PhD Scholarships in Oceanography at Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research

author: admin
August 9, 2012

NIOZ, the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research is the Dutch national marine science institute and among the most renowned internationally. Approximately 330 scientists, lab assistants, technicians, ship’s crew and auxiliary staff collaborate in world-leading marine research. NIOZ acquires and disseminates scientific knowledge on the world’s oceans and seas. Our multidisciplinary research is carried out in 6 scientific departments, which are distributed over two facilities in the south (NIOZ Yerseke) and the north of the Netherlands (NIOZ Texel).

The department of Physical Oceanography studies ocean circulation, internal waves and long-term variability in the open ocean, over continental slopes and in the coastal zone, primarily by seagoing observational research but also by using numerical models and mathematical methods. One of the foci in the field of deep-sea research is the ocean circulation in the south-western Indian Ocean.

The Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht (IMAU) is an interfaculty research institute that focuses on the fundamental aspects of the climate system. Research is organized in five main themes: ice and climate, ocean circulation and climate, atmospheric physics and chemistry, atmospheric dynamics and boundary layer meteorology and Coastal and shelf sea dynamics. The IMAU includes some 15 faculty members, 15 postdocs and 30 PhD students. The graduate programme is organized in the Buys Ballot research school.

Inter-annual variability in the Indian Ocean is dominated by El Niño. Observations from a Dutch instrumented mooring array across the Mozambique Channel (MC) have shown large transport fluctuations with an abrupt increase in May 2006. The Indonesian Throughflow (ITF) showed comparable behaviour but with a rapid shift 7 months later.

To continue these studies, IMAU and NIOZ have two vacancies for PhD students.

In this program, satellite observations will be combined with the mooring data and model experiments to study the large-scale connections between the MC transport, ITF and El Niño. Aim is to understand the processes involved in the interannual variability and improve its predictability. Dedicated model experiments and analyses will be performed using a high-resolution global model.

PhD 1 will focus on the analysis of the field data in Mozambique Channel and east of Madagascar with the goal to unravel the dynamics of the South-West Indian Ocean current system. This research will be carried out in a four year project at Royal NIOZ, the Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, located on Texel, the Netherlands. Active participation of the PhD candidate in ocean cruises is part of the project.

PhD 2 will combine analysis of satellite data with dedicated model experiments and use this to relate the field observations to El Niño and other larger-scale modes of variability. This research will be carried out in a four year project at the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht (IMAU) of Utrecht University, the Netherlands.

It is expected that the two PhD candidates will work in tandem.

Requirements: Candidates should have a MSc in Physical Oceanography, Meteorology, Fluid Dynamics or related field and have a strong relevant background in mathematical methods. Good English oral and writing skills are essential.

Conditions of employment:

For PhD 1: fulltime position for 4 years, a pension scheme, a yearly 8% vacation allowance, year end bonus and flexible employment conditions. Conditions are based on the Collective Labour Agreement of Research Centres. Cost of relocation and help with housing is provided by NIOZ.

For PhD 2: Conditions are based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities. The research group will provide the candidate with necessary support on all aspects of the project. More information is available on the website:

Further information:

Additional information about vacancy PhD 1 can be obtained from: Prof. dr. ir. H. Ridderinkhof ( and Prof. dr. L.R.M. Maas (
More information about the institute and our current research projects can be found on our website

Additional information about vacancy PhD 2 can be obtained from Prof. dr. W.P.M. de Ruijter ( and Prof. dr. ir. H.A. Dijkstra (

For more information about the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht, please visit the IMAU website.


For PhD 1: Applicants should send a cover letter with motivation for this project, CV, names and email addresses of two referees, to the Human Resource Department attended to Ms. Jolanda Evers, NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, P.O. Box 59, 1790 AB Den Burg, the Netherlands, or preferably per e-mail to:

For PhD 2: go to Please quote the vacancy number 2012-017 in your application.

Closing date: Applications can be submitted until September 1st 2012

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