PhD Stipend in Spatial Optimization Planning for EU River Restoration

Aalborg University


June 25, 2022


PhD Stipend in Spatial Optimization Planning for EU River Restoration


At the Faculty of Engineering and Science, Department of Chemistry and Bioscience, a PhD stipend is available within the doctoral programme Biotechnology, Chemistry and Environmental Engineering. The PhD stipend is open for appointment from 1 September 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter. The position is for 3 years. The Department consists of two sections with research and teaching in Biotechnology, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Environmental Technology and Biology. Place of employment of the position is Section for Bioscience and Engineering in Aalborg. The Section of Bioscience and Engineering consists of 90 people of which about 30 is associate- and full professors. The section's conducts internationally competitive research within a range of topics within Biology and Biotechnology and publishes more than 100 peer reviewed publications annually. The section is responsible for the educations in Biology, Biotechnology, Medical Biotechnology and Environmental Science and is mostly located in Aalborg, but also conducts research and teaching at Esbjerg Campus.

Job description

The new EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 is a core part of the European Green Deal which aims at protecting nature and reversing the degradation of ecosystems based on a long-term plan. Among other specific actions and commitments, the Biodiversity Strategy calls for greater efforts to restore freshwater ecosystems, acknowledging that freshwater ecosystems and their biodiversity and ecosystem services keep declining at an alarming rate despite great efforts taken such as under the EU Water Framework Directive. Specifically, the Biodiversity Strategy sets the target to make at least 25,000 km of rivers free-flowing by 2030 by removing obsolete barriers and restoring floodplains and wetlands across Europe.

The aim of this PhD project is to develop a generally applicable workflow to prioritize the removal of barriers along river corridors, considering different targets such as reconnected river length, freshwater biodiversity health, floodplain and wetland habitat provision, and cost-effectiveness and to test the workflow at different spatial and jurisdictional scales in Europe. The project will be embedded in an international team-setting, benefitting from additional guidance by experts from Germany and Spain.


To fill this position, a relevant educational background within ecology or conservation biology, preferably with a focus on freshwater systems, is necessary. Furthermore, documented competences in using the programming languages R/Python, command line scripting, statistical modelling of freshwater biodiversity, preferably species distribution modelling, working with geographic information systems ArcGIS/QGIS, and writing scientific articles in English are considered an advantage.


The application must contain:

  • Cover letter of 1-2 pages describing the motivation for applying and an account of the applicant's background in relation to the announced position
  • Project description, which is required for technical reasons – in this case, where you apply for a specific project, you may upload a copy of the project description above
  • CV
  • Diploma and transcripts of records
  • Other relevant information.
  • All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background. We value diversity and see it as a strength.

    We are a dynamic workplace with high professionalism and efficiency, a good working environment and with a focus on work-life balance. We strive for a culture with collaboration that promotes openness and curiosity towards new initiatives and ideas and with a constructive approach to problem solving. As an employee at the department, you will be part of an international research environment, with a focus on innovation, knowledge sharing and excellency as well as interdisciplinary collaborations

    For further information about scientific aspects of the stipend, please contact Associate Professor Simone D. Langhans by email:

    The Department of Chemistry and Bioscience provides cutting-edge research and teaching in biotechnology, biology, environmental science, chemistry and chemical engineering. Our research solves important topics for the benefit of society, and through research-based teaching, we educate independent, collaborative and solution-oriented bachelors, graduates and PhDs.

    At the department, we have high-profile research groups and individual researchers who deliver world-class applied and basic scientific research with a mission-driven approach, and who contribute to the development of new technologies, methods, and new basic insights within natural science and engineering. The department is divided into two sections: Section for Bioscience and Engineering and Section for Chemical Science and Engineering, as well as one administration. Both sections have activities on both Aalborg and Esbjerg campuses. The day-to-day management is handled by the head of department, the deputy heads of research and education, and the head of the secretariat in collaboration with section leaders.

    PhD stipends are allocated to individuals who hold a Master's degree. PhD stipends are normally for a period of 3 years. It is a prerequisite for allocation of the stipend that the candidate will be enrolled as a PhD student at the Doctoral School of Engineering and Science in accordance with the regulations of Ministerial Order No. 1039 of August 27, 2013 on the PhD Programme at the Universities and Certain Higher Artistic Educational Institutions. According to the Ministerial Order, the progress of the PhD student shall be assessed at regular points in time.

    Shortlisting will be applied. This means that subsequent to the deadline for applications the head of department supported by the chair of the assessment committee will select candidates for assessment. All applicants will be informed whether they will be assessed or not.

    For further information about stipends and salary as well as practical issues concerning the application procedure contact Ms. Vigdis Skomager-Bohnfeldt, The Doctoral School at The Faculty of Engineering and Science, email: phone: +45 9940 7408.

    For more information of The Doctoral School of Engineering and Science: www.

    The application is only to be submitted online by using the "Apply online" button below.

    AAU wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background or belief.


    Appointment and salary as a PhD fellow are according to the Ministry of Finance Circular of 28 June 2019 on the Collective Agreement for Academics in Denmark, Appendix 5, regarding PhD fellows, and with the current Circular of 11 December 2019 on the employment structure at Danish universities.

    Vacancy number



    Tue Jun 21 00:00:00 CEST 2022