Postdoc position in Firn Modelling (0.8-1.0 FTE)

Updated: 5 months ago
Deadline: The position may have been removed or expired!

Print this page

Postdoc position in Firn Modelling (0.8-1.0 FTE)

Job description

The ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica are covered by a thick layer of firn, snow that is compacting to ice. Our research group studies firn, because its thickness variations hamper the interpretation of ice-sheet mass balance. Also, a degradation of firn may increase ice loss by enhanced meltwater runoff into the ocean, and by destabilizing floating ice shelves.
In this project, you will study the interaction between the atmosphere and the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica, by using a firn model. It describes both the compaction of firn, and the hydrology of meltwater moving through it. The model is coded in Fortran and runs in a Unix environment on a supercomputer. Data processing can be in R, Python, MatLab. You will work on the model which is in need of an improved treatment of meltwater percolation, refreezing, and grain size evolution. These improvements will allow us to make more confident projections for future ice-sheet mass loss and stability.
You will use your strong background in climate science and experience in numerical models to critically assess output of these models. For this you will work in several international projects, so international collaboration during model analysis and dissemination of the results during online and in-person meetings is an integral part of the job. During your employment, you will considerably expand your scientific network.


You will join a team of 5-10 researchers, collaborate with them and also work independently. The team focusses on a positive work environment to which you will add your own positive influences. Some qualities we are looking for are:

  • a PhD in climate physics or a related field;
  • experience with numerical models (preferably snow or firn);
  • strong programming skills (Fortran, Python or similar);
  • affinity with polar meteorology and climate;
  • the ability to critically assess and interpret model results;
  • excellent command of written and spoken English;
  • good reporting, presentation and writing skills.

  • A full-time position for 2 years with the option to extend by 1 more year;
  • an inspiring, open minded and open research group;
  • a job with national and international collaboration;
  • A full-time gross salary ranging from €2,960 to €4,670 in scale 10;
  • 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • A pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities.

In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions , including an attractive retirement scheme, professional development , (partly paid) parental leave, sports and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). This is how we encourage you to grow.
For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University .

About the organization

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University , the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major strategic themes . Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Pathways to Sustainability. Sharing science, shaping tomorrow .
You can watch the Utrecht University Campus Tour to get an impression of our university.
At the Faculty of Science , there are 6 departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Physics. Each of these is made up of distinct institutes that work together to focus on answering some of humanity’s most pressing problems. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects. Find out more about us by watching Working at the Faculty of Science .
The Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht (IMAU) offers a unique research and teaching environment, in which the fundamentals of the climate system are studied. Research is organized in five themes: Atmospheric Dynamics, Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry, Coastal and Shelf Sea Dynamics, Ice and Climate and Oceans and Climate. In 2022, IMAU research quality and impact were qualified as 'world leading' by an international visitation committee.
The Ice and Climate group at IMAU is an inspiring, high-quality and versatile research group focusing on ice sheets, sea level, and climate. The group is world-leading in modelling of the ice sheet surface including firn, and maintains a dedicated network of automatic weather stations. Currently, our research group has 5 staff members, 12 Postdocs and 7 PhD candidates. For this project, we encourage and provide financial support for visits to conferences, workshops and summer schools, and we promote national and international exchange visits.

Additional information

If you have any questions that you’d like us to answer, please contact Peter Kuipers Munneke (Researcher) at .

Do you have a question about the application procedure? Please send an email to .
Are you an international applicant? Our International Service Desk can answer your questions about living in the Netherlands as international staff .
Interviews will be conducted on Friday 30 June.


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. 

If you are enthusiastic about this position, just apply via the "Apply" button. Please enclose:

  • your letter of motivation;
  • your curriculum vitae;
  • names, telephone numbers, and email addresses of at least two references;
  • a link to your PhD thesis if your publications do not sufficiently reflect your research work.

 We aim to start the job as soon as mutually possible.
If this specific opportunity isn’t for you, but you know someone else who may be interested, please forward this vacancy to them.
Some connections are fundamental – Be one of them

The application deadline is
Forward vacancy

View or Apply

Similar Positions