PhD position: Assessing potential environmental impact of the use of ammonia as carbon free fuel for sea going vessels

Updated: 6 months ago
Deadline: The position may have been removed or expired!

Your job

Are you a Msc biologist that wants to work in a multidisciplinary research project on a fossil free future? Are you interested in (eco)toxicology and environmental risk assessment? Then this might be the perfect opportunity for you at our locations in Wageningen and Den Helder!

We are seeking a PhD student to join the research project AmmoniaDrive ( This project, aims at the development innovative engines that use ammonia as fuel. Ammonia is one of the most promising carbon neutral alternative fuels for long-distance shipping and other maritime, or heavy duty applications. When produced from renewable power, ammonia could decarbonize shipping.

Ammonia however holds environmental and human health risks, that need to be faced and minimised.

Your research will be focuses on

  • the fate and environmental impact of accidentally spilled ammonia at sea
  • formulate and when possible to test, potential options to mitigate this impact. 
  • in practice your work will include literature surveys
  • the design and performance of laboratory scale toxicity tests with marine invertebrates
  • experiments in outdoor marine experimental ecosystems.

Your qualities
  • A successfully completed MSc degree in (eco)toxicology, ecology or a related field
  • Experience with experimental research in the lab and or in the field
  • Interest in environmental chemistry
  • Experienced in working as part of a team, and also able to work independently

For this position your command of the English language is expected to be at C1 


. Sometimes it is necessary to submit an internationally recognised Certificate of Proficiency in the English Language. More information can be found



We offer you

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment . A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:

  • sabbatical leave, study leave, and partially paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional compensation / holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.

In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will receive a fully funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs and the research team.

The gross salary for the first year is € 2.541,- per month rising to € 3.247,- in the fourth year in according to the

Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU)

(scale P). This is based on a full-time working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project if you perform well.

There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the “ Best University ” in the Netherlands for the 18th consecutive time.

Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. 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.
Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.

Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling. For instance under the "30% rule", certain categories of international staff can receive tax exemption on approximately 30% of their gross salary.

Do you want more information?

For more information about this position, please contact Edwin Foekema, senior researcher at the Marine Animal Ecology group, Email: .
For more information about the procedure, please contact: Ine van’t Land, corporate recruiter, Email:

Do you want to apply?
You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval.
This vacancy will be listed up to and including  April 10th 2023

Equal opportunities
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. For more information please go to our inclusivity page . A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment .

We are

Wageningen University & Research
The mission of Wageningen University & Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment. With its roughly 30 branches, 7,200 employees (6,400 fte) and 13,200 students and over 150.000 participants to WUR’s Life Long Learning, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. The unique Wageningen approach lies in its integrated approach to issues and the collaboration between different disciplines.

Read the 5 reasons why your future colleagues enjoy working at WUR and watch this video to get an idea of our green campus!

You will work within the Marine Animal Ecology (MAE) group of Wageningen University and Research. This PhD position is part of the research project AmmoniaDrive, coordinated by TU-Delft ( ), and fits under Workpackage 3 that is lead by Edwin Foekema, senior researcher at  the Marine Animal Ecology group of Wageningen University and Research.  

We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.

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