PhD New particle formation in the atmosphere and effects on cloud condensation


Faculty of Science and Engineering


University of Groningen

Job description

Within the consortium project CAINA (Cloud-Aerosol interaction in a Nitrogen-dominated Atmosphere,, we are looking for a PhD student to investigate new particle formation in the atmosphere and its importance for the production of cloud condensation nuclei.

The interaction of aerosol particles with clouds has an important, but uncertain cooling effect on the climate. Globally, approximately half the cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) are produced by new particle formation, where precursor gases in the atmosphere condense to form nanometre-sized particles. However, the underlying mechanisms are not completely understood, especially in regions where reactive nitrogen is the dominant pollutant. In this project, we will investigate how new particles form under high concentrations of reactive nitrogen, how they grow to CCN sizes, and how important this process is for aerosol-cloud interaction in the region.

This PhD project will be conducted in a close collaboration with the Cyprus Institute, where advanced mass spectrometry and nanoparticle counting methods are available for investigating new particle formation and subsequent growth to CCN. Our atmospheric measurement campaigns will make use of the extensive aerosol-cloud measurement infrastructure available at the Ruisdael observatory ( in The Netherlands. A stay at Cyprus Institute for training and method development is foreseen in this project.

We are looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate who enjoys finding answers to fundamental scientific questions by making highly precise and challenging measurements in the ambient atmosphere. If you are interested in aerosols, clouds, and climate, data analysis and you enjoy working in an interdisciplinary team of PhD students and enthusiastic senior researchers, we encourage you to apply for this position.

Founded in 1614, the University of Groningen enjoys an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative institution of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Flexible study programmes and academic career opportunities in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 36,000 students and researchers alike to develop their own individual talents. As one of the best research universities in Europe, the University of Groningen has joined forces with other top universities and networks worldwide to become a truly global centre of knowledge.

This position is embedded in the Centre for Isotope Research (CIO) of the Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen (ESRIG) CIO is devoted to measurements of aerosols and atmospheric greenhouse gases at our measurement station Lutjewad, which is part of the national Ruisdael observatory ( Modern instrumentation, and an experienced technical crew support this work.
The project will happen in close collaboration with the Cyprus Institute and EMME-CARE project (


We are looking for candidates with the following qualifications:

- you hold a MSc degree in atmospheric sciences, climate or environmental sciences, physics, chemistry, or a related field
- you are interested in atmospheric aerosols and their influence on the environment
- you have experience with mass spectrometry or aerosol measurements, or you are capable and motivated to learn this
- you enjoy field work, data analysis and scientific writing
- you enjoy being part of an international team and contributing to a large-scale project
- for this position your command of the English language is expected to be at C1 level
- you have a driver’s licence.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 48 months.

We offer in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

• a salary of € 2,541 in the first year to a maximum of € 3,247 gross per month in the final year (PhD salary scale), based on a full-time position
• a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income
• an 8.3% year-end bonus
• a full-time position (1.0 FTE). The position is for four years and is available as soon as possible. First you will be offered 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 whether a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the contract period is to be expected. A PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Science and Engineering of the Faculty.

The conditions of employment are available at the University of Groningen website under Human Resources:

Job Application

You can apply by sending:

- a cover letter with background and motivation to apply for this position (max 1 page)
- a curriculum vitae, including details of Bachelor and Master’s degrees, list of work experience and skills (max 2 pages)
- contact details of 2 academic references who can provide information on your suitability for the position
- a short essay (max 1 page, including references) on the topic: “New particle formation in the atmosphere”.

Only complete applications will be taken into consideration.

You may apply for this position until 16 April 11:59pm / before 17 April 2023 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage:[…]/

Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers:

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Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

Ulrike Dusek

In your application, please always include the job opening ID V23.0166

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