PhD Position on Integrated Assessment of Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) (0.8 - 1.0 FTE)
The world agreed in 2015 to limit the increase of the global mean temperature to well below 2 and preferably 1.5 degrees Celsius. Model-based scenario analysis has shown that achieving these goals not only requires deep mitigation of fossil fuel and land-use related emissions, but most likely also removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. Several techniques (such as afforestation, bio-energy with CCS, direct air capture and mineralisation) exist to do this, but most have a limited potential and may lead to significant sustainability challenges (such as energy and land use). A systematic analysis of the various options is urgently needed to allow policymakers to formulate strategies that rely on some use of CDR, minimizing the potential consequences.
In the UPTAKE project, financed by the Horizon Europe research programme of the European Union, Utrecht University will collaborate with other European research institutes in assessing different CDR options in terms of potential, costs, consequences for other sustainable development challenges, legal and institutional issues and societal support. The contribution of Utrecht University concentrates mostly on the further development and use of the IMAGE model to assess the potential and use of different CDR options, and their possible consequences. The PhD candidate is expected to contribute to this research as part of the IMAGE research team (based at PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and Utrecht University).
- have a MSc in a relevant field in environmental or natural sciences;
- have a clear understanding of the climate change problem;
- have a clear interest in quantitative analysis and systems thinking;
- have programming skills, preferably in Python;
- can demonstrate English language proficiency and are interested in publishing scientific articles;
- work well as part of a team.
Sharing science, shaping tomorrow. A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major strategic themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Pathways to Sustainability. You can watch the Utrecht University Campus Tour to get an impression of our university.
Utrecht University's Faculty of Geosciences studies the Earth: from the Earth's core to its surface, including man's spatial and material utilisation of the Earth - always with a focus on sustainability and innovation. With 3,400 students (BSc and MSc) and 720 staff, the faculty is a strong and challenging organisation. The Faculty of Geosciences is organised in four Departments: Earth Sciences, Human Geography & Spatial Planning, Physical Geography, and Sustainable Development. It is located at Utrecht Science Park near the historical centre of Utrecht.
The research will be carried out within the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University. This institute aims to have a positive impact on the transition to a sustainable society. We do this by developing excellent and relevant knowledge and by educating change agents of the future. We collaborate with citizens, politicians, policy-makers, NGOs and firms to learn from each other and influence decision-making. We work in interdisciplinary teams and have organised our research around three cross-topical themes and five sustainability challenges. The themes, governance, modelling and transitions, represent our signature and cover central aspects of sustainability research and policy. The five topical sustainability challenges, circular economy, sustainable energy, sustainable food, sustainable land and sustainable water, highlight our research strengths.
In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, professional development, (partly paid) parental leave, sports and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University.