PhD Position in Hydrology which focusses on the Hindon River Basin

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Delft, Netherlands 🇳🇱

Job description

The Hydrology and Water Resources group at Delft University of Technology is offering a fully funded 4-year PhD position within a recently funded collaborative research project (HiROS) involving universities in The Netherlands and India. The HiROS project focuses on the Hindon River Basin, a tributary of the Ganga river in India that is impacted by inefficient irrigation practices and fertilizer and pesticide pollution. The project aims to develop a package of water savings and pollution control measures to stop groundwater overdraft and improve water quality in the Hindon River Basin.

Your research within this broader project will focus on using state-of-the-art remote sensing and data fusion technologies to generate high-resolution water balance datasets. Specifically, you will build on two existing methodologies:

  • The Scalable Water balance from Earth Observations (SWEO) methodology, currently developed by FAO, integrates existing satellite-based products of Land Use Land Cover (LULC), rainfall, snowfall, snow melt, ET, soil moisture, surface runoff, gravity changes and sizes of open water bodies into consistent spatially distributed water balances. A current limitation of the methodology is that it does not systematically account for errors in the remote sensing data.
  • Probabilistic water balance data fusion has recently been developed as a methodology for estimating unknown remote sensing data errors without ground-truth and generating bias-corrected and noise-filtered water balance estimates. The methodology is currently limited to spatially averaged water balance estimation and needs to be expanded for spatially distributed water balance estimation.

Your task is to develop new data fusion methodology that combines the strengths of these two existing methodologies, so as to generate spatially distributed water balance estimates that fully account for and quantify errors in remote sensing data. You will apply the newly developed methodology to the Hindon river basin. The resulting datasets will be used in HiROS for calibrating an agro-hydrological model of the Hindon basin that will be developed within the project.

You will join the Hydrology and Water Resources department at TU Delft, a diverse group of researchers working on water issues across the world. As part of the HiROS project you will collaborate with a dynamic group of motivated researchers in The Netherlands and India to tackle water resource problems in the Hindon basin.

This PhD vacancy will be in close cooperation with Wageningen University & Research (WUR). Within this NWO programme another PhD position “Ecohydrological modeling – devising strategies for sustainable agricultural water management in the Hindon basin” is vacant at WUR. For more information please have a look at their website.


For a good candidate you will have the following profile:

  • MSc in Hydrology, Water Management, Physical Geography or Data Information Systems
  • Strong quantitative skills, including excellence in data analysis, GIS, programming, and statistical modeling
  • Strong collaborative skills and ability to work in an international cross-cultural team and environment
  • Able and willing to travel to India
  • Proficient in spoken and written English If your mother language is not English and you do not hold a degree from an institution in which English is the language of instruction, you must submit proof of English proficiency from either TOEFL (minimum total score of 100) or IELTS (minimum total score of 7.0). Proof of English language proficiency certificates older than two years are not accepted.     

Conditions of employment

TU Delft offers PhD-candidates a 4-year contract, with an official go/no go progress assessment after one year. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2434 per month in the first year to € 3111 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.

TU Delft (Delft University of Technology)

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context. At TU Delft we embrace diversity and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale.

Challenge. Change. Impact! 

Faculty Civil Engineering & Geosciences

The Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences (CEG) is committed to outstanding international research and education in the field of civil engineering, applied earth sciences, traffic and transport, water technology, and delta technology. Our research feeds into our educational programmes and covers societal challenges such as climate change, energy transition, resource depletion, urbanisation and the availability of clean water, conducted  in close cooperation with a wide range of research institutions. CEG is convinced that Open Science helps to achieve our goals and supports its scientists in integrating Open Science in their research practice. The Faculty of CEG comprises 28 research groups in the following seven departments: Materials Mechanics Management & Design, Engineering Structures, Geoscience and Engineering, Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Transport & Planning, Hydraulic Engineering and Water Management.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences.

Additional information

Additional information about this position can be obtained from Dr. Gerrit Schoups ([email protected]) or Prof. Wim Bastiaanssen ([email protected]).

Application procedure

This vacancy is open up to and including the 10th of January, 2022. We want to plan the first job interviews soon afterwards. The ideal starting date is the 1st of March 2022/

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply via the application button and upload your motivation and CV.

  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • A pre-Employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated. For information about the application procedure, please contact Dian Verbunt (HR-advisor).