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Internship - Ocean Plastic Lab (NPM6)

The Ocean Cleanup

The Ocean Cleanup

Rotterdam, Netherlands
Posted on Thursday, June 29, 2023


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 research aspect is understanding the heterogeneity of plastic accumulation at the ocean surface and its relation to the abundance of neuston. To this end, our research team is researching the spatiotemporal distribution of floating plastic debris and neuston in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. 

You will be responsible for analyzing Manta trawl samples collected from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in our laboratory in Rotterdam. Ultimately, your results will be applied to study plastic accumulation hotspots within the subtropical North Pacific 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 optimizing the collection of floating plastic debris accumulating in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  


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

Other responsibilities include:

  • Familiarize yourself with the different techniques used to extract and analyze plastics from Manta trawl samples 
  • Use Raman spectroscopy to identify the polymer types of the extracted plastics
  • Collect quantitative data on the marine organisms present in the Manta trawl samples
  • Conduct data analysis, interpretation, presentation, and document everything in a report. 


  • Bachelor's degree, 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
  • Basic knowledge of neuston taxonomy is a plus 
  • Ability to clearly present and explain results of complex research to scientists
  • Fluent in English


  • Be able to get to the essence of a technical challenge quickly 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

Note that the candidate needs to be enrolled at a University (MSc program) during the entire internship. 

DURATION: 6 months

Starting from:
Aug/Sept 2023
Work permit needed:
European Union

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