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CIRES/ NOAA CSL Post-Doctoral Associate or Research Associate (Research Scientist)- Atmospheric Chemistry Modeler

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Date Posted:


Job Summary

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at CU Boulder encourages applications for a Post-Doctoral Associate or Research Scientist within NOAA’s Chemical Sciences Laboratory (CSL) in Boulder, Colorado. The successful candidate will work in the Regional Chemical Modeling program alongside a number of federal and university employees engaged in research developing and using 3D atmospheric chemistry models to better understand processes aimed at improving air quality, weather, and climate prediction.

This position requires continuing and expanding research improving chemical processes for gases and/or aerosols in 3D atmospheric chemistry models to better understand and predict urban air pollution. CSL has a collaborative lab culture, and we are looking for a candidate who actively subscribes to this philosophy. Successful candidates will demonstrate competency and sensitivity in working in a diverse community.

The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Who We Are

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) is an internationally recognized leader in innovative environmental science and research and is located at the University of Colorado Boulder. At CIRES, more than 800 environmental science professionals work to understand the dynamic Earth system, including people’s relationship with the planet. CIRES is a partnership of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Colorado Boulder, and our areas of expertise include weather and climate, changes at Earth’s poles, air quality and atmospheric chemistry, water resources, solid Earth sciences, and more. Our vision is to be instrumental in ensuring a sustainable future environment by advancing scientific and societal understanding of the Earth system.

In the Chemical Sciences Laboratory (CSL) of the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratories, researchers develop and use instruments to make precise atmospheric measurements, conduct laboratory experiments, design and complete field missions, analyze observations, and use sophisticated computer models to better understand how our changing atmosphere is influencing climate - and therefore people.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

For Post-Doctoral Associates:

  • Perform atmospheric chemistry 3D modeling simulations using WRF-Chem (Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with Chemistry).
  • Update chemical mechanisms and other processes within WRF-Chem to improve simulated ozone and aerosol.
  • Evaluate atmospheric chemistry model results against observations, especially from aircraft campaigns.
  • Interpret WRF-Chem model output to improve understanding of urban air pollution.
  • Present results at scientific meetings and publish them in peer-reviewed literature.

Additional responsibilities for Research Associates (Research Scientists):

  • In addition to the duties identified above, within CIRES/NOAA CSL, a Research Scientist is also responsible for conducting original research and/or supporting research through work in the field of Atmospheric Sciences.
  • Outreach, education, and service activities are also important components of a Research Scientist’s effort.

What You Should Know

  • This position will be rostered in CIRES at the University of Colorado Boulder but will be physically situated in the NOAA Chemical Sciences Laboratory located within the David Skaggs Research Center, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305 which houses the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratories.
  • Selected finalists will be required to pass a federal background check for site access.
  • Boulder is a vibrant community with access to mountain parks, dog parks, miles of trails, rivers, lakes, cafes, restaurants, boutiques, theaters, museums, and sports venues. Boulder was recently ranked as the top place to live in the U.S by U.S. News.
  • Boulder is located just 20 miles from Denver, which is a large, diverse city ranked #2 in the Best Places to Live in the U.S by U.S News.
  • As an employee at CU Boulder, the ECO Pass benefit allows you to have free access to the public transit system, which is a phenomenal network of buses and light rails that connect Boulder, Denver, the Denver airport, and surrounding communities. Both CU Boulder and NOAA campuses are on the primary bus routes.
  • All University of Colorado Boulder employees are required to comply with the campus COVID-19 vaccine requirement. New employees must provide proof of vaccination or receive a medical or religious exemption within 30 days of employment.

What We Can Offer

  • We can offer a generous and comprehensive benefits package.
  • The annual hiring salary range is $60,000- $64,000 for a Post-Doctoral Associate and $64,000-$85,000 for a Research Associate (Research Scientist). Salary will be determined according to education, experience, and in consideration of our internal career track.
  • Relocation expenses are available for this position following CIRES and the University of Colorado’s relocation processes and procedures.
  • CIRES/NOAA provides an engaged and collaborative work environment and the opportunity to work within a supportive and diverse group of scholars on large-scale research projects of environmental and societal importance.


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Be Statements

Be ambitious. Be collaborative. Be Boulder.

What We Require

For Post-Doctoral Associates:

  • Ph.D. (or expected) in chemistry, physics, atmospheric sciences, environmental engineering, or a closely related field.
  • The ability to work both independently and collaboratively to lead model development and/or research projects.

Additional requirements for Research Associates (Research Scientists):

  • At least 1 year of post-doctoral research experience.
  • Proven capability for self-guided, motivated, and original research as documented by several first-authored publications.

What You Will Need

We will consider candidates who provide examples that demonstrate the following:

  • Experience in 3D atmospheric chemistry modeling. Specific examples that are desired include the following:
    • Perform 3D atmospheric chemistry model simulations (e.g., WRF-chem, CMAQ, GEOS-Chem, CAM-Chem)
    • Evaluate atmospheric chemistry model output against observations (e.g., surface monitoring, satellite, and/or aircraft)
    • Develop and implement new code into atmospheric chemistry models and/or willingness to learn
    • Troubleshoot and resolve problems with atmospheric chemistry models
    • Interpret atmospheric chemistry model output to improve understanding of air quality and/or atmospheric composition
  • Ability to work in a collaborative environment with a diverse group of scientists.
  • Commitment to supporting an inclusive laboratory.
  • A record demonstrating the ability to communicate science through publication and conference presentations.

What We Would Like You To Have

Please note that while the position details both required skills and desired skills, applicants do not need to have all of the desired skills and experience to be considered for this position. If you meet the minimum qualifications, have passion for the work, along with experience in a related field, you are encouraged to apply. We provide on-the-job training for any additional skills or knowledge that become relevant to the position:

  • Experience using, developing, and evaluating 3D atmospheric chemistry models.
  • Experience developing chemical mechanisms for gases and/or aerosols in models either in 3D atmospheric chemistry models or other models such as box-models.
  • Experience with programming and data analysis using Python, Fortran, Matlab, IDL, NCL, and/or other similar languages.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:

  1. Resume or CV
  2. Cover letter addressed to the search committee briefly describing your qualifications, professional goals, and specific interest in this position. Please specifically address your experiences that demonstrate the necessary and desired skills described above.
  3. Be prepared to offer contact information for 3 professional references (1 of them must be/ must have been a supervisor or professor). If you are identified as a finalist for this position, you will be prompted to ask them to complete a SkillSurvey questionnaire on your behalf.

If you are selected as the finalist, your degree will be verified by the CU Boulder Campus Human Resources department using an approved online vendor. If your degree was obtained outside of the United States, please submit a translated version as an optional attachment.

Applications received by May 15th, 2022 will receive full consideration. The position will remain posted until filled.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: Rebecca Schwantes

Posting Contact Email: