PhD Climate sciences

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 01 Apr 2024

15 Feb 2024
Job Information

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)
Research Field

Researcher Profile

First Stage Researcher (R1)

Application Deadline

1 Apr 2024 - 21:59 (UTC)
Type of Contract

Job Status

Not Applicable
Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description

To date, the characterization of centennial climate variability as well as our understanding of the underlying mechanisms is very limited, and efforts towards improving the representation of centennial variability in climate models are sparse. Both geological reconstructions and model simulations indicate that the large-scale ocean circulation, and more specifically the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), likely plays an important role in centennial variability. We currently lack a spatio-temporal description of centennial AMOC variability and lack a mechanistic understanding of the underlying physical mechanisms of this variability. Such an understanding is key to interpret the observed climate variations over the last centuries, to better interpret recent and ongoing changes, and to improve climate model projections by including an evidence-based representation of internal variability on all relevant time scales.

The overall aim of this NWO funded project “Mechanisms of Centennial Climate Variability“ is to develop a framework for the mechanisms of centennial AMOC variability. This will be done based on geological data, a combination of efficient and comprehensive climate models, and by using a number of advanced data analysis methods. In this project, the PhD student at the Vrije Universiteit will closely collaborate with a fellow PhD in the same project based in Utrecht University, with the supervisors at both universities (Pepijn Bakker at the VU and Henk Dijkstra at Utrecht University) and international collaborators.

Your duties:
In this specific sub-project, the candidate will

  • Perform and analyze large perturbed parameter, physics and forcing ensembles with an Earth system model of intermediate complexity (iLOVECLIM)
  • Perform proxy forward modelling of various AMOC-related proxy types (δ13C, δ18O, Pa/Th and epsilon-neodymium)
  • Use model-data comparison for falsification of the different mechanisms of centennial AMOC variability simulated by the model
  • Describe the complex spatio-temporal patterns of centennial variability in both geological data and climate model using Multi-channel Singular Spectrum analysis (MSSA) pattern analysis.
  • Writing a coherent series of articles in English, culminating in a dissertation, and publishing these articles in leading scientific journals
  • Collaborating with other PhD students and experts at both Vrije Universiteit and Utrecht University
  • Attending and presenting research at international conferences

Specific Requirements

We are looking for inspiring and driven candidates who have:

  • a MSc (or equivalent degree) in Climate Sciences, ocean sciences, meteorology, geosciences or related fields.
  • experience in modelling, preferably climate or ocean modelling
  • interest in comparing model results with geological data
  • affinity with more mathematical methods and approaches
  • excellent writing and communication skills.

As a university, we strive for equal opportunities for all, recognising that diversity takes many forms. We believe that diversity in all its complexity is invaluable for the quality of our teaching, research and service. We are always looking for talent with diverse backgrounds and experiences. This also means that we are committed to creating an inclusive community so that we can use diversity as an asset.

We realise that each individual brings a unique set of skills, expertise and mindset. Therefore we are happy to invite anyone who recognises themselves in the profile to apply, even if you do not meet all the requirements.

Additional Information

A challenging position in a socially engaged organisation. At VU Amsterdam, you contribute to education, research and service for a better world. And that is valuable. So in return for your efforts, we offer you:

  • a salary of € 2.770,00 (PhD) and maximum € 3.539,00 (PhD) gross per month in the fourth year, for a full-time employment
  • an employment contract of initially one year. If there is a positive evaluation and sufficient perspective, this will be extended to a total of 4 years. Your dissertation at the end of the fourth year forms the end of your employment contract.

We also offer you attractive fringe benefits and arrangements. Some examples:

  • A full-time 38-hour working week comes with a holiday leave entitlement of 232 hours per year. If you choose to work 40 hours, you have 96 extra holiday leave hours on an annual basis. For part-timers, this is calculated pro rata.
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • space for personal development
  • hybrid working enables a good work-life balance

Additional comments

Are you interested in this position and do you believe that your experience will contribute to the further development of our university? In that case, we encourage you to submit your application.

Submitting a diploma and a reference check are part of the application process.

Applications received by e-mail will not be considered.

Acquisition in response to this advertisement is not appreciated.

Website for additional job details

Work Location(s)
Number of offers available
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Postal Code
De Boelelaan 1085

Where to apply



De Boelelaan 1105
Postal Code

1081 HV


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