Postdoc and PhD positions in clumped isotope paleoceanography available at Utrecht University

19 Dec 2016



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

Job description

The Department of Earth Sciences currently seeks a highly-motivated, high-potential applicant for a position as a PhD researcher to work 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.

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. 


We offer a temporary position as post doc for three years. The gross monthly starting salary is dependent on qualifications and experience and ranges between €2,943 and €3,555 (scale 9 Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) gross per month for a full time employment. 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. For more information 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 societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

The city of Utrecht is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, with a charming old centre and an internationally oriented culture that is strongly influenced by its century-old university. Utrecht city has been consistently ranked as one of the most livable cities in the Netherlands.

The Faculty of Geosciences conducts education and research concerning the geosphere,biosphere, atmosphere and anthroposphere. With a complement of 2,600 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 & Urban/Regional 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,
To apply, please use the button below. Applications will be accepted until January 31, 2017. Evaluations and interviews are planned soon thereafter. The starting date is flexible within 2017. 
The application deadline is