PhD position in Assessment of ammonia emissions in the atmosphere by satellite data f/m, Amsterdam

 PhD position in Assessment of ammonia emissions in the atmosphere by satellite data f/m

For 1.0 fte


Vacancy number: 1.2012.00175


The Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences (FALW) offers a range of Bachelor and Master programmes. Research at the faculty focuses on the fields of the life sciences, health sciences, environmental sciences and earth sciences. World-class teaching and cutting-edge research activities go hand in hand. FALW works together with other faculties like medicine, exact sciences, economics, psychology and social sciences. The faculty’s research facilities can be categorized as excellent. The faculty’s international focus fosters cross-border collaboration, leading to substantially improved quality and greater impact of our research results.

The project takes place within the Earth and Climate cluster of the Department of Earth Sciences. You will be part of a young, dynamic research team that focuses on the merging of climate and trace gas observations with models. The team is strong in analysing the atmosphere – biosphere exchange of trace gases and the use of satellite observations of ammonia, and is internationally well recognized.  The project is awarded by NWO and is funded by the Netherlands Space Office under the User Support Programme Space Research. The project is executed in close cooperation with The Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN), TNO and RIVM.

You will be working on the improvement of our understanding of the atmospheric ammonia distribution by comparing IASI satellite data with in-situ monitoring data of ammonia and to use the satellite data for model verification to improve the ammonia emission estimates and the modeling of ammonia and its secondary products with the LOTOS-EUROS model by e.g. improving surface exchange patterns (deduced from IASI) and adding the compensation point approach for deposition.


  • Perform a novel validation experiment using unique DOAS and LIDAR measurement capabilities together with RIVM;
  • perform an extended evaluation of the IASI product using in-situ data measured in different regions of the world;
  • investigate the European ammonia budget using the chemistry transport model LOTUS-EUROS together with TNO;
  • provide new deposition distributions over Europe as input for carbon sequestration studies based on model outcomes and satellite observations.


  • MSc degree or equivalent in Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Sciences or Meteorology;
  • Affinity for measurements, modeling and uncertainty analysis;
  • Experimental experience is an advantage;
  • Experience in analysing large data sets is an advantage;
  • Experience with complex codes of models is an advantage;

The nature of the project means that the candidate will have to engage with methods and issues from a range of subjects including experimental techniques, remote sensing, programming in the framework of atmospheric sciences and environmental modeling. We do not expect the candidate to have experience in all these fields – but the flexibility and aptitude to engage with them is essential.


Further particulars   

The initial appointment will be for a period of 1 year. After satisfactory evaluation of the initial

appointment, it can be extended for a total duration of 4 years to obtain a PhD. You can find information about our excellent fringe benefits of employment at like:

  • remuneration of 8,3% end-of-year bonus and 8% holiday allowance;
  • generous contribution (70%) commuting allowance based on public transport;
  • discounts on collective insurances (healthcare- and car insurance);
  • a wide range of sports facilities which staff may use at a modest charge.


The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel, and amounts

€2.042,- gross per month in the first year up to €2.612,- in the fourth year (salary scale 85) based on a full-time employment.



Prof. Dr. J.W.Erisman,, tel +31-20-5987362



Applicants are requested to write a letter in which they describe their abilities and motivation, accompanied by a curriculum vitae and a print-out of classes attended and grades received during the MSc. Written applications should be sent before August 25, 2012 to: VU University Amsterdam, attn. Dr. Y.K.M. Kops, managing director, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands. It is also possible to apply by e-mail to:


Please mention the vacancy number in the e-mail header or at the top of your letter and on the envelope.

 Any other correspondence in response to this advertisement will not be dealt with.

Could not connect: Array