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Planetary atmospheres research scientists (m/f/x)



Start date
Deadline for applications
Job title description

We are hiring a research scientist in the frame of the activities of the Planetary Atmospheres group and in particular, those related to the characterization of the composition of the neutral atmosphere using space instruments.

Statute: Contractual
Start date: July 1, 2023
Deadline for applications: May 9, 2023

Division, context

The position is open in the Planetary Atmospheres team. For about 15 years, this research group - consisting of 15 people - has developed an internationally recognized expertise in the field of space instrumentation towards Mars (ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter) and Venus (Venus Express, EnVision) and in atmospheric data analysis.

  • Developing, improving and maintaining codes and algorithms for the analysis of IR and UV spectra acquired by space-borne instruments. This includes the use and development of an existing radiative transfer code optimized for the IR-UV spectral domain;
  • Interpretation and gathering of various datasets relevant to the Martian and Venusian atmospheres;
  • Improve and optimize the existing software codes (Fortran, idl, Python), implementing new ideas; in particular for the automation of the treatment and analysis of the spectra obtained by NOMAD-UVIS, JWST, SOIR/VEx or VIRTIS/VEx.
  • Support the development of tools to homogenize higher level data (densities, temperatures, winds, atmospheric waves, maps, etc.) of Venus atmosphere acquired by different instruments (ground-based and space-borne).
  • Support the Education and Public Outreach (EPO) activities of BIRA-IASB with the aim to increase the impact of the Planetary Atmospheres Department.

The candidate will work in an international environment, implying the dissemination of results in scientific publications and presentations at international conferences and workshops.

Required competences
  • Doctoral degree (*) in a relevant field for this project (e.g., Atmospheric Science, Remote sensing, Applied Sciences, Physics) with at least 10 years experience.
  • Interest in remote sensing of the atmospheric composition, dynamics and circulation, and in atmospheric physics and chemistry.
  • Knowledge of radiative transfer theory is a prerequisite.
  • Experience with Planetary Space missions is an added asset.
  • Good knowledge of Linux environment and data management, scientific programming languages.
  • A critical and organized sense for data analysis.
  • Strong communication skills, including a good proficiency in English (oral and written), and the ability to convey complex concepts in a simple form. A good knowledge of French or Dutch is required. Previous experience and/or training in Science Communication is an added asset.
  • Excellent publication record.
  • Ability to work autonomously and in a team.
  • Good level of flexibility, ready to travel occasionally.

(*) In the situation where the Master or PhD degree was awarded by a body outside the Benelux, the candidate will have to apply for an equivalence of the level of studies preceding the PhD in order to prove that this level corresponds to a generic Belgian Master degree. This should only be done after the candidate has been selected for the job and before he/she takes up the job. To obtain the equivalence, you can choose to apply for it at the French or Dutch speaking community of Belgium.

Offer and benefits
  • The position is a full-time job on a contractual basis;
  • When calculating seniority, any experience (public + private sector) relevant to the job offered will be valorised;
  • Possibility of obtaining a bonus for bilingualism (Dutch/French);
  • Opportunity to attend training courses (during working hours);
  • Reimbursement of public transport for commuting, and for using bicycles;
  • Various social and cultural benefits: museum card, hospitalisation insurance, discounts with Fed+ card...;
  • Pleasant working atmosphere in a scientific environment located in a green setting
  • On-site childcare during school holidays in July and August.
  • Possibility to work from home
  • Dynamic working environment with international contact

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

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Dr. Ann Carine Vandaele : ann-carine (dot) vandaele (at) aeronomie (dot) be


Please send your motivation letter and CV to ann-carine (dot) vandaele (at) aeronomie (dot) be, and in cc to hr-ae (at) aeronomie (dot) be with the following reference: “Sci_D43”


Planetary atmospheres
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.