• Open
  • Closing date: 11 March 2021


The mission of The Ocean Cleanup is to develop advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. To do this, we rely on a thorough understanding of the ocean plastic pollution problem. The Research team at The Ocean Cleanup aims at refining our understanding of the sources, transport, and fate of ocean plastics. An important research aspect is to close the ocean plastic mass balance. To this end, the team is conducting research on the vertical distribution of plastic debris at sea.

You will be responsible for the analysis of neuston trawl and multinet samples collected from the North Atlantic Ocean in our laboratory in Rotterdam. Ultimately, your results will be applied to quantify and characterize plastic debris present in the water column of the North Atlantic Ocean.

Taking on the responsibility for the sample analysis and working independently in the laboratory is an important part of this internship. The success of this project relies on delivering high-quality data to achieve the objective of determining the amount of plastic currently present in the North Atlantic Ocean within a short period of time.


Responsible for analysis of trawl samples in our laboratory in Rotterdam and delivering high-quality data on the amount and type of plastics present in these samples.

Other responsibilities include:

  • Familiarizing yourself with the different techniques used to extract and analyze plastics from trawl samples
  • Using Raman spectroscopy to identify the polymer types of the extracted plastics
  • Collecting quantitative data on the marine organisms present in the trawl samples
  • Conducting data analysis, interpretation, presentation, and documenting everything in a report


  • Bachelor's degree with preferably post-graduate science education
  • Successful completion of marine science and biology courses
  • Experience with laboratory protocols, procedures, and safety measures
  • Experience with plastic pollution research
  • Experience with chemical and biological research in the laboratory
  • Ability to clearly present and explain results of complex research to scientists is a plus
  • Fluent in English


  • Able to quickly get to the essence of a technical challenge, and investigate the most relevant/important aspects to get to a solution direction
  • Able to perform well in a fast-paced and challenging environment
  • Curious, creative, and determined to deliver
  • Flexible team player
  • Ability to work independently
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Intrinsic motivation to work on our ambitious and meaningful goal


January 2021

Duration: 6 months

Starting from:
January 2021
Work permit needed:
European Union