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  3. PhD position Probing paleoceanographic proxies in the Mediterranean Sea (1.0 FTE, 4 years)

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PhD position Probing paleoceanographic proxies in the Mediterranean Sea (1.0 FTE, 4 years)

UU and NESSC are looking for a PhD candidate. Interested? Read more and apply here.

bijna 2 jaar geleden


Domplein, Utrecht, Utrecht
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 40 uur
€ 2325 - € 2325 per maand


The Netherlands Earth System Science Centre (NESSC) is currently looking to fill 13 PhD positions with excellent, talented, enthusiastic, highly motivated and goal-oriented candidates, with a no-nonsense mentality. The ideal candidates are interested in past and/or current climate research, are highly motivated to perform research in an excellent, exciting and international working environment, and are committed to a fully-funded 4-year PhD track.

The project “Probing paleoceanographic proxies in the Mediterranean Sea” will be hosted at the department of Earth Sciences, Utrecht University (UU). Numerous paleoceanographic proxies have been developed and validated of the past decades based on several proxy carriers. Many of these proxy carriers, including calcitic planktic foraminifera and coccolithophores, siliceous diatoms, and organic biomarkers and dinoflagellate cysts are produced in the surface ocean. Their species distribution and chemical composition record physical, chemical and biological parameters of the surface ocean. However, for many of these proxy carriers, the exact depth of production, mechanisms and seasonality of export towards the seafloor and potential changes during export and briefly after deposition in the sediments remain unclear, very often implying unconstrained errors in the proxies.

In this project, we are looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate who will generate a mechanistic understanding of the processes involved between production and burial of the most important proxy carriers. The basis will be a unique and remarkably long ongoing time series of sediment trap material from the Mediterranean Sea. The PhD candidate will analyze the broad composition of the material as well as the chemical composition of various biogenic (notably calcitic and organic) and abiotic components of this material to elucidate how the planktonic signal is transported and ultimately preserved in sediments.

The PhD candidate will be expected to assist in the BSc and MSc teaching programmes of the Department for a limited amount of time (~10%).


General requirements for applicants
• Candidates did not reside or carry out their main activity (e.g. work, studies) in the Netherlands for more than 12 months during the 3 years immediately prior to the date of appointment (time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention, compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account)*.
• Candidates hold an MSc degree (or will graduate before the appointment date) in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Ecology, Earth Sciences and/or Environmental Sciences.
• Candidates are in the first four years of their research careers at the start of their appointment (full-time equivalent research experience, measured from the date when a researcher obtained the degree entitling him or her to embark on a doctorate) and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.
• Excellent proficiency of the English language (both oral and written).
• The ability to work both independently in challenging environments and in a multidisciplinary team. Excellent communication skills and cooperation skills are required.
• An inquisitive mind-set, accuracy, creativity and self-reliance are very important. You are required to be flexible, mobile and pro-active.
• Enthusiasm to attend the full training programme as offered in the project and to actively contribute to the project aims and objectives.
• High interest in receiving training from supervisors from different institutes, disciplines and sectors, this will require regular travelling within the Netherlands.
• High motivation to contribute to the dissemination of results and outreach to both specialists and the public at large.
• Candidates are excited to move to the Netherlands and to visit a Partner Organisations for a secondment (internship), in or outside the Netherlands, as this is part of the programme. Additional research visits to international institutes and conferences for research collaborations are expected.
• Strong motivation to obtain a PhD degree.

*If you do not qualify for the first criteria, you can still submit your application if you would like to be considered for the NON-COFUND PhD positions.

Specific requirements for this project

For this project we are looking for a PhD candidate with a Master’s degree in Earth, environmental and/or marine sciences.


The selected candidates will be offered a full-time PhD position at the Department of Earth Sciences at Utrecht University, initially for one year. Depending on a satisfactory performance this may be extended to a maximum period of four years, with the intend to obtain a doctorate within this period. This evaluation usually takes place in the ninth month of employment.

The gross monthly salary starts at €2,325 in the first year, and ends at €2,972 in the fourth year (scale P Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities). The salary is supplemented by a guaranteed end-of-year bonus of 8.3% and a holiday allowance of 8% of your yearly salary. We offer a pension scheme (partly paid by employer), collective insurance schemes, parental leave, travel allowance (home to work and for work purposes), and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). Facilities for sports and child care are available.

Additional information

For general or practical information on the NESSC COFUND programme, please contact info@nessc.nl, for project related questions, please contact Appy Sluijs via A.Sluijs@uu.nl.

NESSC is a so-called Gravitation Program, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW). The programme is co-funded with a grant that has been awarded from the Europen Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme: the Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND program, grant agreement No 847504. Please click here for general information about NESSC and here for NESSC research.