PhD candidate river plastic transport and accumulation

Published on
February 15, 2021
Location Wageningen
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We are looking for

Rivers play a crucial role in the transport of land-based plastic waste towards the ocean, where the plastic has a detrimental impact on the marine ecosystem. However, a growing amount of observational evidence suggests that most plastics never make it into the ocean.

The Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management Group (HWM) works on developing innovative methods to quantify river plastic transport and accumulation. The “PLastic ACcumulation ZOne Identification in river systems” (PLACZOI) project aims to develop a tool to identify plastic accumulation zones in rivers around the world. PLACZOI will explore plastic accumulation across spatial scales, from single rivers to global assessments.

You will work on (1) collecting field data on river plastic transport and accumulation, (2) combining existing datasets to formulate new hypotheses, and (3) exploring the use of remote sensing and GIS to map plastic accumulation. You are expected to present the results in scientific articles and at conferences. The project is an active collaboration with partners inside and outside Europe. During the project you will be spending time with the project partners. 

We ask

  • a MSc in hydrology, geosciences, environmental sciences or a related field;
  • willingness to do fieldwork;
  • flexible and opportunistic working attitude;
  • capability to work across spatial scales;
  • experience with working with remote sensing imagery or GIS;
  • good data processing and visualization skills;
  • excellent command of written and spoken English;
  • enthusiasm for writing scientific articles

We offer

We offer excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:

  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-lipaid parental leave;fe balance;
  • paid parental leave;
  • the option to accrue additional 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 € 2.395,- per month rising to € 3.061,- 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 an outstanding 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 16th consecutive time.

Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the #1 centre for life sciences in our domains. 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. Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, known as the 30% ruling. 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, and other issues.

More information

To learn more about this vacancy please contact Tim van Emmerik, assistant professor Hydrologic Sensing, e-mail:

For questions about the procedure, please contact Edgar Tijhuis, corporate recruiter,

Do you want to apply?
You can apply directly by uploading your CV and motivation letter, 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 7 March 2021. We hope to schedule the first interviews soon afterwards.

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 webpage. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.

We are

Our mission 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 find solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

With its roughly 30 branches, 6.500 employees and 12.500 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. A coordinated approach to problems and the cooperation between various fields are at the heart of Wageningen’s outstanding approach. WUR has been named Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020.

These are the points our employees list as good reasons to come work at WUR: read the 5 reasons to come work at WUR

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