PhD positions: ‘Global water quality and Water use Under Present and Future Droughts and Heatwaves’

The Department of Physical Geography welcomes applications for its Ph.D. positions for the project ‘Global water quality and Water use under present and future droughts and heatwaves’

Worldwide two billion people suffer from water scarcity and even more are affected during droughts and heatwaves. During these events, water scarcity is not only driven by decreasing water availability, but also by the deterioration of water quality and increasing water use (e.g., irrigation, domestic, energy). These drivers are interrelated, for instance, decreasing surface water availability and increased sectoral water use adversely impact water quality. In turn, degraded water quality reduces the usability for sectors, thus increasing water scarcity. This interplay between water availability, use, and quality is complex and poorly understood. With heatwaves and droughts occurring more frequently across the globe, there is an urgent need to improve water management plans. This requires an improved understanding of water scarcity and the interrelation between its drivers.

Successful candidates will work in a multi-disciplinary team with a focus on fundamental research in water scarcity, water quality and global change. There will be ample opportunity to cooperate with researchers in the team. Principle appointment will be at Utrecht University, but it is expected that candidates will work also in close collaboration with researchers at different institutes (e.g. Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis).


A gross salary of €2,395 – €3,061 per month including;

  • an attractive retirement scheme,
  • extensive time off,
  • CPD allowance,
  • a savings plan,
  • (partly paid) parental leave, and
  • flexible employment conditions.
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Job Requirements

Faculty of Geosciences is looking for candidates with:

  •  an MSc in Earth Sciences, Hydrology, Civil Engineering, Environmental Sciences or a related field;
  • affinity with numerical modeling and data analysis;
  • proficiency in a computer programming or scripting language (e.g., Python, C++, R);
  • the ability to work in teams;
  • excellent English oral and writing skills.
Application Process

The Department of Physical Geography is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity and the diversity of its workforce and strongly welcomes women to apply. All applications should be sent via the ‘apply’ button below and must include:

  • curriculum vitae;
  • letter of motivation;
  • at least two referees (with e-mail contact addresses and phone numbers);
  • explicit preference for the PhD-position on water quality (PhD1) or the PhD-position on sectoral water use (PhD2).

To apply, click here

Application Deadline: February 28, 2021.

For more information visit the official site.

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