Postdoctoral Researcher, Integrated Hydrological Modelling for Water Retention and Optimal Crop Water Management in Agricultural Catchments

University of Oulu

Oulu, , FI

University of Oulu is an international scientific community, with 15,000 students and approximately 3,000 employees. By combining multidisciplinary research and education, high-level infrastructure and wide cooperation with international research and educational institutes, companies and the public sector it has created a significant research and innovation hub of “Science with an Arctic Attitude”. More information University of Oulu has a wide academic base with 8 faculties and several research institutes.

Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Unit ( research covers a broad area of expertise including hydrology, water resources engineering and various aspects of environmental sciences. Our research unit is a multinational and interdisciplinary group of 50 researchers and doctoral students working in a modern, up-to-date research environment. The unit is a leading hub for understanding complex interactions related to land-water-energy management and finding ways for a more sustainable future. Relevant to the current positions, it has strong groups on northern hydrology, peatland hydrology, hydrosystems engineering, natural based systems, land use and climate change modelling and assessment. The unit focus on collaboration internationally with different disciplines and research groups.

Work description

We are looking for a Postdoctoral Researcher with a strong ability to work with numerical modelling, data assimilation and ICT in hydrology and water management. The selected applicant will work in a strong team with various experts on hydrology, modelling, ICT and water management in Finland and with our project collaborators in Europe.

The planned research work includes development of advanced numerical hydrological modelling systems for control and assessment of plant water use, soil water, ground water, drain and ditch water level and runoff. The modelling utilizes high resolution data from array of ICT sensors which will be developed in the project. The model developed will be used to assess water management options and guide real-time control automation of drain and ditch level regulation and irrigation options and scheduling in small agricultural catchments. The study areas are near Oulu, Finland, and related to small agricultural catchments including small experimental fields with potato and grass cultivation on mineral and peat soils, respectively.

The position is a part of a large EU H2020 project WATERAGRI that has a specific focus on agricultural water management and nutrient recovery in small agricultural catchments. The position is linked to tasks related to “water regulation and retention in agricultural catchments” in order to increase crop yields and limit nutrient leaching and pollution from agricultures”.

“The WATERAGRI project is about researching the new frontiers in integrated water resources management of small agricultural catchments to improve both European agricultural production and the status of local ecosystems. Our consortium is committed to significantly improve agricultural water management.”

The specific subject areas of this position are related to research on:

–       Hydrological observations using different techniques (in-situ and remote sensing)

–       Integrated hydrological modelling using e.g. HydroGeoSphere and other models

–       Approaches for data assimilation and methods to improve model calibration and forecasts

–       Modelling of set-ups to control soil moisture, water retention and water impacts on surface and groundwater using drain and ditch control.


–  Doctoral degree in hydrology, water resources or environmental engineering, or similar fields with good grades

–  Strong skills in numerical modelling, programming and numerical analysis

–  Experience with hydrological modelling, especially HydroGeoSphere or similar models

–  Fluency both in oral and written English

–  Good communication skills with a strong experience in scientific publishing

–  Experience in supervision, teamwork and teaching

–  Experience in project leadership is an advantage

–  Interest to work with hydrology, modelling, ICT and water management

–  Ability to work both independently and with different experts and research teams

Assessment of the applicants’ qualifications will be based on the following criteria acknowledging the content of the job requirements: education, past research, modelling skills, publication record and previous work experience.

Terms of employment

The duration of the position is 3 years, beginning on September 1, 2020 (or as soon as possible). A six-month trial period will be applied to the position. Some teaching and supervision will be included in the work.

The salary is in accordance with the university salary system (for teaching and research personnel) level 5 – 6 of the demand level chart. In addition to the basic salary, supplementary salary will be paid for personal achievement and performance, the sum rising to a maximum of 50 % of the basic salary level for the post. The typical starting salary is €3,500 per month depending on qualifications.

How to apply

Applications, together with all relevant enclosures, should be submitted using electronic application form by August 9th, 2020 at 23:59 (Finnish local time). Top candidates will be invited to an on-site or remote interview. All applicants will be notified when the selection process is completed.

The application should be written in English and include the following documents:

  1. A motivation letter summarizing applicant’s professional experience and expertise and describing why applicant is interested in about this position. Also, information on personal research interests, experience and career plans are valuable to provide here (max. 2 pages)
  2. A curriculum vitae (max. 4 pages) in accordance with the guidelines of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity (TENK), available from
  3. A publication list based on the guidelines of the Academy of Finland              
  4. A copy of the applicant’s Master of Science degree and PhD degree diplomas, or, if not available at the time of application, a statement from the applicant and their supervisor(s) regarding the expected completion date
  5. Contact information of two senior/experienced researchers who may be asked to give a statement on the candidate

For further information, please contact:

Professor, unit leader Björn Klöve, bjorn.klove(at)





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