Postdoctoral Fellow focusing on
Isotope-based source characterization of aerosols
in Sub-Saharan Africa

at the Dept. of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry

Ref. No. SU FV-3550-19
Closing date: 25/11/2019

The Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry (ACES) hosts approximately 200 researchers, doctoral students and technical/administrative staff. The department focuses on research and teaching across five major areas: biogeochemical cycles of carbon and nutrients, chemical contaminants, atmospheric aerosols, ecotoxicology, and analytical chemistry. Our research-oriented department hosts about 30 post-doc fellows and 50 Ph.D. students, recruited from all over the World. We are also well immersed in the interdepartmental Bolin Centre for Climate Research, a national center of excellence.

Project description

Vast emissions of aerosols from Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) perturb the regional climate and cause more than half a million pre-mature deaths annually. A key source of the regional source loadings is the annual large-scale savanna burning activities - clearly visible from space. However, emissions associated with rapid urbanization also put an increasing pressure on local/regional air quality. Despite these severe environmental effects, the role of aerosols in SSA remains highly uncertain. A key reason is that the region is under-studied: the number of ground-based, in situ, observations are very limited compared to other continents - with equal or much lower aerosol loadings. The focus of this project is to increase the understanding of sources, atmospheric transformations and sinks of carbonaceous aerosols in the SSA region. Our research in this area is financed by the Swedish Research Council (VR) and Stockholm University.

Main responsibilities

In particular, carbonaceous aerosols (e.g., black carbon) will be investigated, using chemical and isotopic tools, but also analysis of atmospheric gases, e.g., carbon monoxide. The project will be embedded within ongoing research, with existing multi-year filter samples from both urban and regional receptor sites from the region. Our group has extensive experience with chemical and isotopic analysis of carbonaceous aerosol samples, and the project offers ample opportunities to influence direction and approach of research, including the possibility for future field sampling.

Qualification requirements

Postdoctoral positions are appointed primarily for purposes of research. Applicants are expected to hold a Swedish doctoral degree or an equivalent degree from another country.

Collaborative skills and well-developed proficiency in scientific writing are required.

Assessment criteria

The degree should have been completed no more than three years before the deadline for applications. An older degree may be acceptable under special circumstances, which may involve sick leave, parental leave, clinical attachment, elected positions in trade unions, or similar. We are seeking a highly motivated person with a completed Ph.D. within the Atmospheric, Environmental or Earth Sciences, Chemistry or Engineering. Experience with aerosol chemical characterization, isotopic techniques and field sampling are all beneficial. A background in atmospheric/aerosol chemistry would be highly suitable.

The selection is based on the applicant's ability to successfully pursue the post-doc research project. Special emphasis is put on the applicant's knowledge and skills within the subject area, ability to express her/himself verbally and in writing, analytical aptitude, creativity, initiative and independence, and a capacity for working together with others. The evaluation will be made based on the relevance of past research, education and experience, the quality and ambition of earlier research work, references, a cover letter motivating the candidate's interest, and interviews.

Terms of employment

The position involves full-time employment for a maximum of two years, with the possibility of extension under special circumstances. Start date as per agreement. Stockholm University strives to be a workplace free from discrimination and with equal opportunities for all.


Further information about the position can be obtained from Dr. August Andersson,, or Head of Unit Marcus Sundbom,

Union representatives

Ingrid Lander (Saco-S), telephone: +46 708 16 26 64,, Alejandra Pizarro Carrasco (Fackförbundet ST/Lärarförbundet), telephone: +46 8 16 34 89,, and (SEKO).


Apply for the position at Stockholm University's recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline.

Please include the following information with your application

  • Your contact details and personal data
  • Your highest degree
  • Your language skills
  • Contact details for 2-3 references

and, in addition, please include the following documents

  • Cover letter
  • CV - degrees and other completed courses, work experience and a list of publications
  • Research proposal (no more than 3 pages) describing:
    • why you are interested in the field/project described in the advertisement
    • why and how you wish to complete the project
    • what makes you suitable for the project in question
  • Copy of PhD diploma
  • Letters of recommendation (no more than 3 files)
  • Publications in support of your application (no more than 3 files).

You are welcome to apply!

published: 06 November 2019     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.