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CIRES/NOAA CSL Post-Doctoral Associate or Research Associate (Research Scientist) in Atmospheric Chemistry of Organic Trace Gases

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Date Posted:


Job Summary

We are seeking a highly motivated Post-Doctoral Associate or Research Scientist to conduct physical measurements that improve our understanding of atmospheric emissions and chemistry relevant to critical climate change and air quality issues. The scientist will be part of a highly collaborative research team at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder and NOAA’s Chemical Sciences Laboratory.

The successful applicant will perform analysis using data from a variety of instrumentation to improve scientific understanding of urban air quality by identifying emission sources of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and their contribution to the formation of tropospheric ozone and particulate formation.

The candidate will be responsible for the airborne deployment and operation of the NOAA Integrated Whole Air Sampler (iWAS) and Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) instruments during NOAA-led field studies, including the 2023 Atmospheric Emissions and Reactions Observed from Megacities to Marine Areas (AEROMMA) aircraft mission. The scientist will also have the opportunity to pursue analytical instrument and/or software development to promote new or improved scientific directions in understanding atmospheric reactive gases.

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

At CIRES, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, more than 800 environmental scientists work to understand the dynamic Earth system, including people’s relationship with the planet. CIRES is a partnership between NOAA and the University of Colorado Boulder, and our areas of expertise include weather and climate, changes at the Earth’s poles, air quality and atmospheric chemistry, water resources, and solid Earth sciences. 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:

  • You will work as part of a small, highly specialized team to operate, maintain, and field-deploy the NOAA whole air canister sampling and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (WAS/GC-MS) analysis systems on mobile and airborne platforms and stationary ground sites
  • Work effectively as part of a large and dynamic research group to prepare for, participate in, and analyze and interpret data from laboratory and field-based research using the WAS/GC-MS systems in conjunction with other physical and chemical measurements and/or model results
  • Present results at scientific meetings and publish results 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.
  • All CIRES and NOAA employees are required to align with COVID-19 vaccine requirements for access to both campuses. New employees must provide proof of vaccination or receive a medical or religious exemption within 30 days of employment.
  • 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 is commensurate with education and experience and determined based on our CIRES internal career track classification.
  • 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 with 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 successful. 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 experiments and/or research projects.
  • Ability to perform required duties associated with up to 1-2 months of field deployments per year in support of AEROMMA or other missions.

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 environmental physical sciences.
  • Ability to work in a collaborative environment with a diverse group of scientists.
  • Commitment to supporting an inclusive laboratory.
  • Strong analytical and interpersonal problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills.
  • Willingness to learn and/or develop new capabilities.

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.

  • Specific examples of experimental physical sciences experience that are desired include the following:
    • Conducting field measurements of atmospheric composition
    • Analyzing complex data sets from multiple instruments
    • Gas-phase atmospheric chemistry and/or physics
    • Building, operating, troubleshooting, and/or maintaining complex scientific instruments
    • Designing and conducting laboratory-based experiments to characterize or improve instrument performance
    • Experience or willingness to learn the operation of gas chromatography and/or mass spectrometer instruments
  • Experience or willingness to learn instrument control software such as LabView; data analysis software such as IGOR, Matlab, and Excel; and publishing and presentation software such as Microsoft Office and PowerPoint.
  • A record demonstrating the ability to communicate science through publication and conference presentations.

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.
  3. A list of 3 professional references who will be willing to offer a professional reference on your behalf. If you are selected as a finalist for this role, we will reach out to you and ask that your references complete a Skillsurvey questionnaire on your behalf. Skillsurvey is an online reference check solution. This information will be kept confidential and viewable only by the search committee.

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 March 31st will receive full consideration.  Applications will be reviewed as they are received.  The position will be open until filled. 

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

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: Chelsea Stockwell

Posting Contact Email: