Opening for Ph.D. student 2022-2023

Do you want to investigate, as a PhD student, how the microphysical interactions between dust, pollutions and water in the atmosphere affect the climate and satellite remote sensing? We have an opening for you! 


Mineral dust is an integral component of the Earth system that influences weather and climate via a suite of complex interactions with the energy, water, and carbon cycles. This project, funded by the National Science Foundation,  is to study how microphysical interactions with pollutants and water influence the scattering properties of dust aerosols and assess the implications for dust radiative effects and dust remote sensing. This goal is achieved through major tasks: First, the scattering properties of dust particles in different mixing states, including pure dust, coated dust and dust-aerosol coagulation, at different sizes and for different wavelengths will be computed using advanced scattering models; Second, the scattering properties of internally mixed dust particles will be compared with those of pure dust; Third, radiative transfer models will be used to simulate and compare the radiative effects of dust in different mixing states to understand the impacts of dust-pollution-water interactions on the climate system. 


A full and high scholarship will be covered by the National Science Foundation


  • A Bachelor’s degree in exact sciences (preferably, Atmospheric Sciences, Meteorology, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, chemistry or Earth Sciences) or engineering
  • Computer programming skills (e.g., Python, Fortran, etc.)
  • Data analysis (statistics, numerical analysis, time series analysis, etc.) skills
  • Good writing and oral English skills
  • Ability and desire to acquire new skills and learn new theoretical knowledge

To apply:

  • Submit the application package to the graduate school of UMBC
  • To maximize the chance for admission, please send the following to Prof. Zhibo Zhang (
    • Résumé/CV, including a list of publications
    • A general description of past and future research interests (up to half page)
    • Contact information of at least two references
    • Copy of the certificates/grades 1st and 2nd degree and the transcript

General Info for Openings and Opportunities

I am always looking for excellent postdoctoral scholars and students of all levels to join my group. If you are interested, feel free to contact me at Please include your CV, (unofficial) transcripts, and a description of your background and research interests. I value a rigorous quantitative background and strong communication skills, and I particularly welcome interest from women and underrepresented minorities.

Information on the Atmospheric Physics Ph.D. program in the Department of Physics at UMBC is available here, and details on the application process are here.

Graduate and postdoctoral fellowships

If you are a prospective graduate student or postdoctoral fellow interested in joining my group, you can also apply for your own funding through a number of fellowships. Graduate students can apply for a number of prestigious fellowships, including:

There also are a number of excellent fellowships for prospective postdoctoral fellows, including:

Provided that your research interests and qualifications are a good match for my group, I would be happy to advise you in preparing your fellowship application. Keep in mind that writing a competitive proposal takes a lot of time, so it’s best to start (and contact me) well ahead of the application deadline.