Postdoctoral fellow in Groundwater Modelling and Drought Resilience

Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Brussels, Belgium 🇧🇪

1 – Working at the VUB

For already 50 years, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel has stood for freedom, equality and connectedness. These values are strongly present on our campuses, in our students as well as our staff. At the VUB, you’ll find a diverse collection of personalities: pure innovators and especially people who are 100% their authentic selves. With about 3.500 employees, we are the largest Dutch-speaking employer in Brussels, an international city with which we are all too happy to be connected, and around which our four campuses are located.

Our education and research are grounded in the principles of free research with an eye on human progress. We disapprove of every purely authoritative argument and guarantee the free formation of judgement that is necessary for this basic principle to be incorporated in the community.

The VUB is autonomous and managed democratically. As such, we guarantee fundamental freedoms within our university, as well as the right of the university community to be involved in making and checking university policy.

The mission of the university includes:

  • the development, the transfer and the application of high-standing academic education and scientific research, free from any prejudice;
  • community integration of this in a spirit of social compassion;
  • critical development of everyone in light of the responsibilities borne in the community.

2 – Position description

The Faculty of Engineering, Department Hydrologie en waterbouwkunde, is looking for a postdoctoral researcher with a grant

More concretely your work package, for the validation of your doctoral research, contains: 


Groundwater plays a key role in enhancing resilience to drought. The research team of prof. Marijke Huysmans is involved in several projects where different drought adaptation measures are investigated: Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR), Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR), infiltration of rainwater, smart drainage, and sustainable dewatering of construction sites through re-injection or infiltration of the pumped groundwater.

We are looking for an experienced groundwater flow modeler to perform groundwater modelling in these projects and explore advanced modelling and statistical techniques for incorporating heterogeneity and uncertainty in groundwater models.
You will build and calibrate numerical groundwater flow models for different case studies in Flanders (Belgium) where ASR, MAR, increased infiltration, smart drainage or re-injection of water from dewatered construction sites is applied. You will explore advanced modelling and statistical techniques for incorporating heterogeneity and uncertainty in groundwater models.
You will also take the lead in publishing research results from these different projects and support in writing new project proposals on the topic of groundwater and drought resilience.

For this function, our Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering Campus (Elsene) will serve as your home base. 

3 – Profile

What do we expect from you?

  • You have a PhD degree in Civil Engineering, Water Resources Engineering, Bio-Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Agricultural Engineering, Hydrology, Earth Sciences, Geology or Geography or a diploma recognized as equivalent by competent university authorities.
  • You have experience in hydrogeology, groundwater science and groundwater modelling reflected by the topic of your PhD and authorship of publications on these topics;
  • You are proficient in numerical groundwater flow modelling, data analysis and programming;
  • You have an interest in drought resilience and want to contribute to different solutions for sustainable groundwater management;
  • You express yourself fluently in English; 
  • You are a team player and open to collaborate with researchers and students from VUB and other organisations.
  • You have not had a residence or employment in Belgium for a period exceeding 12 months in the 36-month period preceding the start date of the postdoctoral scholarship.

4 – Offer

Are you going to be our new colleague?

You’ll be offered a full-time postdoctoral scholarship, for 12 months (extendable up to max. 36 months, on condition of the positive evaluation of the research activities), with planned starting date 01/05/2023

You’ll receive a grant linked to one of the scales set by the government.

At the VUB, you’re guaranteed an open, involved and diverse workplace where you are offered opportunities to (further) build on your career.

As well as this, you’ll enjoy various benefits:

  • Full reimbursement for your home-work commute with public transport according to VUB-policy, or compensation if you come by bike;
  • Cost-free hospitalisation insurance;
  • The space to form your job content and continuously learn via VUB LRN;
  • Excellent facilities for sport and exercise;
  • Ecocheques;
  • Delicious meals at attractive prices in our campus restaurants;
  • An open, family-friendly work environment where attention is paid to work-life balance, and exceptional holiday arrangements with 35 days of leave (based on a fulltime contract). 

5 – Interested?

Is this the job you’ve been dreaming of?

Send us ONLINE and at the latest on 01/03/2023 your CV, letter of motivation and the highest degree you’ve attained (not applicable for VUB alumni).

Do you have questions about the job content? Contact Marijke Huysmans at or on 02/6293039.

Would you like to know what it’s like to work at the VUB? Go to and find all there is to know about our campuses, benefits, strategic goals and your future colleagues.





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development