PhD researcher in Aquifer Storage and Recovery and Managed Aquifer recharge for 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 PhD-student with a doctoral grant

More concretely your work package, for the preparation of a doctorate, contains: 

Groundwater plays a key role in enhancing resilience to drought. We are looking for an enthusiastic PhD student investigating Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) and Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) as drought adaptation measures in Flanders (Belgium).

You will perform high level scientific research which should be valorized in a PhD thesis and publications in peer reviewed (inter)national journals. The topic of the PhD research should be situated in the domain of “Assessing feasibility, environmental impact and impact on groundwater quantity of Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) and Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) as drought adaptation measures in Flanders (Belgium) through monitoring and groundwater flow and transport modelling” but the specific research topic of the PhD will be defined based on your background and interests.

Your assignment also includes to a limited extent the coordination and supervision of exercises, projects and field work in courses on Groundwater Hydrology and/or Groundwater Modelling within the Master Water Resources Engineering and the supervision of master thesis students in Groundwater Hydrology and Modelling. Your specific assignment is determined annually in consultation with you. For these practical sessions, English is the official language.

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 Master’s degree in Geology, Geography, Civil Engineering, Water Resources Engineering, Bio-Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Agricultural Engineering, Hydrology, Earth Sciences or a diploma recognized as equivalent by competent university authorities;
  • You have demonstrable enthusiasm for hydrogeology, groundwater modelling and drought adaptation solutions.
  • You have experience with groundwater modelling and you like doing fieldwork.
  • You express yourself fluently in English and have excellent communication, writing and presentation skills.
  • You are a team player.
  • Knowledge of the (hydro)-geology of Flanders is an added value for this position.
  • Knowledge of Dutch is an added value for this PhD position.
  • A driver’s license is an added value for this PhD position.
  • You look forward to transfer your knowledge and insights to students at Master level with great enthusiasm.
  • You have not performed any works in the execution of a mandate as an assistant, paid from operating resources, over a total (cumulated) period of more than 12 months.

4 – Offer

Are you going to be our new colleague?

You’ll be offered a full-time PhD-scholarship, for 12 months (extendable up to max. 48 months, on condition of the positive evaluation of the PhD activities), with planned starting date 01/09/2023

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

IMPORTANT: The effective result of the doctorate scholarship is subject to the condition precedent of your enrolment as a doctorate student at the university.

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 21/04/2023:

  • your CV,
  • letter of motivation 
  • a two-page research proposal (state-of-the-art, objectives and methodology) on the specific research topic you propose within the domain of “Assessing feasibility, environmental impact and impact on groundwater quantity of Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) and Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) as drought adaptation measures in Flanders (Belgium) through monitoring and groundwater flow and transport modelling” which demonstrates your insights, background and interest in this research domain.
  • 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