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Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

PhD position at NIOZ Constraining past atmospheric methane concentrations using biomarker lipids of methanotrophs (1.0 FTE)

This job offer has expired

    Utrecht University
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    01/11/2019 00:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Netherlands › Utrecht
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND

The Netherlands Earth System Science Centre (NESSC) is currently looking to fill 13 PhD positions with excellent, talented, enthusiastic, highly motivated and goal-oriented candidates, with a no-nonsense mentality. The ideal candidates are interested in past and/or current climate research, are highly motivated to perform research in an excellent, exciting and international working environment, and are committed to a fully-funded 4-year PhD track.

The project “Constraining past atmospheric methane concentrations using biomarker lipids of methanotrophs” will be hosted at Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ). Methane is an important greenhouse gas and modern atmospheric methane concentrations are rising. However, the role of methane in past climate change is essentially unknown, due to a lack of quantitative proxies. This project will validate several potential organic proxies for methane oxidation by constraining their occurrence and their relationship with environmental variables, such as atmospheric methane concentration and temperature. This work will involve incubations of methanotrophs with a focus on validating organic biomarkers for past methanotrophy. Furthermore, we will analyze sedimentary archives from time periods where atmospheric methane concentration was thought to be elevated.


The selected candidates will be offered a full-time PhD position at one of the NESSC institutes, initially for one year. The first formal assessment will be held between month 10 and 16 of employment, if found positive the ESR will be offered the full 48 months of PhD employment.

Your gross salary will be in line with the collective labour agreement of your employer. The full-time gross monthly salary ranges from €2,346 to start with in the first year, to €3,007 in the fourth year. The salary is supplemented by a guaranteed end-of-year bonus of 8.3% and a holiday allowance of 8% of your yearly salary. We offer a pension scheme (partly paid by employer), collective insurance schemes, parental leave, travel allowance (home to work and for work purposes), and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model).

Selection process

All applications must be received on 31 October 2020 (CEST). Candidates can only apply for a position using the application button, applications received via other channels will not be taken into account. The application should be complete, and include a written motivation letter, explaining the choice for the selected position(s); a curriculum vitae including contact details of two referees and copies of relevant diplomas and grades list. Expected enrolment is January-March 2020.

Additional comments

For general or practical information on the NESSC COFUND programme, please contact info@nessc.nl, for project related questions please contact Stefan Schouten via stefan.schouten@nioz.nl.

NESSC is a so-called Gravitation Program, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW). The programme is co-funded with a grant that has been awarded from the Europen Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme: the Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND program, grant agreement No 847504. Please click here for general information about NESSC and here for NESSC research.

Web site for additional job details

Offer Requirements

Specific Requirements

General requirements for applicants
• Candidates did not reside or carry out their main activity (e.g. work, studies) in the Netherlands for more than 12 months during the 3 years immediately prior to the date of appointment (time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention, compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account)*.
• Candidates hold an MSc degree (or will graduate before the appointment date) in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Ecology, Earth Sciences and/or Environmental Sciences.
• Candidates are in the first four years of their research careers at the start of their appointment (full-time equivalent research experience, measured from the date when a researcher obtained the degree entitling him or her to embark on a doctorate) and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.
• Excellent proficiency of the English language (both oral and written).
• The ability to work both independently in challenging environments and in a multidisciplinary team. Excellent communication skills and cooperation skills are required.
• An inquisitive mind-set, accuracy, creativity and self-reliance are very important. You are required to be flexible, mobile and pro-active.
• Enthusiasm to attend the full training programme as offered in the project and to actively contribute to the project aims and objectives.
• High interest in receiving training from supervisors from different institutes, disciplines and sectors, this will require regular travelling within the Netherlands.
• High motivation to contribute to the dissemination of results and outreach to both specialists and the public at large.
• Candidates are excited to move to the Netherlands and to visit a Partner Organisations for a secondment (internship), in or outside the Netherlands, as this is part of the programme. Additional research visits to international institutes and conferences for research collaborations are expected.
• Strong motivation to obtain a PhD degree.

*If you do not qualify for the first criteria, you can still submit your application if you would like to be considered for the NON-COFUND PhD positions.

Specific requirements for this project
For this project we seek a PhD candidate with a background in (organic) geochemistry, stable isotopes, earth sciences, analytical chemistry.

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Utrecht University
3512 JE
Domplein 29

EURAXESS offer ID: 443912
Posting organisation offer ID: 285609


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