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CIRES/NOAA CSL Post-Doctoral Associate or Research Scientist in Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometry

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado





Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Posting Close Date:


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 Tropospheric Chemistry program alongside a number of federal and university employees engaged in research investigating trace gases and aerosol particles and their impacts on air quality and climate. Our group develops and uses world-class instrumentation to measure these species and deploys these instruments on aircraft and at field sites.

This successful candidate for this position will investigate the emissions and atmospheric chemistry of trace gases and their oxidation products. The candidate will use these data for the development of chemical mechanisms and models, as well as assessment of the air quality and climate impacts of emissions and atmospheric chemical cycles. The successful candidate will work with high resolution, time-of-flight chemical ionization mass spectrometers (ToF-CIMS) within the Tropospheric Chemistry instrument suite. The specific instruments include the proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometer (PTR-ToF-MS) and long time-of-flight CIMS (LTOF-CIMS) for measurements of volatile organic compounds. Individuals without a mass spectrometry background, but with relevant experimental experience, are strongly encouraged to apply. 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

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 950 environmental science professionals work to understand the dynamic Earth system, including people’s relationship with the planet. CIRES has partnered with NOAA since 1967, 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.

The mission of the NOAA Chemical Sciences Laboratory (CSL) is to advance scientific understanding of the chemical and physical processes that affect Earth’s atmospheric composition. CSL’s vision is a nation that has the needed scientific understanding and information about atmospheric composition to make optimal decisions for the well-being of current and future generations.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

Responsibilities for All Applicants

  • Operate ToF-CIMS instruments to measure atmospheric trace gases and their oxidation products.
  • Characterize instruments and evaluate a variety of ionization techniques to detect trace gases with different chemical functionalities.
  • Characterize techniques for measuring aerosol constituents by ToF-CIMS.
  • Independently operate these instruments and their calibration systems in the field and the laboratory.
  • Periodic travel for several weeks at a time is required.
  • Analyze and interpret data collected by these instruments.
  • Present results at scientific meetings and publish them in peer-reviewed literature.

Additional Responsibilities for Research Scientists

  • Contribute to the formulation and execution of research directions within the Tropospheric Chemistry Program.

What You Should Know

  • This is a 2-year position with the possibility of extension based on performance and availability of funding.
  • 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.
  • If you are the selected finalist, you will be required to pass a federal laboratory background clearance for site access.
  • Non-US citizens without green cards may have limited building access and require an escort in the building
  • Given project deliverables, candidates must be able to start working by September 1, 2024.

What We Can Offer

  • CIRES offers a generous compensation package.
  • This position will be filled at the Post-Doctoral Associate or Research Scientist I career track levels. The annual hiring salary range is $64,000 - $68,000 for Post-Doctoral Associates and $68,000 - $71,000 for Research Scientists. Salary is commensurate with education and years of 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.
  • This position can accommodate a hybrid work modality in accordance with project needs.
  • CIRES/the University of Colorado Boulder offer a robust training curriculum, opportunities for professional development and a Mentorship Program.
  • 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. News.
  • As an employee at CU Boulder, you receive a pass allowing free access to the regional public transit system, which is an outstanding network of buses and light rail systems that provide service within Boulder and connect to Denver, the Denver airport, and surrounding communities.


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 brilliant. Be game-changing. Be Boulder.

What We Require

Requirements for All Applicants

  • Ph.D. in chemistry, physics, atmospheric sciences, environmental engineering, or a closely related field.
  • Experience in experimental physical sciences and data analysis.

Additional Requirements for Research Scientists

  • At least one year of relevant experience beyond the doctoral degree. 

What You Will Need

  • Ability to work in a collaborative environment with a diverse group of scientists.
  • Commitment to supporting an inclusive laboratory.
  • The ability to work in a team and participate in the development of original research projects.
  • Communicate proficiently in the English language both orally and in writing within a professional scientific environment.

What We Would Like You to Have

We invite applicants to apply even if they do not have the preferred skills and experience outlined in this section. If you meet the minimum qualifications and have passion for the work, you are encouraged to apply. We encourage on-the-job training for any additional skills or knowledge that become relevant to the position.

  • Experience operating time of flight mass spectrometers. This may include instruments such as PTR-ToF-MS, NH4+-adduct CIMS, iodide-adduct CIMS, aerosol mass spectrometers (AMS), electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, etc.
  • Experience coding and analyzing data sets in Igor Pro and / or other data analysis and plotting software.
  • Experience building instruments or modifying commercial instrumentation.
  • A record demonstrating the ability to communicate science through publications and conference presentations.
  • Specific examples of experimental physical sciences experience that are desired include the following:
    • Field measurements of atmospheric composition.
    • Analyzing complex data sets.
    • Determining sources of trace gas emissions by source apportionment techniques.
    • Understanding of chemical mechanisms and their development.
    • Troubleshooting and resolving problems with instrumentation.

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. Although not needed at the time of application, please be ready to provide contact information for 5 professional references (including 2 professors or supervisors). If you are identified as a finalist for this role, you will be asked to invite your references to 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.

This position will close on April 24, 2024.

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: Victoria Treadaway

Posting Contact Email: