Postdoc Researcher -Adaptation towards sustainable groundwater use

Postdoc Researcher -Adaptation towards sustainable groundwater use

Published Deadline Location
2 Nov 27 Nov Wageningen

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Job description

Are you interested in global water and food challenges? Are you an excellent modeller and want to work with large-scale numerical models? Then we invite you to join our team!

The Water Systems and Global Change group at Wageningen University and Research is looking for a Postdoc researcher (3 years) who is interested in global water and sustainability challenges. This position is part of the ERC project GROW (Groundwater Sustainability and Crop Production). Together with two PhD candidates and one other postdoc you will work as a team on assessing the environmentally safe operating space for groundwater pumping and the trade-offs between sustainable groundwater use and crop production at the global scale under climate and socio-economic change.

The overall goal of GROW is to improve current global-scale estimates of groundwater and surface water availability for sectoral water uses and the environment. We will use these estimates to assess impacts and trade-offs; and to develop adaptation scenarios to restore the balance between groundwater needed for sufficient crop production and needed for a healthy aquatic environment.

As a postdoc, you will take the lead in model development of our own hydrological and water use model VIC-WUR which is coupled to a groundwater and crop growth model. You will improve the land use module to better understand the drivers of global land use dynamics and the impact on the hydrological system and crop production. Based on this, scenarios will be developed for future land use, for example, based on assumptions such as prioritizing food over environment and vice versa.

You will also focus on developing regionally relevant adaptation scenarios for sustainable groundwater use. Here we seek to develop a methodology to scale up regional adaptation strategies to larger regions, continents, and globally. Examples of adaptation strategies that could be implemented include increasing groundwater availability through artificial recharge, reducing groundwater demand through efficient irrigation, or changing crop species or varieties.

Applications can only be submitted via our institutional website and should include (no more than) a cover letter and CV, both uploaded as a pdf.

You will work here
The research is embedded in the Water Systems and Global Change group and GROW project team. You will work closely together with the GROW project team which is led by dr. ir. Inge de Graaf.


Wageningen University & Research


As a Postdoc, you have the following qualities:
  • a PhD degree (or about to obtain) in the field of Hydrology, Geography, Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, or a related field;
  • demonstrated enthusiasm for working with large datasets and large-scale numerical modelling in context of global change;
  • excellent scripting and programming skills, preferably Python and C;
  • advanced experience with numerical modelling on High Performance Computing Platforms;
  • an excellent academic and publication record;
  • willingness to work in multidisciplinary teams and the ability to work with PhD and MSc students in an advisory role;
  • proficiency in English, both oral and writing.

For this position your command of the English language is expected to be at C1 level. Sometimes it is necessary to submit an internationally recognized Certificate of Proficiency in the English Language. More information can be found here.

Conditions of employment

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
  • partially paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional compensation / holiday hours by working more;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.

In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will of course receive a good salary. Depending on your experience, we offer a competitive gross salary of between € 3.226 and € 5.090 for a full-time working week of 38 hours, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale 10). Initially, we offer you a one-year contract, which will then be extended to 3 years if there is mutual enthusiasm. Of course, we would be happy to discuss this with you if you have any questions.

Wageningen University & Research encourages internal advancement opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the “Best University” in the Netherlands for the 18th consecutive time.

Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees.
Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.

Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling. For instance under the "30% rule", certain categories of international staff can receive tax exemption on approximately 30% of their gross salary.


Wageningen University & Research

Wageningen University & Research
The mission of Wageningen University & Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

With its roughly 30 branches, 7,200 employees (6,400 fte) and 13,200 students and over 150.000 participants to WUR’s Life Long Learning, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. The unique Wageningen approach lies in its integrated approach to issues and the collaboration between different disciplines.. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen’s unique approach. WUR has been named Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020.

These are the points our employees list as good reasons to come work at WUR: read the 5 reasons to come work at WUR

We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.


  • Postdoc
  • Agriculture
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • Doctorate
  • P1358780-1


Wageningen University & Research

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Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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