PhD position in global carbon cycle and wildfire emissions

Updated: 13 days ago
Deadline: 13 May 2024

Your job

Are you passionate about climate change and forests? Do you want to be part of an international team that aims to better understand how the global carbon cycle responds to climate change? Then we have an exciting PhD position for you!

Landscape fires emit CO2 emissions roughly equivalent to 30% of global fossil fuel emissions. Their frequency and intensity is rapidly changing due to land use change and climate change, but exactly how is not well known. These fires impact air quality and climate, and sometimes lead to permanent forest loss. Over the last years major improvements have been made in how well we can detect these fires on a global scale, and also the degree to which forests are changing is now better known thanks to new and exciting satellite missions.

Within the international CALIPSO ( ) project you will analyze how fires are impacting forests. You will improve global forest fire emission models by better accounting for relations between fire and forest loss. This will be done on a global scale based on satellite data and computer modelling. You will also aim to understand how forest fires and their emissions have changed in the past, and how they may change in the future.

Your qualities

You are interested in climate change and the carbon cycle and have recently completed a MSc. in a related field, for example environmental sciences. A background in physics or computer sciences or related is also a good basis for this position. You love writing Python code, you are not afraid of large datasets, and want to dive into machine learning to better understand how forest fires and climate change interact on a global scale. You are available from September 2024 onwards, or sooner.

You also possess:

  • At least intermediate statistical and mathematical skills
  • Team player attitude, enjoying multidisciplinary science
  • Good writing skills
  • Fluency in English language
You will work here

You will work with the Fire emissions and carbon cycle team at the Meteorology and Air Quality group from Wageningen University & Research, within the CALIPSO project consisting of internationally renowned researchers where you will be able to do an internship.

We offer you

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

  • 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 € 2.770 - per month rising to € 3.539,-  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.

Wageningen University & Research encourages internal advancement opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. 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 19th 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 for example helping your partner to find a job, housing, or schooling.

Finally, certain categories of international staff may be eligible for a tax exemption on a part of their salary during the first five years in the Netherlands.

Do you want more information?

For more information about this position, please contact Guido van der Werf, professor at the Meteorology and Air Quality group, [email protected]

For more information about the procedure, please contact Edgar Tijhuis, corporate recruiter, [email protected]

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 May 13, 2024. We hope to schedule the job interviews on May 21 and 22, 2024.

As part of our selection process, an assessment may be incorporated within the procedure.

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. 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
TThe 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, 7,600 employees (6,700 fte) and 13,100 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 the video below to get an idea of our green campus!

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

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