Utrecht University has great ambitions for its teaching quality and study success rates. This also applies to its clear research profiles which are centred around four themes: Dynamics of Youth, Institutions, Life Sciences and Sustainability. Utrecht University plays a prominent role in our society and contributes to finding the answers to topical and future societal issues.

The Department of Earth Sciences is now looking for highly-motivated, high-potential applicant to fill a:

Post-doctoral position in clumped isotope
paleoceanography (3 yrs)

within the research project Cenozoic ice sheets and global warming - insights from clumped isotopes, funded through a personal grant (Vidi Grant) from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) to Dr Martin Ziegler.

Job description:

Projections of future sea-level rise due to polar ice sheet loss are vital but difficult to make on the basis of modern observations. Determining how ice sheets have varied in volume during key periods in the past can help us to better constrain ice-sheet sensitivity to elevated global temperatures.

Clumped isotope thermometry is a novel geochemical tool to reconstruct past temperatures. In this Vidi project, we will work towards further improving this technique with the goal to reconstruct Cenozoic deep sea ocean temperatures and global ice volume changes during the Cenozoic.

Project/work tasks include:

  • improving clumped isotope thermometry for small carbonate samples;
  • clumped isotope mass spectrometry;
  • collaboration with/shared supervision of the PhD student in the project;
  • data interpretation in collaboration with paleoceanographers and climate modelers.


We seek a highly motivated candidate with the following requirements:

  • A PhD degree in earth sciences, climate sciences, biology, physics or chemistry
  • A very good publication record
  • Lab experience in stable isotope geochemistry, preferably clumped isotopes
  • Good knowledge of data processing and statistics
  • Experience with the supervision of students
  • Previous experience with foraminifera would be beneficial
  • Previous experience in climate modelling would be beneficial

Applicants must have excellent written and spoken English skills and be highly motivated to work in an international team.

Terms of employment:

We offer a temporary position as post doc for three years. Employment conditions are based on the Collective Labour Agreement of the Dutch Universities. The gross monthly salary is dependent on qualifications and experience and starts between 2,943,- and 3,555.-. The salary is supplemented by a holiday allowance of 8% per year and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%. In addition, we offer a pension scheme, collective insurance schemes and flexible employment conditions.

Facilities for sports and child care are available on our main campus (where the Department of Earth Sciences is situated), which is located only 15 minutes away from the historical city centre of Utrecht.

About the organisation:

The Utrecht Faculty of Geosciences offers education and research concerning the geosphere, biosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere. With a population of 2600 students (BSc and MSc) and 600 staff, the Faculty is a strong and challenging organisation. The Faculty is organised in four Departments: Innovation, Environmental & Energy Sciences, Earth Sciences, Physical Geography, and Human Geography & Spatial Planning.

The Department of Earth Sciences conducts teaching and research across the full range of the solid Earth and environmental Earth sciences, with activities in almost all areas of geology, geochemistry, geophysics, biogeology and hydrogeology. The department hosts a highly international group of more than 100 PhD students and postdoctoral researchers and houses a wide variety of world-class laboratories.

Additional information:

For additional information please contact the project leader Dr Martin Ziegler, m.ziegler@uu.nl.

How to apply:

To apply, please follow this link and the guidelines mentioned there. The application deadline is January 31, 2017. Evaluations and interviews are planned soon thereafter. The starting date is flexible within 2017. Online screening may be part of the selection. Commercial response to this ad is not appreciated.

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posted: 19 December 2016     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.