Vacancy

Early Stage Research position on green wall systems (Wageningen / Germany)

Published on
November 15, 2019
Location Wageningen
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We are looking for

Are you an excellent, open-minded and team-spirited researcher that aspires a PhD? Do you want to get a unique international, interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral training in scientific and transferable skills, by distinguished leaders from academia and industry? Then this may be the ideal position for you!

The Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning Group at Wageningen University in the Netherlands and ZinCo in Germany is seeking an outstanding young researcher for the Solutions for Outdoor Climate Adaptation (SOLOCLIM) project This is a European Industrial Doctorate (EID) project in the Innovative Training Networks (ITN) programme and part of Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions funded by the European Commission within the Horizon 2020 program.

The aim of SOLOCLIM is to enable young researchers to generate solutions for urban outdoor environments and qualify them for a career in academia or industry. SOLOCLIM brings together three international academic institutions and four industry partners, aiming to investigate the three separate clusters of microclimatic interventions in the urban environment: vegetation-based interventions, solutions using water, and climate-responsive flexible systems. Alongside you, four other young researchers will work in this project and you will convene regularly. Read more about the SOLOCLIM project and the specific topic of the PhD here.

Each young researcher will be trained both in the context of a company and a university. In the first six months of the project you will be introduced to scientific methods and write your research proposal at Wageningen University. Then you will move to the company ZinCo in Germany to conduct the research project in an industrial context. You will then move back to Wageningen University and finalize your PhD research for another eighteen months. You will be co-supervised by both partners, signing separate employment contracts with the university and the company.

We ask

As a mobile and early-stage researcher you have to fulfil the following conditions: you must have a degree that enables you to proceed with a PhD (usually a Master degree); you are in the first four years of your research career at the time of the recruitment; and you do not already have a doctoral degree.
Applicants of any nationalities are eligible and you must comply with the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Guidelines mobility rules. In particular, you must not have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment date. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not considered. You must work exclusively for the project during the employment contract and fulfil the conditions to be admitted in the PhD programme indicated in the job vacancy. These conditions must be fulfilled at the starting date of the contract.
Furthermore, you must fulfil the following requirements to be considered in the application procedure:

  • hold a Master degree in architecture, landscape architecture, or urban design, with a major in urban Meteorology/Climatology or Environmental Meteorology or Civil Engineering/Construction or similar;
  • have relevant experience with BIM coordinated projects, landscape planning process, building measurement setups and/or have skills in constructing prototypes;
  • have experience with statistics analysis;
  • MS Office and Adobe Creative Suite user;
  • desirable to have experience with CAD platforms such as Rhino or AutoCAD;
  • desirable to have coding experience (Python/Matlab, C# etc);
  • able to use a variety of media in the development and documentation of a design;
  • demonstrate that you meet the English language requirements;
  • have good academic writing and presentation skills;
  • preferably have relevant industrial experience;
  • have strong analytical and problem-solving skills;
  • possess the ability to logically conceptualize, summarize and communicate research findings;
  • possess the ability to work independently as well as part of a team;
  • willingness to carry out PhD research in both academic and industrial environments;
  • possess a high flexibility to work and live in two different countries and to move places several times;
  • legally able to work in the Netherlands and Germany

We offer

Successful applicants will be offered a first six months contract from 1 April 2019 based on a full-time contract of 38 hours per week, and in the first six months during your contract at Wageningen University you will receive a monthly salary of € 2325,-. In the following two years when contracted at ZinCo you will receive a salary of € 2520,-. In the last eighteen months when contracted in Wageningen University you will receive a salary of € 2835,-. In case you have a family, you will be offered a family allowance throughout the three years of your project. Please be aware that terms of employment differ between countries depending on national law.

Your contract will ensure transition between the university and the company you will be affiliated with.

In addition we offer you (during your contract in Wageningen):

a structural year-end bonus of 8.3%;

  • 8% holiday allowance
  • excellent training opportunities and secondary employment conditions;
  • flexible working hours and holidays can possibly be determined in consultation so that an optimal balance between work and private life is possible;
  • excellent pension plan through ABP;
  • 232 vacation hours, the option to purchase extra and good supplementary leave schemes;
  • a flexible working time: the possibility to work a maximum of 2 hours per week extra and thereby to build up extra leave;
  • a choice model to put together part of your employment conditions yourself, such as a bicycle plan;
  • a lively workplace where you can easily make contacts and where many activities are organized on the Wageningen Campus. A place where education, research and business are represented;
  • use the sports facilities on campus.

More information

More details about the role can be obtained by contacting Dr Sanda Lenzholzer, sanda.lenzholzer@wur.nl.

You can apply up to and including December 15th 2019.

Your application must demonstrate clearly and unambiguously how your experience, education and research background meets the essential criteria (and where applicable, the desirable criteria).

Essential contents: Cover letter, detailed CV, Master degree courses and transcripts, English language certificate, 2 Reference letters or 2 reference contacts.
Desirable contents: other certificates of relevance (e.g. course certificates), portfolio of design work
To ensure the equality of opportunities we strongly encourage women with the appropriate qualifications to apply. SOLOCLIM partners are committed to equality of opportunity and to selection on merit. It therefore welcomes applications from all sections of society and particularly welcomes applications from people with a disability.

We are

Wageningen University’s mission is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. With approximately 30 locations, 6,500 employees, and 10,000 students, it is one of the leading organisations in its domain worldwide. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of the unique approach of Wageningen. We are an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age.

The Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning Group at Wageningen University addresses present and future environmental challenges by means of planning and design. These challenges include climate mitigation and adaptation, sustainable water management, ecological networks, urbanisation, and the energy transition. Our specific competence is to analyse complex and dynamic landscape systems at various scale levels, and to propose inspiring and meaningful planning and design solutions. We consider it essential to base solutions on a thorough understanding of the nature of the landscape, so we have a strong emphasis on the analysis of landscape dynamics.

Accordingly, we educate and train a growing numbers of Bachelor, Master and PhD students to become knowledgeable, reflective, and creative landscape architects and planners. We are embedded in the department of Environmental Sciences of Wageningen University, which provides fundamental research and academic education on our living environment. And we are member of the Wageningen Institute for Environment and Climate (WIMEK) Research school in which you will follow some courses that are part of your training program.


ZinCo are pioneers and innovators in terms of extensive and intensive roof greening. Headquartered in Nuertingen, Germany and established as one of the leading manufacturers of roof greening materials, we look at a long history regarding Green Infrastructure on buildings (+30 years). Research projects and innovative systems developed by ZinCo inspire architects and demanding clients to plan both private and large public buildings in a holistic and sustainable way. The ZinCo engineering team offers support from the planning stages right up to detailed solutions. Market partners across the world are trained and instructed, both as part of the continued technical development of already existing system components and regarding new product developments. Innovation is an integral part of the corporate culture at ZinCo, which is why we collaborate regularly on various research projects. In terms of urban climate adaptation we developed the so called urban climate roof which was i-NOVO Award-Winner in the “ECO”-class 2017, outperforming 20 competitors in this field. Besides the greened roofs we own a research façade with an ongoing research on vegetated façades since more than 10 years.

As early-stage researcher you’ll mainly execute your work within the R&D department lead by Ralf Walker. Besides external research projects we own an indoor research facility where we test and develop systems/products. This includes for example a substrate lab, rain simulator, simple growing chambers and a workshop. All complemented by different kinds of measuring equipment (e.g. mechanical, climatic, hydrologic).

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