SRON - Netherlands Institute for Space Research

Postdoctoral Scientist Atmosphere and Climate (Scientist C)

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Are you our new colleague?

Are you an ambitious, highly motivated and result driven scientist with an interest in atmospheric sciences and excellent computer programming skills? Then you are the person we are looking for.

You and SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research

In the Earth Observation program of SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research we use satellites to answer urgent scientific questions related to climate change. SRON is involved in the different phases of satellite projects: from mission definition, building, and calibration to data processing and scientific interpretation. Together with international partners, ESA and EUMETSAT, SRON is currently working on the Copernicus Carbon Dioxide Monitoring mission, or CO2M for short, which will be launched in 2026 and will quantify the carbon dioxide released by specific sources. For this important but challenging goal, it is crucial to account for the effects of aerosol and clouds on the measurements. For this purpose, a Multi-Angle Polarimetric (MAP) instrument is included in the CO2M mission. SRON will deliver an operational algorithm to infer CO2 emissions from combined observations by CO2M’s imaging spectrometer and MAP. You will develop and apply tools to simulate CO2M’s observations in cloudy environments and evaluate its performance.

Your position and team

You will work in the Earth Science Group (ESG) of SRON which consists of approximately 30 scientists (permanent, postdocs, PhD students) that work on data processing and interpretation of satellite instruments as well as the definition of new instrumentation and guiding the development. You will work closely together with scientists that work on remote sensing of atmospheric gases, aerosols and clouds. Specifically, you will work within a team of about 5 scientists and programmers that work on the CO2M mission.

Your project

The goal of your project is to quantify the influence of clouds and their shadows on the retrieval of concentrations of CO2 and other gases by the upcoming CO2M mission. For this, you will adjust and apply an existing cloud detection algorithm based on a neural network. Furthermore, you will extend an existing tool to simulate observation geometries of imaging and multi-angle instruments as a function of orbital parameters and spacecraft orientation and maneuvers. You will use this tool in combination with radiative transfer models to generate realistic CO2M simulations in partly cloudy situations. Finally, you will evaluate CO2M’s cloud masking approach and aerosol and gas concentration inversion algorithm for challenging scenes that include clouds and their shadows.

Position requirements

We are looking for an ambitious, highly motivated, and result driven scientist with a PhD in atmospheric sciences/(astro)physics or a similar degree. Excellent computer programming skills and experience with languages as python and C++ are essential. Experience with radiative transfer modelling and atmospheric satellite observations is considered an asset. A good command of the English language is essential and you should be able to work both independently as well as in a team.

What we offer

We offer you an inspiring professional environment with driven teams and colleagues and good career opportunities. This position is for two years. You will be formally employed by NWO-I, the NWO institute organization to which we belong.

Employees of NWO-I/SRON are covered by the collective labor agreement for research institutes (Cao-OI). Your place of employment is Leiden. This position is placed in salary scale 10 (maximum € 4.789,- gross per month on a full-time basis).

NWO-I has good secondary employment conditions such as:

  • excellent reputation in space science
  • societal relevant, high quality science
  • extensive development opportunities
  • 42 vacation days a year
  • a favorable parental leave scheme
  • possibility to partially work from home
  • well-equipped modern labs


SRON's mission is to achieve breakthroughs in international scientific research from space. To this end, SRON develops groundbreaking technology and advanced space instruments. SRON promotes societal applications for space technology. We have a strong international reputation as 'excellent in space research'. The quality and societal relevance of our science is considered ‘world-leading’.

About SRON

SRON is the Netherlands Institute for Space Research. Based at locations in Leiden and Groningen, SRON combines fundamental scientific research, technology innovation, and instrumentation development to enable breakthroughs in astrophysics, exoplanet research, and earth atmospheric research from space. In partnership with leading international partners and space agencies such as ESA, NASA and JAXA, SRON provides scientific and technological contributions to international space missions as well as expertise and support to the Dutch and international scientific communities.

SRON is the national base for the Netherlands participation in the ESA science program. On the national level, it works in close collaboration with the Dutch universities, other NWO institutes, and governmental agencies to pursue a cohesive agenda for space-based research.

At SRON, we are committed to diversity in the workplace and an inclusive culture. We explicitly invite people from all conceivable backgrounds to apply. Everyone is different and has unique talents. We embrace that diversity and believe it makes us stronger, more innovative, and enriches our institute. We therefore strongly encourage qualified applicants of all ages, sexual orientations, gender expressions, members of minorities, persons with disabilities, or other non-traditional backgrounds to apply.

For more information, please contact

More information about SRON can be found at For further information about the content of the position, please contact dr. Bastiaan van Diedenhoven ( Applications can be made online at our website The vacancy will remain open until fulfilled.


At SRON we believe that a workforce diverse in gender, age, and cultural background is key to performing excellent research. We therefore strongly encourage qualified applicants of all ages, sexual orientations, gender expressions, members of minorities, persons with disabilities, and potential dual-academic-career hires to apply.

Online screening may be part of the selection procedure.

Recruitment consultants, please put down the phone. We’ll do the recruitment ourselves so unsolicited acquisition to this vacancy is not appreciated.  

Job details

Postdoctoral Scientist Atmosphere and Climate (Scientist C)
Niels Bohrweg 4 Leiden, Netherlands
Application deadline
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About the employer

SRON is the Dutch national expertise institute for scientific space research. SRON’s mission is to bring about breakthroughs in international space...

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