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Postdoctoral Position in Atmospheric Chemistry Modelling Research (m/f/x)





Start date
Deadline for applications
Job title description

We are hiring a postdoctoral researcher to join the group Tropospheric Chemistry Modelling.

Start date: September 1, 2022
Deadline for applications: June 30, 2022
Statute: Contractual

Division, context

Within BIRA-IASB, the Tropospheric Chemistry Modelling group is studying the emissions of pollutants in the atmosphere, the chemistry and role of chemical compounds involved in the budget of oxidants, and the derivation of emissions of trace gases from satellite data by inverse modelling. More details about our activities at


The aim of this position is to perform and analyze high-resolution atmospheric simulations to address research questions in the field of air quality, and to develop tools for the estimation of emissions using satellite observations of air pollutants. We are looking for a scientist holding a recent Doctoral degree in Sciences, for a duration of one year (with extension for an additional 1-2 years depending on successful performance and sufficient funding), starting from September 1st, 2022.

The proposed work contributes to the scientific effort to improve the knowledge of the atmospheric system relying on models, satellite observations, and inversion tools. Our target compounds are key compounds for both air quality and climate: nitrogen oxides, formaldehyde (as proxy for volatile organic compounds), and ammonia. Those species are measured by current satellite instruments (TROPOMI, IASI, CrIS) at high spatial resolution. We will use the WRF-Chem (Weather Research Forecast with Chemistry) high-resolution atmospheric model to simulate air composition from coarse to fine spatial scales. WRF-Chem is an open-source model, widely used to investigate air quality problems and as an inter-comparison platform between ground-based, airborne and satellite data.

The successful candidate will be in charge of the:

  • improvement of key features of the model, e.g. emissions and their variability
  • development of WRF-Chem simulations for selected regions (e.g. China, Europe, Africa)
  • development of analysis tools for the visualization of the model input/output
  • investigation of assimilation techniques for the derivation of emissions constrained by satellite data
  • determination of the added value of top-down estimates for air quality analyses and forecasts

The successful candidate will present the research results through scientific publications, project reports, communications to workshops and international congresses.

Required competences
  • Doctoral degree in Sciences
  • Experience in WRF modeling is a strong asset
  • Experience in Atmospheric science and modeling are strong assets
  • Solid programming background (e.g. Fortran, Python, Matlab)
  • Experience with data handling and analysis
  • Excellent level in oral and written English, knowledge of Dutch and/or French would be an asset
  • Strong motivation, initiative, scientific curiosity and team spirit
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, sense for organization, timeliness
Offer and benefits
  • Full-time 1-year contract, with possibility of extension (upon positive evaluation)
  • Possibility to acquire a bonus for bilinguism (Dutch/French)
  • Salary according to the federal regulations for the scientific career
  • Dynamic working environment with international contacts
  • Refund of commuting expenses when using public transportation or bicycle
  • Flexible schedule and possibility to work occasionally from home
  • Access to special advantages arranged for the employees of the federal scientific institutions (e.g., collective hospital insurance, possibility to follow trainings, free childcare in July/August)
  • Working in a green and pleasant environment

After evaluation of the application letters, the selected candidates will be invited for an interview, or a teleconference.


Send a complete CV and a cover letter with reference: “D23_TROPO” to:

  • trissevgeni (dot) stavrakou (at) aeronomie (dot) be
  • hr-ae (at) aeronomie (dot) be (in cc)


More about BIRA-IASB

The Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) is a Belgian Federal Scientific Institute.

Since its founding in 1964, BIRA-IASB has been conducting research and providing public services in space aeronomy, i.e. the physics and chemistry of Earth's atmosphere and other planets, and outer space.

Our scientists use instruments on the ground, in the air, on board balloons or in space and computer models.