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PhD Candidate Linking biodiversity policy with science

Job description

The Natural Resources department (NRS) of ITC works in the domains of Agriculture and Environment with a focus on food security, biodiversity and ecosystems (forests, wetlands, drylands). The department uses earth observation data and spatial information in combination with systems modelling, geographical information systems (GIS) and remote sensing for the assessment, monitoring, planning and management of natural resources, for their sustainable use, development and restoration under global change.

The University of Twente seeks a PhD candidate for a European Research Council project in which you will take an active part in developing an exciting new research direction linking Earth observation (EO) with eDNA metabarcoding and metagenomics for biodiversity assessment.

Your specific profile includes refining biodiversity indicators to inform the Convention on Biodiversity Aichi targets and UN Sustainable Development Goals. The overall aim is to investigate how Essential Biodiversity Variables can be translated into useful policy indicators for (inter)national monitoring. Methods are to be developed to upscale and prioritize global biodiversity indicators through parsimonious and quantitative metrics and to incorporate engineering requirements for space borne satellites. A final aim is to develop and use a generic indicator of landscape fragmentation as a solution for reporting the needs of Aichi targets.

Your profile

You have:

  • An MSc in biology, natural resource sciences (environment, forestry, agriculture), geography, social sciences, or similar.
  • Experience with remote sensing, geographical data and GIS.
  • Refined written and oral skills in English at IELTS level > 7.0..
  • Willingness and ability to upscale from in situ plot or interview, data, through to satellite level, as well as link science to policy.
  • Willingness to work in a multidisciplinary science team.


  • Knowledge of eDNA.
  • Field work experience collecting geographical, social and/or natural resource data.

Information and application

Additional information about this position can be obtained from Prof. Andrew Skidmore (e-mail: You are also invited to visit our homepage.

Please submit your application before 26 August 2019 (choose “apply now” below). Your application must include:

  • A cover letter (maximum 1 page A4), emphasizing your specific interest, qualifications and motivations to apply for this position
  • a full Curriculum Vitae, including a list of all courses attended and grades obtained
  • a short description (maximum 1 page A4) of your MSc research

Our offer

We offer you an inspiring multidisciplinary and challenging international and academic environment. The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in which internationalization is an important part of the strategic agenda.

You will be fulltime employed for 4 years. Salary and conditions will be in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement (CAO-NU) of the Dutch Universities.

  • A starting salary of € 2.325.00 in the first year and a salary of € 2,972.00 in the fourth year gross per month;
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • A solid pension scheme;
  • 41 holiday days in case of full-time employment;
  • Professional and personal development programs;
  • Cost for moving to Enschede may be reimbursed.

The organization

The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

The Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) of the University of Twente provides international postgraduate education, research and project services in the field of geo-information science and earth observation using remote sensing and GIS. The aim of ITC's activities is the international exchange of knowledge, focusing on capacity building and institutional development in developing countries and emerging economies.

PhD Candidate Linking biodiversity policy with science
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