Are you keen to contribute to a resilient climate-proof and sustainable
future for the Dutch sandy soil landscapes? Would you like to model feedback
mechanisms at landscape scale, taking into account both biophysical and socio-
economic factors, to investigate the resilience of such landscapes? Then
you could be the ideal PhD candidate to join our team!
We are hiring a PhD candidate for a 4-year project that aims at quantifying
feedback mechanisms that create stability (negative feedbacks) or
instability (positive feedbacks) in both current and possible future
situations for the Dutch sandy soil landscapes. The project builds on the
notion that a new balance is required to adapt to climate change and reverse
biodiversity decline. Quantitative understanding of how such new landscapes
could function, from biophysical and socio-economic perspectives, is currently
limited. In this project we aim to solve this problem. You will develop
spatial models to identify basins of attraction that represent climate-
resilient and sustainable landscape 'states', and together with other project
members and stakeholders you will use these models to identify pathways
towards preferred future states.
Your PhD project is part of the 'CASTOR (Catchment Strategies Towards
Resilience): Dutch Pleistocene Landscapes in the Anthropocene' project, which
is funded through the NWA program of Dutch Research funding organization NWO
(project description available upon request). CASTOR is a collaborative and
interdisciplinary project in which Wageningen University collaborates with
other universities (UTwente, TUDelft), research institutes (WENR, Deltares,
KWR), water boards, drinking water company Vitens and the ministry of
Infrastructure and Water management. Two post-docs and four PhD candidates
will be employed for the project supported by a diverse team of academic staff
members (ranging from soil geography, to integrated water management,
planning and governance). You should be motivated to function in an
interdisciplinary research environment and to interact and collaborate with
diverse partners. You are expected to communicate results with scientific
peers as well as with partners and the general public.
You will be part of the Soil Geography & Landscape group of Wageningen
University, and will join the PhD program of the PE&RC graduate school. This
environment, in combination with the embedding in a large transdisciplinary
project, gives you all opportunities to develop new skills and kick-start your
academic career. If you are a highly motivated and skilled researcher who is
excited by the prospect of quantifying new balances at landscape scale for
coupled human-natural systems; if you like working both independently and in a
multidisciplinary team; if you are looking for a challenge, we are looking for
A completed (or about to be completed) MSc degree in computational earth
or environmental science, ecology or a related field;
Affinity with coupled socio-environmental systems and modelling feedbacks
in space and time;
Ability to work independently as well as in a multi-disciplinary team to
collaboratively do transdisciplinary research;
Preferably experience with geo-information software and programming
languages, such as QGIS and statistical computing;
Strong communication skills, both oral and written. Additional information
on required English language proficiency is available here;
You are a creative, communicative and intrinsically motivated colleague
who takes initiatives.
Conditions of employment
Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few
highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
Paid parental leave;
Working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for
the best possible work-life balance;
The option to accrue additional holiday hours by working more, up to 40
hours per week;
There is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports
facilities available on campus for a small fee;
A fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
Excellent pension scheme.
In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will receive a fully
funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your
needs and the research team. The gross salary for the first year is € 2.434,-
per month rising to € 3.111,- in the fourth year in according to the
Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale P).
This is based on a full-time working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary
contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project
if you perform well.
Wageningen University & Research encourages internal advancement opportunities
and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. There are plenty of options
for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent
training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international
environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.
You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in The
Netherlands and at a university that has been chosen as the "Best University"
in the Netherlands for the 17th consecutive time.
Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for
life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the
world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot
to offer to international employees. Applicants from abroad moving to the
Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, known as the 30% ruling. Our
team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa
application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.
Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen
University & Research's International Community page contains practical
information about what we can do to support international employees and
students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any
additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job,
housing, schooling, and other issues.
WUR employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and
qualities, who encourage and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel
at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We
therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented
at WUR. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the
page working at WUR with a functional impairment.
Wageningen University & Research
The mission of Wageningen University and Research is "To explore the potential
of nature to improve the quality of life". Under the banner Wageningen
University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research
institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in
contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of
healthy food and living environment.
With its roughly 30 branches, 6.800 employees and 12.900 students, Wageningen
University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. An
integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various
disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen's unique approach. WUR has been
named Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020.
Read the 5 reasons why your future colleagues enjoy working at WUR and watch
this video to get an idea of our green campus!
For more information about this position please contact Prof.dr. Jakob
Wallinga (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Dr. Simona Pedde
(email@example.com) or Dr. Jasper Candel (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For more information about the procedure please contact Edgar Tijhuis,
corporate recruiter, email@example.com.
Do you want to apply?
You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our
website which will allow us to process your personal information with your
approval. To apply you have to upload a motivation letter (max 1 page
A4) outlining both your motivation and your suitability for the project, and
your CV (max 2 pages A4) including names and contact details of two
This vacancy will be listed up to and including the 31st of January 2022.
Interviews will be scheduled on February 8; if you are unavailable on that
date, please indicate this in your cover letter.