• Interviews started
  • Closing date: 01 October 2020


The mission of The Ocean Cleanup is to develop advanced technology to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. In order to do so, we need to understand the problem: our Research program investigates sources, transport, and fate of ocean plastics at a global scale so we can make informed decisions while working towards our goal of removing 90% of ocean plastic by 2040.

You will supervise the analysis of the many ocean and river plastic field samples we receive at our laboratory, as well as the creation and implementation of new research protocols. You will also support field expeditions and produce peer-reviewed science.

“Conducting research at The Ocean Cleanup is a unique chance to quickly generate intel on the current fast-growing plastic pollution epidemic. The field of research is still very young, and it is an exciting time for us researchers who are developing it. There are still so many things we do not know about ocean plastics. We are seeking a team member that will show ingenuity, curiosity, and enthusiasm to help us solve the great questions of plastic pollution research and contribute to pushing the field further.” - Laurent Lebreton, Head of Research


The Ocean Cleanup is currently collecting ocean and river plastics in many parts of the world - during our offshore clean-up or river interceptor operations, during our research expeditions, or by a global team of benevolent citizen scientists. All collected plastic samples come to one place, your place: The Ocean Cleanup Plastic Lab. 

Your responsibilities include:

  • Managing The Ocean Cleanup Plastic Lab with the processing of ocean, river, and beach plastic samples including extraction, characterization, and quantification
  • Designing and implementing research protocols for ocean and river plastic research
  • Supporting fieldwork with the participation to field expeditions and research missions
  • Supervising graduate students and collaborating with universities
  • Publishing peer-reviewed science and participating in conferences


  • Ph.D. or Masters degree in Earth, environmental, or material sciences
  • At least 3 years of relevant experience in a laboratory and in the field
  • Knowledge of microplastics extraction and polymer identification techniques
  • Proven ability to publish scientific peer-reviewed literature
  • Internationally oriented
  • Fluent in English
  • Experience with performing in goal setting environments
  • Experience in supervising students is a plus


  • Able to perform well in a fast-paced and highly challenging environment
  • Meticulous, detail-oriented, structured
  • Team player, diplomatic 
  • Analytical thinker
  • Affinity for data analysis and visualization, as well as scientific writing
  • Willingness to travel abroad

Please note: because we are a non-profit, our salaries reflect that of an organization fully reliant on donations, rather than that of a commercial entity. 

Starting from:
Work permit needed:
European Union

Interviews have started, but please feel free to apply, as we might consider new applications.