at the Center for Isotope Research. The topic of improving gross carbon flux estimates with AirCore carbonyl sulfide measurements. Do you want to become a part of our team?


Job description

The projection of climate warming largely depends on the scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions, but also on the feedback of terrestrial ecosystems. To this end, understanding photosynthetic carbon uptake, or gross primary production (GPP), is paramount to analyze the responses of terrestrial ecosystems to climate change; however, this is challenging due to the fact that GPP cannot be (directly) measured on a scale beyond leaf level. Analysis of Carbonyl sulfide (COS or OCS) provides a way to partition the net ecosystem exchange between the biosphere and the atmosphere into GPP and respiration. In the stratosphere, breakdown on COS leads to aerosol particles that contribute to climate cooling. Until now, significant uncertainties exist in the sources and sinks of COS, which limits the application of COS.


This PhD project aims to improve our understanding of the global COS budget by using AirCore to measure COS profiles in the under-sampled stratosphere. AirCore is forward-looking sampling tool that collects air samples during descent from a high altitude for vertical profile measurements. Within the project, you will perform COS observations at multiple scales. This position is part of the COS-OCS project which is within the universities of Wageningen and Utrecht.


You will get the following tasks:
1. Development of the AirCore technique to obtain accurate measurements of COS using a quantum cascade laser-based spectrometer.
2. Perform field campaigns to obtain COS vertical gradients and stratospheric COS mole fractions at high latitudes, mid-latitudes, and in the tropics.
3. Calibration of the COS measurements from remote sensing techniques, e.g. ground-based Fourier Transform Spectrometers and satellites.
4. Collaborate with other team members within the COS-OCS project to interpret the observed vertical profile measurements.



You should have:

  • A master degree in atmospheric science, meteorology or a related discipline
  • Excellent communication skills in both oral and written English
  • Good practice in team working, and affinity with working in the field.


Conditions of employment

We offer, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities
• a salary of € 2,325 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 2,972 gross per month in the fourth and final year
• a full-time position (1.0 FTE)
• a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income
• an 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance
• the position has a duration to a period of 4 years.


A PhD training programme is part of the agreement and you enrol in the Graduate School of Science and Engineering.You will get 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 you will successfully complete your PhD thesis within the next three years.


Do you meet our Qualification criteria? If yes, your application should include:
• letter of motivation
• CV (including contact information for at least two academic references)
• transcripts from your bachelor’s and master’s degree.


Please submit your application until 30 April 2019 23:59 h / before 1 May 2019 Dutch local time by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).Applications received before 1 May 2019 are fully considered; however, this position will remain open until we fill it. Exceptional candidates for a postdoc position will also be considered.


Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our University. We are committed to building a diverse faculty so you are encouraged to apply. Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code and European Commission's: European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers.



For information you can contact:

  • Prof. Dr. Huilin Chen,

Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Physicaloxy


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