PhD position in Environmental Chemistry/Environmental Engineering/Environmental Technology/Bioprocess Technology, Netherlands

PhD candidate in Environmental Technology and Chemistry, Faculty of Science – Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics

The  Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) is one of the eight research institutes of the  Faculty of Science of the UvA. IBED covers a wide range of subjects, in both fundamental and applied research. Our scientific studies aim at a better understanding of the dynamics of ecosystems at all relevant levels, from genes to climate change, using a truly multidisciplinary approach.

The Sub-department of Environmental Technology of Wageningen University develops and evaluates innovative environmental technologies and concepts based on processes from nature, to recover and reuse essential components and maintain and recreate a viable environment. Our education inspires students to develop their talents. We impact society by innovation through top science and focus on applicability.

Project description

Water Nexus is a new NWO-STW research programme of 6 Million Euro, that will run from January 2015 to 2020, and is supported by 25 partners from multinational and small/middle sized companies, consultancy firms, research institutes, water boards, and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment. It is coordinated by Prof. Huub Rijnaarts of the Environmental Technology group of Wageningen University (WU). In total 15 PhD candidates and 2 postdotoral researchers will work together to develop new solutions for water supply in fresh water scarce coastal regions in the Netherlands and abroad. Technologies and management strategies will be developed that enable climate change adaptation by exchange of water between industry, agriculture, urban and natural systems, the use of brackish water as a resource, and the inclusion of green infrastructure for water storage and treatment. Water Nexus offers a great network for inter- and trans-disciplinary cooperation and the researchers will participate in the Graduate School SENSE (Research School for Socio-Economic and Natural Sciences), which offers ample possibilities for PhD training and scientific networking.

As part of this programme, the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and the Environmental Technology group of WU will study the removal of organic chemicals in constructed wetlands to enable water reuse, with special focus on (process) water related to the oil industry. The research will combine technological, microbiological, chemical and toxicity studies in order to evaluate, develop and improve the effectiveness of constructed wetlands to remove chemicals and reduce toxicity. Removal will be tested in experimental systems at lab and pilot scale, that focus on natural (wetland) treatment systems. Removal will be assessed using mass balances derived from analysis of organic compounds and their transformation products by sophisticated analytical methods, such as non target screening by LC-high resolution MS.


We are looking for a PhD candidate, who holds a Master degree in Environmental Engineering, Environmental Technology, Environmental Chemistry, Bioprocess Technology or a related field. You can work independently and are highly result-driven. Strong affinity for the multidisciplinary and collaborative nature of the project is important. You have the ability to work in multidisciplinary work and to coordinate your own research with the research of the other team members. You are willing to be an active part of a research group.

Furthermore you:

  • have excellent communication and writing skills in English, strong record keeping;
  • are a teamplayer, proactive and capable of problem solving;
  • will be employed by the University of Amsterdam and you are prepared to work at both the University of Amsterdam and Wageningen University campuses (which are 80 km apart).

Further information

For additional information, please contact:

  • John Parsons, Assistant professor Environmental Chemistry (University of Amsterdam)T: +31 (0)20 525 6580 or
  • Alette Langenhoff, Assistant professor Water Biotechnology (Wageningen University)T: +31 (0)317 480254


The position will start in September 2015. The full-time appointment will be on a temporary basis for a maximum period of 4 years. Initial appointment will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of 4 years. The full-time gross monthly salary will range from €2,125 in the first year to €2,717 in the final year, according to the Dutch salary scales for PhD candidates. The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities is applicable. The annual salary will be increased by 8 % holiday allowance and 8.3 % end-of-year bonus.

Job application

Applications should include a detailed CV, a motivation letter, and the names and contact addresses of two references from which information about the candidate can be obtained.

Applications should be sent before 1 August 2015 to Please quote vacancy number 15-243  in the subject field. The interviews are to be scheduled mid-August.

Level of education: University
Salary indication: €2,125 to €2,717 gross per month
Closing date: 31 July 2015
Hours: 38 hours per week

Vacancy number: 15-243

Apply now