• Open
  • Closing date: 16 August 2022


In our mission to rid the world’s oceans of plastic, we rely on a thorough understanding of the ocean plastic pollution problem. The research team at The Ocean Cleanup aims to refine our understanding of the sources, transport, and fate of ocean plastics. An important aspect of our research is understanding the formation of hotspots of plastic and marine life in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. To this end, our team is conducting research on the spatiotemporal distribution of floating plastic debris and neuston in the North Pacific Ocean.

You will be responsible for the analysis of trawl samples collected from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in our laboratory in Rotterdam. Ultimately, your results will be applied to increase the efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of our offshore cleanup.

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 optimizing the collection of floating plastic debris accumulating in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. 

"As a scientist at The Ocean Cleanup, you will be able to perform cutting-edge research on ocean plastic pollution. Your findings will directly be used to optimize our cleanup efforts. Come join our interdisciplinary team of scientists and help us understand and solve this pressing environmental issue.", Dr. Matthias Egger, Lead Ocean Field scientist.


Responsible for analysis of trawl samples in our laboratory in Rotterdam and delivering high-quality data on the amount and type of plastics and marine life 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 (or a MSc thesis).


  • Bachelor's degree, pursuing 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
  • Basic knowledge of plankton taxonomy and identification method
  • Experience with chemical and biological research in the laboratory is a plus
  • Fluent in spoken and written English


  • Be 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
  • Comfortable with the demands of laboratory work
  • 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 towards our ambitious and meaningful goal

Note that the candidate needs to be enrolled at a University (MSc program) during the duration of the internship. If applicable, the internship can be combined with a MSc thesis project.

Starting from:
August/September, for 6 months
Work permit needed:
European Union