Post-doc position on Land surface modelling to attribute and verify greenhouse gas emissions for agriculture and forestry

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Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Do you have experience in land surface modelling and do you want to use your expertise to help bringing greenhouse gas emissions under control in support of the Paris climate agreement? Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

FTE: 0.8 – 1

Job description

We are looking for a post-doc with a strong expertise in land surface modelling to contribute to the European research project AVENGERS which aims to improve the greenhouse gas emission reports that countries submit annually to the UNFCCC. The successful candidate is expected to develop, evaluate and apply the ORCHIDEE land surface model to estimate emission factors for different agriculture and forest management scenarios with the aim to improve the representation of emission factors in greenhouse gas emission inventories.

Your duties

  • Run idealized simulations to verify the ability of the ORCHIDEE model to reproduce observed fluxes and stocks and the effect of management
  • Where needed, improve the ability of the ORCHIDEE model to reproduce these observations
  • Apply the ORCHIDEE model to derive spatially explicit emission factors for different management strategies within the AFOLU sector

The successful candidate is expected to

  • Present the work at international conferences
  • Present the work at annual project meetings
  • Prepare a first-author manuscript for a top-tier scientific peer-reviewed journal


Given the interdisciplinary nature of the research we are seeking for a PhD in, for example, meteorology, physics, mathematics, atmospheric science, or theoretical ecology. Irrespective of the background, a broad interest in natural sciences more specifically terrestrial ecology is essential. We are looking for a candidate who can demonstrate their:

  • ability to use and develop land surface models with a complexity and philosophy similar to ORCHIDEE
  • ability to parameterize and evaluate the performance of land surface models
  • ability to develop scientific code (at least: Fortran 90, and a scripting language like python, R, bash, …)

What are we offering?

The successful candidate will be employed in a caring and safe research environment at one of Netherland’s leading Universities. The position will be embedded in a small but supportive research group. The initial employment contract will affect a period of 2 years. Pending on the background and performance of the candidate, the position can be extended by at least one year. Remote working is supported by the university.

On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €2,960 (scale 10) and a maximum €4,670 (scale 10), depending on your education and experience. Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:

  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP), contribution to commuting expenses
  • the possibility to work partly from home

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 30,000 students. We employ over 5,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science
Working at the Faculty of Science means working together with students, PhD candidates and scientists who are focused on their discipline, yet also have a broad view of the world. We are proud of the collegial working environment within the faculty, which is characterised by an ambitious and pragmatic attitude with commitment to the bigger picture. At the Faculty of Science, scientists and students work on fundamental and complex social issues for a sustainable and healthy future. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to malnutrition, from genetics to pharmaceuticals and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research cover the full breadth of the natural sciences. Scientific teaching and research is highly experimental, technical, computational and interdisciplinary in nature. This is why we collaborate extensively with leading research institutes and industry. The faculty has over 11,000 students studying across 40 educational programmes and employs over 1,600 staff spread over 10 scientific departments, making us the largest science faculty in the Netherlands.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until


Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Kim Naudts
Position: Assistant professor
E-mail: [email protected]

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