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The Netherlands Earth System Science Centre (NESSC) is currently looking to fill 13 PhD positions with excellent, talented, enthusiastic, highly motivated and goal-oriented candidates, with a no-nonsense mentality. The ideal candidates are interested in past and/or current climate research, are highly motivated to perform research in an excellent, exciting and international working environment, and are committed to a fully-funded 4-year PhD track.
The project “Methane cycling micro-organisms and greenhouse gas fluxes in coastal sediments” will be hosted at Radboud University (RU). Coastal sediments are vulnerable ecosystems threatened by various kinds of pollution, and harbor a complex microbial community and biogeochemistry that is hardly explored. With a warming potential that is 34 times higher than CO2, methane (CH4) is a significant contributor to the global greenhouse effect. The balance between CO2 and CH4 emissions, which is steered by the microbial methane cycling community, has therefore a major impact on global warming. This warming will have stimulating effect on both methane-producing (methanogenic) and methane-consuming (methanotrophic) microorganisms. However, since different microorganisms are differentially affected by these changes, the effects on net greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes remain elusive. Within this project you will study the in situ methanogenic and methanotrophic activity and community composition in situ. You will also study the methane cycling activity in controlled laboratory settings. Suitable samples will be used for enrichment of novel microorganisms. The data will be used as input for new global gene-based models. Sampling campaigns with NESSC partners to suitable field sites will be part of the PhD study.
General requirements for applicants
• Candidates did not reside or carry out their main activity (e.g. work, studies) in the Netherlands for more than 12 months during the 3 years immediately prior to the date of appointment (time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention, compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account)*.
• Candidates hold an MSc degree (or will graduate before the appointment date) in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Ecology, Earth Sciences and/or Environmental Sciences.
• Candidates are in the first four years of their research careers at the start of their appointment (full-time equivalent research experience, measured from the date when a researcher obtained the degree entitling him or her to embark on a doctorate) and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.
• Excellent proficiency of the English language (both oral and written).
• The ability to work both independently in challenging environments and in a multidisciplinary team. Excellent communication skills and cooperation skills are required.
• An inquisitive mind-set, accuracy, creativity and self-reliance are very important. You are required to be flexible, mobile and pro-active.
• Enthusiasm to attend the full training programme as offered in the project and to actively contribute to the project aims and objectives.
• High interest in receiving training from supervisors from different institutes, disciplines and sectors, this will require regular travelling within the Netherlands.
• High motivation to contribute to the dissemination of results and outreach to both specialists and the public at large.
• Candidates are excited to move to the Netherlands and to visit a Partner Organisations for a secondment (internship), in or outside the Netherlands, as this is part of the programme. Additional research visits to international institutes and conferences for research collaborations are expected.
• Strong motivation to obtain a PhD degree.
The selected candidates will be offered a full-time PhD position at one of the NESSC institutes, initially for one year. The first formal assessment will be held between month 10 and 16 of employment, if found positive the ESR will be offered the full 48 months of PhD employment.
At Radboud University, we do research and teach programmes covering the full width of the academic spectrum. We do this on a green, modern campus with state-of-the-art facilities. The atmosphere on campus is open and personal, which stimulates colleagues to share their knowledge beyond the boundaries of their own discipline. It encourages all to look further, to see more. Thus, Radboud University contributes to the development of new perspectives. Within science and within society. This makes Radboud University successful and of international importance.
Microbiology is one of the research priority areas of the Radboud University and has won many prestigious awards including three ERC Advanced Grants, a Spinoza price and two Gravitation Grants. We offer a dynamic research environment in a group with a strong international profile, state-of-the-art laboratory infrastructure, strong national and international collaborations, and the possibility to further develop your scientific education with a large variety of courses, training and conferences.
The Faculty of Science is an equal opportunity employer, committed to building a culturally diverse intellectual community, and as such encourages applications from women and minorities. Click here for more information about working at RU
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