PhD candidate Modelling the effects of bio-based fertiliser use on surface water pollution at catchment & EU scales

Wageningen University & Research

Wageningen, , NL

We are looking for

Are you passionate about environmental modelling (e.g. substance flow analysis, environmental pollution management) and spatial analysis (e.g. ArcGIS)? And interested in scenario analysis, seeking solutions, and evaluation of environmental policy? Then you maybe the candidate we are looking for!

Within the FeriCycle consortium on “Modelling short and long-term effects of bio-based fertilisers on the environment” we are looking for a PhD candidate. The candidate will focus on possible emissions to air and water following from the use of bio-fertilisers in Europe, as well as on mitigation options to diminish the environmental impacts. To this end, two models will be linked: MITERRA-EUROPE and GlobalNEWS /MARINA. MITERRA-EUROPE is a deterministic and static model which calculates N and phosphorus (P) balances, emissions of N-compounds (NH3, N2O, NOx) and methane (CH4) to the atmosphere, and losses of N to ground water and surface waters. The Global NEWS (Global Nutrient Export from WaterSheds) model, and its successor the multi-pollutant MARINA model, simulate the river export of nutrients and other pollutants from land to coastal seas. The model quantifies the annual river export of pollutants. Furthermore, the model calculates the source attribution of these elements as well as the Indicator for Coastal Eutrophication Potential (ICEP).
The objectives of this research are: i) parametrising and linking the Miterra-Europe and the Global NEWS/MARINA models, ii) estimate the effects of bio-based fertilisers on air, groundwater and surface water pollution at catchment, and iii) European scales. The linked model system will be used to assess the effects and interactions of policies and measures in agriculture, for a number of scenarios for the future (up to 2050).
The candidate will do a secondment (internship as visiting researcher) at one of the other FertiCycle partners for a shorter period of time (1-3 months). The candidate will spend one year in Ghent within the four-year period of the project.

Are your interested to read more about the other projects? You can find them on 
the project website:  

We ask

  • An MSc degree in Environmental Science or similar
  • A passion for environmental modelling (e.g. substance flow analysis, environmental pollution management), spatial analysis (e.g. ArcGIS), and with an interest in scenario analysis seeking for solutions, and evaluation of environmental policy
  • Good skills in data management and analysis, and some programming skills (e.g. R).
  • Strong communication (written and oral) and interpersonal skills.
  • Experience with cross-disciplinary and/or multi-cultural collaboration will be an advantage.
As a mobile and early-stage researcher you have to also fulfil the following conditions: you are in the first four years of your research career at the time of the recruitment (full-time equivalent research experience); and you do not already have a doctoral degree. Applicants of any nationalities are eligible and you must comply with the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Guidelines mobility rules. In particular, you must not have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment date. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not considered.

You must work exclusively for the project during the employment contract and fulfil the conditions to be admitted in the PhD programme indicated in the job vacancy. These conditions must be fulfilled at the starting date of the contract.

We offer

In principle this is a 48-month PhD position. We offer you a temporary contract for 12 months which will be extended with three years if you perform well (after go/no go evaluation). Salary will increase from € 2325,- gross per month in the first year up to € 2972,- in the last year, based on a full-time appointment (38 hours per week).
In addition, we offer:

  • 8% holiday allowance;
  • a structural year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • additional allowance(s) under the Innovative Training Network (ITN) rules, depending on the individual situation of the candidate;
  • excellent training opportunities and secondary employment conditions;
  • flexible working hours and holidays can possibly be determined in consultation so that an optimal balance between work and private life is possible;
  • excellent pension plan through ABP;
  • 232 vacation hours, the option to purchase extra and good supplementary leave schemes;
  • a flexible working time: the possibility to work a maximum of 2 hours per week extra and thereby to build up extra leave;
  • a choice model to put together part of your employment conditions yourself, such as a bicycle plan;
  • a lively workplace where you can easily make contacts and where many activities take place on the Wageningen Campus. A place where education, research and business are represented;
  • use the sports facilities on campus for a reduced fee.
Wageningen University & Research stimulates internal career opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. There are ample opportunities for own initiative in a learning environment.
We offer a versatile job in an international environment with varied activities in a pleasant and open working atmosphere.
More information

For more information about this vacancy you can contact: Prof. Carolien Kroeze, telephone number +31 (0)317 485070; e-mail: [email protected]

For more information about the procedure you can contact Edgar Tijhuis, corporate recruiter, e-mail: [email protected]
Do you want to apply?
This can be done directly via the application button at the vacancy on our website so that we can process your personal data with your permission. Address your application, including a cover letter with your motivation and a CV, to the contact person of this position, Prof Carolien Kroeze, and upload it.
This vacancy is open until 15 April 2020. The first job interviews will take place in May 2020. You will receive an automatic e-mail confirmation within 24 hours. Applications not submitted via the online system are not taken into consideration.

Equal opportunities employer
We are an employer that offers equal opportunities. We are happy to receive applications from all suitably qualified people regardless of race, gender, functional impairment, religion / belief, sexual orientation or age.

We believe that a diverse and inclusive working environment makes us a more relevant, competitive and resilient organization. Click here for more information about working at WUR with a functional impairment.
Coming from abroad
Wageningen is a centre for research and entrepreneurship. 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. It is a historic university town of about 36,000 residents in the central Netherlands. The academic community hails from more than 100 countries, giving the town a lively, international feel. Our highly qualified team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.

The WUR 
International Community page contains practical information about what we do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. 

We are

Wageningen University & Research
The mission of our University is to explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life. Within Wageningen University & Research, nine specialised research institutes from the Wageningen Research Foundation and Wageningen University have joined forces to help answer the most important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.
With approximately 30 locations, 6,500 employees, and 12,000 students, it is one of the leading organisations in its domain worldwide. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of the unique approach of Wageningen.
The Water Systems and Global Change (WSG) group is a solution oriented multidisciplinary research group where staff and students can develop new skills and excel in their science on water systems and global change. In our research, we analyse and assess the impacts of climate change and population growth on water systems and propose and test adaptation strategies. We use simulation models, earth system observations, scenario analysis and field studies. We actively invite students from different backgrounds, and skills and interests to take part in our courses and research. Also our staff comes from a range of different backgrounds. Currently our group has 12 staff members, 7 post-docs and more than 30 PhD students. The group currently has as an excellent funding base with lots of external grants and projects from a broad range of funding organisations. Research of the group has a strong international focus, with projects at global scale as well as a strong focus on Africa and Asia.
Our teaching focusses on contribution to three different Master Programmes: International Land and Water Management, Climate Studies and Environmental Sciences. Within these programme we offer a range of Master courses related to Global change impacts on water resources and climate change impacts and adaptations. In addition we teach in a number of BSc minor courses. A growing number of students is interested in the work of our group and last year we had about 70 MSc students doing their Master thesis at our group.