PhD position in Holocene palaeoflood research

PhD position in Holocene palaeoflood research

Published Deadline Location
4 Mar 14 Apr Amsterdam

You cannot apply for this job anymore (deadline was 14 Apr 2024).

Browse the current job offers or choose an item in the top navigation above.

Do you have a MSc in Earth Sciences, Environmental Science or a related field? Are you motivated to do research in palaeoflood hydrology and fluvial geomorphology? Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU).

Job description

A 4-yr PhD position is offered at the VU Earth Science Department to combine the information from dendrochronological and sedimentary palaeoflood data in NW-Europe to gain a better insight into the spatial and temporal variability of the Holocene hydroclimate - specifically that of extreme events. With your research, you make an important contribution to addressing today’s societal challenges including climate change and natural hazards. A fundamentally enhanced understanding of drivers for hydroclimatic change and natural flood variability will lead to better understanding of the unfolding effects of a rapidly warming climate.

The project main aims are to establishing if (i) dendrochronological and sedimentary data are signalling the same hydrological events and trends in riverine environments, and if these can be deployed together to improve our abilities to reconstruct the magnitudes and specific timing of extreme flood events, and (ii) whether largest floods did have a supra-regional impact, and if such events align with known periods of hydroclimatic instability or relatively warm/cold climate conditions that have been recorded in NW-Europe. The project involves fieldwork to collect novel sedimentary palaeoflood data and to investigate changes in fluvial geomorphology associated with flood regime changes of the Meuse, Rhine and Overijsselse Vecht rivers.

This project is funded by a governmental grant to stimulate independent research, and the Dutch Cultural Heritage Agency. Results will be presented at (international) conferences and peer-reviewed publications will form the basis of a PhD dissertation. The candidate will be involvement in teaching activities, such as the supervision of BSc and MSc thesis projects. We seek a candidate that is strongly motivated, has the ability to work across disciplines, and is eager to participate in dedicated research communities such as the NCR (Netherlands Centre for River Studies) and the GLOCOPH (Global Continental Palaeohydrology) working group.


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)


  • degree in MSc, specializing in Earth Sciences, Environmental Studies or a similar field of study
  • knowledge of and experience with field sampling and dating techniques, palaeogeographical reconstructions, sedimentary analysis, and the analytical processing of measurement data.

As a university, we strive for equal opportunities for all, recognising that diversity takes many forms. We believe that diversity in all its complexity is invaluable for the quality of our teaching, research and service. We are always looking for talent with diverse backgrounds and experiences. This also means that we are committed to creating an inclusive community so that we can use diversity as an asset.

We realise that each individual brings a unique set of skills, expertise and mindset. Therefore we are happy to invite anyone who recognises themselves in the profile to apply, even if you do not meet all the requirements.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1 year.

A challenging position in a socially engaged organisation. At VU Amsterdam, you contribute to education, research and service for a better world. And that is valuable. So in return for your efforts, we offer you:
  • a salary of € 2.770 (Scale PhD) and maximum € 3.539 (Scale PhD) gross per month in the fourth year, for a full-time employment
  • an employment contract of initially one year. If there is sufficient perspective, this will be extended to a total of 4 years. Your dissertation at the end of the fourth year forms the end of your employment contract.

We also offer you attractive fringe benefits and arrangements. Some examples:
  • A full-time 38-hour working week comes with a holiday leave entitlement of 232 hours per year. If you choose to work 40 hours, you have 96 extra holiday leave hours on an annual basis. For part-timers, this is calculated pro rata.
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Faculty of Science
Researchers and students at VU Amsterdam’s Faculty of Science tackle fundamental and complex scientific problems to help pave the way for a sustainable and healthy future. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to malnutrition, and from molecules to the moon: we cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. Our teaching and research have a strong experimentally technical, computational and interdisciplinary nature.

We work on new solutions guided by value-driven, interdisciplinary methodologies. We are committed to research, valorisation and training socially engaged citizens of the world who will make valuable contributions to a sustainable, healthy future.

Are you interested in joining the Faculty of Science? You will join undergraduate students, PhD candidates and researchers at the biggest sciences faculty in the Netherlands. You will combine a professional focus with a broad view of the world. We are proud of our collegial working climate, characterised by committed staff, a pragmatic attitude and engagement in the larger whole. The faculty is home to over 11,000 students enrolled in 40 study programmes. It employs over 1,600 professionals spread across 10 academic departments.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam stands for values-driven education and research. We are open-minded experts with the ability to think freely. - a broader mind. Maintaining an entrepreneurial perspective and concentrating on diversity, significance and humanity, we work on sustainable solutions with social impact. By joining forces, across the boundaries of disciplines, we work towards a better world for people and planet. Together we create a safe and respectful working and study climate, and an inspiring environment for education and research. Learn more about our codes of conduct

We are located on one physical campus, in the heart of Amsterdam's Zuidas business district, with excellent location and accessibility. Over 5,500 staff work at the VU and over 30,000 students attend academic education.

Diversity is the driving force of the VU. The VU wants to be accessible and receptive to diversity in disciplines, cultures, ideas, nationalities, beliefs, preferences and worldviews. We believe that trust, respect, interest and differences lead to new insights and innovation, to sharpness and clarity, to excellence and a broader understanding.

We stand for an inclusive community and believe that diversity and internationalisation contribute to the quality of education, research and our services.

Therefore, we are always searching for people whose backgrounds and experience contribute to the diversity of the VU community.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 3748


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

Learn more about this employer


De Boelelaan 1085, 1081HV, Amsterdam

View on Google Maps

Interesting for you