PhD position on Evaluating Greenland glacier-lake interaction (0.8 - 1.0 FTE)

PhD position on Evaluating Greenland glacier-lake interaction (0.8 - 1.0 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
8 Jun 25 Aug Utrecht

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Gain a better understanding of the effects of proglacial lakes on glacier mass loss and assess how this process may accelerate mass loss in the future.

Job description

The Faculty of Geosciences is looking for a new colleague for the Department of Physical Geography. In this unique glaciology project you will work on investigating the impact of climate change on lake-terminating glaciers in South Greenland. The aim of the project is to gain a better understanding of the effects of proglacial lakes on glacier mass loss and to assess how this process may accelerate mass loss in the future.

You will utilise a combined approach of remote sensing, field measurements, and numerical modelling to identify and parameterise the controlling factors for glacier retreat. Specifically, you will investigate various physical processes acting at the ice-lake boundary to improve an existing calving flowline model for lake-terminating glaciers. The insights of the flowline modelling will be used to develop data-driven parameterisations for calving and subaqueous melt that can be applied in an ice sheet model (IMAUICE and/or UFEMISM). The model will be set up for a selected region in South Greenland to understand the impact of climate change on outlet glaciers.

You will be part of a team of experienced and enthusiastic scientists specialising in glaciology, sea-level change, remote sensing, and modelling at our department. Part of the modelling work will be executed in collaboration with the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht (IMAU).

To support academic and personal development, PhD candidates follow courses and assist in teaching Earth Sciences at Bachelor's and Master's level. Together these activities amount to 20% of the contracted time.


Utrecht University


To be considered for this position, you must have the following qualifications:
  • A master’s degree (MSc) in physics, geosciences, or a related field in environmental sciences;
  • Proficiency and proven experience in quantitative methods such as remote sensing and/or numerical modelling, with the ability to analyse complex datasets using your own scripts;
  • Experience with programming languages such as Python, R and/or, Matlab;
  • A passion for glaciers and extreme environments, as well as the ability and willingness to conduct fieldwork in challenging conditions;
  • Excellent proficiency in English, demonstrated through publications, presentations, or other means.

Conditions of employment

You will be offered a temporary position (0.8 - 1.0 FTE), initially for one year with an extension to a total of four years upon a successful assessment in the first year, and with the specific intent that it results in a doctorate within this period. The gross salary ranges between €2,541 in the first year and €3,247 in the fourth year of employment (scale P according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year.

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.


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. Sharing science, shaping tomorrow.

Find out more about our university by watching the Utrecht University Campus Tour.

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. 

The team of the Department of Physical Geography excels in research and education on BSc, MSc and PhD level. We research processes, patterns, and dynamics of Earth’s systems from the mountains to the sea, and the interaction in between. This knowledge is essential for the sustainable management of our planet and to guarantee the availability of resources for the next generations.

We are a lively department that hosts an active early career community (PhD-students, young teachers, young lecturers). There are always a few guests among us as well as some student assistants. We organise a warm welcome for every new member.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • 28—40 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1211259



Princetonlaan 8a, 3584 CB, Utrecht

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