Junior Researcher Fire effects on stream water quality in PyroLife Innovative Training Network on integrated fire management

Wageningen University & Research

Wageningen, Netherlands 🇳🇱

Locatie: Wageningen

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We are looking for

Do you have a genuine interest in landscape fires and resilience? And in further developing integrated fire management based on social, economic, cultural and ecological values? Are you up for an interdisciplinary challenge, looking and learning beyond your own field and assumptions? With an international team that is inclusive, collaborative, creative and open minded? Then we are looking for you!
The recent wildfire seasons are a glimpse of what to expect in the future: dangerous mega-fires in Mediterranean regions and high fire activity in temperate and boreal areas outside the typical Spring fire season. We cannot solve this challenge with the traditional mono-disciplinary approach of fire suppression: there is a critical need to change fire management from fire resistance to landscape resilience: Living with Fire. This requires a new type of diverse experts, who not only understand fire, but who are also able to communicate risks and engage with communities, deal with uncertainty, and link scientific disciplines as well as science and practice.

The Innovative Training Network PyroLife trains the new generation of interdisciplinary experts in integrated fire management, based  on four axes of diversity: cross-risk, cross-geography, intersectoral (linking science and practice) and social diversity. 
We are hiring 1 junior researcher to join a team of 15 diverse PhD candidates across Southern and Northwest Europe and across a range of scientific disciplines, from social sciences and policy to environmental sciences and engineering.
Junior research subject: fire effects on stream water quality
Fires can contaminate streams with fine sediments, nutrients and ashes, impacting aquatic ecosystems and water supply. While fire effects on water quality of reservoirs is relatively well understood, this is not the case for streams. In this project, you will work closely with the Portuguese water group Águas de Portugal, through AdP VALOR, to help them manage water quality for aquatic health and drinking water supply. You will characterize post-fire contamination episodes in rivers and streams of Central Portugal, and use historical water quality data to map fire effects using change point analysis. In addition, you will determine which characteristics of fire events can be used to assess the probability and magnitude of post-fire contamination episodes, and which water quality parameters can best be used as indicators for post-fire streamwater quality contamination. As such, your findings will directly support Águas de Portugal in their water management.

PyroLife is a training program, which means that candidates undertake a set of network-wide training activities as part of a 13-ECTS personal career development plan. This candidate will be based at Wageningen University, Netherlands, with a 3-month secondments at Águas de Portugal in Portugal. At Wageningen University, the candidate will work at the Soil Geography and Landscape Group.

We ask

  • Recent Masters degree in hydrology or water quality or another suitably related discipline;
  • Demonstrated experience with water quality data and advanced statistical analysis (e.g. change-point analysis)
  • Demonstrated programming skills (e.g. R, Python)
  • A genuine interest in landscape fire and resilience, the social, economic, cultural and ecological dimensions involved and the inter- and transdisciplinary linkages needed for that. Experience with (the management of) fire, forests, water, storms or other risks is appreciated;
  • Commitment to completing a 13-ECTS personal career development program including the broad interdisciplinary PyroLife training as part of the job
  • Good communication skills and good proficiency in English (both oral and written); knowledge of Portuguese is advantageous
  • Ability to function as a team member, work independently and reflect on your own functioning;
  • Willingness to travel including moving to another country for this position, completing a 3-month secondment in Portugal, and travel to international training courses and any fieldwork;
  • Meet the mobility and early stage researcher requirements defined for the MSCA-ITN projects.

Mobility and early career requirements
Applicants should comply to the EU rules regarding ITN projects:
(https://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/other/guides_for_applicants/h2020-guide-appl-msca-itn_en.pdf). The most important rules are that you should not have a doctoral degree, have obtained your Master degree within the last four years (full-time equivalent research experience) and should not have spent more than 12 months of your time during the last 3 years in The Netherlands.

We offer

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:

  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional compensation / 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 of course receive a good salary. Depending on your experience, we offer a one year contract with a gross salary of between €2.846,- and €4.490,-a for a full-time working week of 38 hours, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale 10).

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 Holland, 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.

More information

For more information about this position, please contact Cathelijne Stoof, Principal Investigator PyroLife Innovative Training Network, [email protected]

For more information about the procedure, please contact Edgar Tijhuis, corporate recruiter, [email protected]

Do you want to apply?
You can apply directly by uploading your CV and motivation letter using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval. Submit your motivation letter and CV and use the standard template for the motivation letter (https://pyrolife.lessonsonfire.eu/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/PyroLife-template-for-motivation-letter-and-required-attachments_final.docx). This template outlines four topics we expect you to cover, and includes a form to show your eligibility for the program in terms of early stage researcher and mobility requirements.

This vacancy will be listed up to and including August 31stth 2021. We schedule the first job interviews on Monday September 5, 2022 or the days after that. We prefer to start as soon as possible with this position but the candidate should at least start by December 1st 2022 at the very latest

Equal opportunities
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire 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. For more information please go to our inclusivity page. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.

We are

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!

We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.