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an aspiring scientist (M/F/X)



Start date
Deadline for applications
Job title description

In the framework of the EU H2020 SEEDS (Sentinel EO-based Emission and Deposition Service) project, aiming to develop satellite-based estimates of sources and sinks of major atmospheric pollutants, we are looking for an aspiring scientist holding a recent Master or Doctorate degree in Sciences, for a total duration of three years, starting from May 1st, 2021.

Statute: Contractual
Start Date: May 1st, 2021
Deadline for applications: March 8, 2021


Division, context

The EU H2020 SEEDS (Sentinel EO-based Emission and Deposition Service) project aims at an improved assessment of the budget and role of atmospheric pollutants, using an integrated approach combining global satellite observations from the TROPOMI instrument, in situ measurements and chemistry-transport models. In particular, natural emissions from terrestrial vegetation constitute a large source of uncertainty undermining the reliability of air quality forecast and chemistry-climate models. One of the specific goals of SEEDS is to narrow down these uncertainties and derive high-resolution up-to-date natural emissions released by vegetation over Europe, as well as biomass burning emissions. Our approach will be based on advanced inverse modelling methods and constrained by direct chemical observations of formaldehyde retrieved by the TROPOMI satellite instrument.


The successful candidate will be in charge of the :

  • development and implementation of an optimal methodological framework for the provision of space-based emission data
  • derivation of top-down emissions over Europe at high spatial resolution (10 km) and temporal resolution (monthly or shorter), tailored for implementation in the Copernicus Atmospheric Composition Service (CAMS)
  • analysis of the derived emissions, evaluation against independent observations and characterization of the associated uncertainties
  • quantification of the added value of these top-down estimates for air quality analyses and forecasts.

He/she will present the research results through scientific publications, project reports, communications to project workshops and international congresses.

Required competences
  • Master or Doctorate degree in Sciences
  • Experience in Atmospheric Science
  • Experience with data handling and analysis
  • Knowledge of programming languages (e.g Python, Linux, Fortran, Matlab, HDF, NetCdf, LaTeX)
  • Advanced level in oral and written English, knowledge of Dutch and/or French are assets
  • Scientific curiosity, initiative, motivation and team spirit
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, sense for organization, timeliness
Offer and benefits
  • The position is on a contractual basis. Salary is according to the federal regulations for scientific contractual personnel.
  • All relevant work experience (public + private sector) will be considered when determining seniority.
  • Possibility to acquire a bonus for bilinguism (Dutch/French)
  • Possibility of training (to be followed during working hours)
  • Attractive annual leave policy (minimum 26 days by year)
  • Options to balance professional and personal life (flexible schedule) within the 38 hours week
  • Pleasant work environment in a scientific institution located in a green setting in Uccle, Brussels.
  • Full refund of commuting expenses when using public transportation, compensation when using the bicycle
  • Possibility to work from home
  • Access to special advantages arranged for the employees of the federal scientific institutions: museum card, hospitalization insurance, reductions via the Fed + card, etc.
  • Company restaurant with reasonably priced hot meals and salad bar.
  • On-site childcare during school holidays in July and August.
  • Dynamic working environment with international contacts.

After evaluation of the application letters, the selected candidates will be invited for an interview, or a teleconference.


Send a complete CV and an application letter with reference: “D23_TROPO” to both:

Deadline: March 8, 2021


Sentinel-5P satellite
More about BIRA-IASB

The Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) is a Belgian Federal Scientific Institute.

Since its founding in 1964, BIRA-IASB has been conducting research and providing public services in space aeronomy, i.e. the physics and chemistry of Earth's atmosphere and other planets, and outer space.

Our scientists use instruments on the ground, in the air, on board balloons or in space and computer models.