Postdoc position on salt intrusion in deltas (1.0 FTE)

Postdoc position on salt intrusion in deltas (1.0 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
17 Sep 7 Mar Utrecht

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Become part of the NWO-TTW-funded project 'SALTISolutions' and work together with a team of leading experts

Job description

The SALTISolutions Project
SALTISolutions is a multi-disciplinary NWO-TTW-funded Perspective Program, led by Professor Julie Pietrzak (TU Delft) and carried out in close collaboration with the universities of Twente, Eindhoven,Utrecht, Wageningen and the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ). SALTISolutions  aims to deliver the VirtualDelta, a digital twin of a real Delta, as a management and design instrument for questions related to salt intrusion in deltas worldwide.

SALTISolutions’ Virtual Delta brings together advanced models, data-assimilation tools, visualisation methods, stakeholder-interaction tools and exploratory strategic analyses for delta management at different levels. Scientific challenges and expected major scientific advances include: incorporating multiscale physical processes; understanding impact of natural eco-morphological processes on salt intrusion, as well as developing forecasting systems and advanced game approaches for stakeholder engagement and decision making. Technology suppliers and end-users are actively involved in SALTISolutions, which will lead to conceptual and operational breakthroughs in freshwater management of deltas.

Detailed task description
As Postdoc you will work on projections of future salt intrusions, say up to 2100, due to climate change and human interventions (project 5 of SALTISolutions). In this project you will: 
(1)  Provide scenarios of future local forcing conditions (e.g., sea level, temperature, tides, river discharge, wind) and their uncertainty based on downscaling (using stochastic methods and/or machine learning) of the climate change projections.

(2)  Make projections (plus estimates of uncertainties) of future salt intrusion in specific regions over decadal time scales using a hierarchy of salt-intrusion models. 

(3) Study the effects of human interventions made during a certain period on the long-term salt intrusion to investigate whether these measures are ‘climate proof’. 

You will work closely with other members of the SALTISolutions program to advance our understanding of how salt intrusion could be impacted by deepening of estuaries, opening of gates and locks, nature based solutions and climate change. You will work at the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht (IMAU), which is part of the Department of Physics of Utrecht University. Professor Henk A. Dijkstra and Professor Huib E. de Swart will be your supervisors.


Utrecht University


We are looking for an ambitious and driven candidate who has:

  • a Ph.D. in physics, applied mathematics, meteorology, geosciences or a related field;
  • experience in (climate) modeling (considered an advantage);
  • knowledge of (geophysical) fluid dynamics (considered an advantage);
  • excellent skills in scientific programming and numerical / statistical analysis of simulated and observed data.

Conditions of employment

  • the opportunity to work in and with a team of leading experts;
  • a full-time position for 2 years;
  • a full-time gross salary ranging from €2,846 to € 4,490 per month (scale 10 of the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities (cao));
  • benefits including 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities.

In addition to the employment conditions laid down in the cao for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. For example, there are agreements on professional development, leave arrangements and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment yourself via the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we like to encourage you to continue to grow.

More information about working at the Faculty of Science can be found here.


The Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht (IMAU) offers a unique research and teaching environment, in which the fundamentals of the climate system are studied. Research is organized in five themes: Atmospheric Dynamics, Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry, Coastal and Shelf Sea Dynamics, Ice and Climate and Oceans and Climate. In 2017, IMAU research quality and impact were qualified as 'world leading' by an international visitation committee. Currently, IMAU employs 15 faculty members and 10 support staff, and about 20 Postdocs and 30 PhD students, and offers a friendly, open and international atmosphere.

At the Faculty of Science, there are 6 departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Physics. Each of these is made up of distinct institutes that work together to focus on answering some of humanity’s most pressing problems. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects.

Utrecht University is a friendly and ambitious university at the heart of an ancient city. We love to welcome new scientists to our city – a thriving cultural hub that is consistently rated as one of the world’s happiest cities. We are renowned for our innovative interdisciplinary research and our emphasis on inspirational research and excellent education. We are equally well-known for our familiar atmosphere and the can-do attitude of our people. This fundamental connection attracts Researchers, Professors and PhD candidates from all over the globe, making both the university and the Faculty of Science a vibrant international and wonderfully diverse community.


  • Postdoc
  • Natural sciences
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2846—€4490 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 1170566



Domplein 29, 3512 JE, Utrecht

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