Two PhD Positions Resources and Ecosystems Research Area via EURAXESS

Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA)

Girona, , ES


  • Job location:  ICRA – Catalan Institute for Water Research, Girona, Spain
  • Number of positions available: 2
  • Expected start: September 2020
  • Temporal Position. The positions are for 12 Months.
  • Gross Annual Salary package: 16.127,59 €

These two positions are defined as starting position for two good candidates to perform their respective PhD grant. These one-year position will place the candidate in a competitive advantage to apply successfully for a full PhD grant after the end of the contract.


POSITION 1 “PhD grant-RiE Model”


The PhD objective is to develop a model to couple meteorological, as well as seasonal and decadal climate forecasts with hydrological, biogeochemical and community models, thus predicting the impacts of meteorological events on freshwater ecosystems.


The successful candidate will will focus on assessing the predicting capacity of the model from an hydrological point of view, using past data to predict contemporary data series, at the basins of Fluvià and Francolí.


Must Have – Required

  • Experience: Master completed or at the final stages of final completion. Previous experience in research will be valued, especially if working in environmental modelling.
  • Knowledge: Graduate in Environmental Sciences or Engineering, Mathematics, Biology, or analogous degrees.
  • Skills: Good oral and written skills, proficient in English. Experience in GIS software, R language.

Desirable :

  • activities, knowledge/experience in hydrological or biogeochemical modelling,
  • previous experience in development of complex process-based models is positively evaluated,
  • ability to work independently and as a member of a team; she/he must be creative, flexible, and eager to learn and to expand his /her scientific network,
  • knowledge of the Catalan language is also positively evaluated.


POSITION 2 “PhD grant-river ecosystem”​


The PhD objective is to determine the possible relationships between hydrological and sedimentary dynamics, nutrient dynamics, and biomass accumulation of primary producers in Mediterranean river systems subjected to high hydrological pressure. The work will mostly take place in the Onyar river basin (NE Spain), characterised by high water pressure from agricultural and urban demands. The hydrological dynamics in this basin is highly seasonal, and the frequency of physical disturbances required for the overall functioning of the ecosystem then becomes reduced. River systems under these situations have limited sedimentary and biological dynamics, which favour large accumulations of algal biomass, associated with the input of nutrients from agriculture and urban settlements. In addition, water and land uses increasingly constrain hydro-sedimentary operation as well as the surface- groundwater dynamics. The Thesis will approach this complexity through both field, laboratory, and modelling work.


The successful candidate will, i) determine the hydrological coupling between surface and groundwater, and their possible effects on short- and long-term fluvial geomorphological dynamics, and ii) determine the effect of hydrology on nutrient loads (and other dissolved materials), and their relevance to the biomass of primary producers. Finally, an integrative model will be developed relating the dynamics of the different elements at the basin scale.

During the year covered by this contract, the above objectives will be developed in a few selected subbasins, as a first step to define the areas with higher vulnerability to be covered by subsequent phases (once the candidate has obtained a grant to cover the full extension of the PhD), when goals will cover the overall basin.


Must Have – Required

  • Experience: Master completed or at the final stages of final completion. Previous experience with data management and field work will be highly valued.
  • Knowledge: Graduate in Environmental Sciences, Biology, or analogous degrees.
  • Skills: Good ability and attitude for field and laboratory work. Good oral and written skills, proficient in English.

Desirable : Experience in GIS and R language.