PhD Candidate in Coastal Sediment Tracing using Luminescence Dating

Wageningen University



PhD candidate coastal sediment tracing using luminescence dating

Published on
February 17, 2020

Location Wageningen

We are looking for

Do you want to explore how novel luminescence (dating) methods can be used to unravel how sediments move in a coastal system? And would you like to work as a PhD candidate in a multidisciplinary team?

We are looking for a talented PhD candidate in the field of advanced methods for investigating earth surface dynamics. Specifically, you will develop a novel approach to trace transport paths of sand-sized sediments. Based on luminescence dating methods, you will develop a dedicated approach that identifies whether a sand grain is sourced from an artificial coastal nourishment. Then you will apply this method to investigate how nourished sediment disperses through a coastal system.
You will be employed at the Soil Geography and Landscape group of Wageningen University, and be associated with the Netherlands Centre for Luminescence dating. The project is part of a larger research project TRAILS, which investigates sediment dispersal from a large sand nourishment in the Ameland Inlet (northern Netherlands), including ecological interactions and stakeholder perceptions. You will be part of a multidisciplinary team of PhD candidates, a post-doc and principal investigators, who are based at four academic institutes, a university of applied sciences, Deltares, and Rijkswaterstaat. The project is funded through the NWO programme ‘Living Labs in the Dutch Delta’.

We ask


  • An enthusiastic, creative and proactive candidate who would like to work in a multidisciplinary team.
  • MSc degree in Earth Sciences, Physical Geography, Physics, or another relevant field.
  • Background in earth surface dynamics, and affinity with coastal systems and quantitative approaches.
  • Experience with or motivation to perform fieldwork, laboratory work, and statistical analyses of complex datasets.
  • You are curiosity driven and passionate about fundamental research in the context of nature-based coastal management.
  • Excellent communication skills and proficiency in English (both oral and written). This position requires an excellent English language proficiency (similar to CEFR C1 level). For more information about this proficiency level, please visit our special language page.
  • Willingness to supervise MSc and BSc thesis projects related to your research project, and to contribute to SGL teaching activities (10-15% of your employment).


We offer

We offer a full-time position (38 hours), initially for 1 year after which a go/no go decision will be taken on extension with another three years. Gross salary per month € 2325,- in the first year rising to € 2972,- per month in the fourth year, for a fulltime appointment. The candidate will be based at the Soil Geography and Landscape group in Wageningen.

In addition, we offer:

  • 8% holiday allowance;
  • a structural year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent training opportunities and secondary employment conditions;
  • flexible working hours and holidays can possibly be determined in consultation so that an optimal balance between work and private life is possible;
  • excellent pension plan through ABP;
  • 232 vacation hours, the option to purchase extra and good supplementary leave schemes;
  • a flexible working time: the possibility to work a maximum of 2 hours per week extra and thereby to build up extra leave;
  • a choice model to put together part of your employment conditions yourself, such as a bicycle plan;
  • a lively workplace where you can easily make contacts and where many activities take place on the Wageningen Campus. A place where education, research and business are represented;
  • use the sports facilities on campus
Wageningen University & Research stimulates internal career opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. There are ample opportunities for own initiative in a learning environment.
We offer a versatile job in an international environment with varied activities in a pleasant and open working atmosphere.


More information

Please use the apply button on this page and upload the following documents:

  • A letter of motivation (max. 2 pages A4) providing information on:A Curriculum Vitae;
    • your motivation to apply for this specific position;
    • how your research and education skills will contribute to the TRAILS project;
  • Names and contact details for 3 references;
  • A summary of your MSc thesis  (max. 1 page A4).
Your application will be given full consideration if you apply before 15th of March 2020. For international candidates there will be sufficient time and assistance to come to Wageningen and 'onboard' at our University.

For additional information on the position, contact professor Jakob Wallinga, (; +31 (0)3170 484040.
Coming from abroad
Wageningen is a centre for research and entrepreneurship. 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. It is a historic university town of about 36,000 residents in the central Netherlands. The academic community hails from more than 100 countries, giving the town a lively, international feel. Our highly qualified team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.
The WUR International Community page contains practical information about what we do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen.


We are

Wageningen University & Research
The goal of Wageningen University & Research is to deliver a substantial contribution to the quality of life. We search for answers to issues affecting society- such as sustainable food production, climate change and alternative energy. In Wageningen, we encompass the entire chain of knowledge, from fundamental research to science-based and up-scalable practical knowledge to create solutions that have impact. A coordinated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of the outstanding approach of Wageningen. Every day 6,500 people work on 'the quality of life', turning ideas into reality, on a global scale. Could you be one of these people? We give you the space you need!

The Soil Geography and Landscape group (SGL) is part of the Wageningen University Soil Science cluster. The mission of SGL is to improve and share understanding of soil patterns and landscape dynamics. We take an integrative approach that combines biophysical and human elements to gain insight in past, present and future system dynamics, and to support sustainable land management. The Netherlands Centre for Luminescence dating (NCL) is hosted by Wageningen University. At the NCL we develop new and improved luminescence dating methods, and we apply these for our own research and in collaboration with external partners. The NCL laboratory is well-equipped with modern sample-preparation facilities and five versatile luminescence readers (incl. single-grain facilities, pulsing, OSL, IRSL, VSL), and supported by two analysts.

Equal Opportunities Employer
We encourage applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, sex, gender, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age. We believe that a diverse and inclusive work environment makes us a more relevant, more competitive, and more resilient organization.

In your application, please refer to


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