Earth Science Group - Postdoc


Postdoctorate Position 2 years Utrecht, The Netherlands

Uploaded 14 May 2019

Job Description

Project Outline 

In October 2017 ESA’s Sentinel-5 Precursor mission was launched with the TROPOMI instrument as its single payload. The TROPOMI instrument combines unprecedented high spatial resolution (3.5-7 x 7 km2) with daily global coverage measuring various atmospheric species. Results so far already show the huge step forward TROPOMI is making for measuring the atmospheric composition of the troposphere, and the wealth of new information that is obtained. SRON is the Dutch co-Principal Investigator Institute and responsible a.o. for the operational algorithms for CO and CH4. 

This project focuses on CH4. More specifically, the TROPOMI CH4 product will be evaluated against CH4 retrievals from a recently launched Japanese satellite named GOSAT-2. This satellite performs measurements in multiple CH4 absorption bands, including the spectral band of TROPOMI (2.3µm). The comparison is expected to provide insight in possible improvements of both the TROPOMI and GOSAT algorithms. In addition to comparison to GOSAT, also the SRON (operational) CH4 product will be compared to alternative products from other institutes. The work will be performed in the framework of the ESA ‘Climate Change Initiative +’ project on greenhouse gases.


The main task of the postdoc is to perform the SRON tasks within the ESA CCI+ greenhouse gas project as described above. In addition, scientific data interpretation of the greenhouse gas products CO2 and CH4 is also envisioned. 

Employment conditions 

Employment of this full-time position at SRON-Utrecht is by NWO-I (The Netherlands Foundation of Scientific Research Institutes) and will be for a period of 2 years with a possible extension of 1 year based on performance.

Person Specification

For this project we are looking for an ambitious, highly motivated and result driven scientist with a PhD degree in (astro)physics or computational sciences, with experience in retrieval of atmospheric trace gases and/or radiative transfer modeling, and strong computer programming skills. Experience in the scientific data analysis of satellite observations is considered a clear asset. Good knowledge of the English language is essential and the candidate should be capable to work both independently and in a team.