Netherlands: PhD position in Global Hydrological Research at University of Amsterdam

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Job description

Within this project the PhD student will participate in the development of a long term soil moisture and evaporation dataset from global satellite observations. In the first part of the project the student will work together with other researchers to improve the satellite based algorithms used to derive these hydrological parameters, and carry out work to identify the needs of end-users of these data at the global level . In the second part of the project the student will use these datasets to apply a global scale assessment of both physical and social water scarcity. This assessment will focus on hydrological droughts and the regional socio-economic impacts of these droughts. The task will identify the needs of these users at the global level.
As a Phd student you have to write your scientific work in peer reviewed papers and present your work in different meetings. In addition,  for this job the PhD student will also need to help to organize an international soil moisture workshop in Amsterdam in July 2014.


• A completed MSc degree in the field of hydrology, geography, environmental sciences, or similar relevant field;
• Good knowledge of  remote sensing and hydrological processes.
• Strong analytical and numerical skills;
• The ability to process large spatial datasets;
• Affinity with socio-economic aspects related to hydrology;
• Excellent research and publication skills, proven by past accomplishments;
• Good Command of the English Language;
• Good communication skills and ability to work in an interdisciplinary team.

Conditions of employment

The appointment will be initially for 1 year. After satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, it can be extended for a total duration of 4 years. You can find information about our excellent fringe benefits of employment at like:
• remuneration of  8,3% end-of-year bonus and  8% holiday allowance;
• generous contribution (70%) commuting allowance based on public transport;
• discounts on collective insurances (healthcare- and car insurance);
• a wide range of sports facilities which staff may use at a modest charge.

The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel, and amounts € 2083, 00 gross per month in the first year up to € 2664, 00 in the fourth year (salary scale 85) based on a full-time employment.

Contract type: Temporary, 1 jaar


VU University Amsterdam is one of the leading institutions for higher education in Europe and aims to be inspiring, innovative, and committed to societal welfare. It comprises twelve faculties and has teaching facilities for 25,000 students.

The Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences (FALW) offers a range of Bachelor and Master programmes. Research at this faculty focuses on the fields of the life-, health-, environmental- and earth-sciences. World-class teaching and cutting-edge research activities go hand in hand. FALW works together with other faculties like medicine, exact sciences, economics, psychology and social sciences. The faculty’s research facilities can be categorized as excellent. The faculty’s international focus fosters cross-border collaboration, leading to substantially improved quality and greater impact of our research results.

The applicant will be based at the Earth and Climate Cluster of the department of Earth Sciences and work in close collaboration with the scientists from the Institute for Environmental Studies of the Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences. Within this cluster researchers work on the past changes, modern processes and future perspectives of the Climate System. It is a multidisciplinary cluster that combines experimental knowledge of terrestrial, oceanic and biogeochemical processes with modelling of System Earth.
The department Spatial Analysis and Decision Support of the Institute for Environmental Studies investigates the role of spatial variation in environmental systems to increase our understanding of environmental change and support environmental management.

The PhD student will be funded by the EU FP 7 project Earth2Observe. Within this international project the PhD student will collaborate with other researchers on the development of a state of the art global water resources dataset based on satellite data, in situ datasets, and models. This project will support efficient and globally consistent water management and decision making by providing comprehensive multi-scale (regional, continental and global) water resources observations.

Additional information

For additional information please contact:
Dr. Richard de Jeu
phone: +31 20 5987287

Applicants are requested to write a letter in which they describe their abilities and motivation, accompanied by a curriculum vitae and one or two references (name(s) and e-mail address(es).
Please send your application before October 24, 2013 per email to:

VU University Amsterdam
Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences
to the attention of: Dr. Richard de Jeu.

Please mention the vacancy number in the e-mail header.

Any other correspondence in response to this advertisement will not be dealt with.

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