Association of Polar Early Career Scientists


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PhD position on Evaluating Greenland glacier-lake interaction
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Utrecht University
  • Graduate Position

The Faculty of Geosciences is looking for a new colleague for the Department of Physical Geography. In this unique glaciology project you will work on investigating the impact of climate change on lake-terminating glaciers in South Greenland. The aim of the project is to gain a better understanding of the effects of proglacial lakes on glacier mass loss and to assess how this process may accelerate mass loss in the future.

You will utilise a combined approach of remote sensing, field measurements, and numerical modelling to identify and parameterise the controlling factors for glacier retreat. Specifically, you will investigate various physical processes acting at the ice-lake boundary to improve an existing calving flowline model for lake-terminating glaciers. The insights of the flowline modelling will be used to develop data-driven parameterisations for calving and subaqueous melt that can be applied in an ice sheet model (IMAUICE and/or UFEMISM). The model will be set up for a selected region in South Greenland to understand the impact of climate change on outlet glaciers.

You will be part of a team of experienced and enthusiastic scientists specialising in glaciology, sea-level change, remote sensing, and modelling at our department. Part of the modelling work will be executed in collaboration with the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht  (IMAU).

To support academic and personal development, PhD candidates follow courses and assist in teaching Earth Sciences at Bachelor's and Master's level. Together these activities amount to 20% of the contracted time.


To be considered for this position, you must have the following qualifications:

  • A master’s degree (MSc) in physics, geosciences, or a related field in environmental sciences;
  • Proficiency and proven experience in quantitative methods such as remote sensing and/or numerical modelling, with the ability to analyse complex datasets using your own scripts;
  • Experience with programming languages such as Python, R and/or, Matlab;
  • A passion for glaciers and extreme environments, as well as the ability and willingness to conduct fieldwork in challenging conditions;
  • Excellent proficiency in English, demonstrated through publications, presentations, or other means.


You will be offered a temporary position (0.8 - 1.0 FTE), initially for one year with an extension to a total of four years upon a successful assessment in the first year, and with the specific intent that it results in a doctorate within this period. The gross salary ranges between €2,541 in the first year and €3,247 in the fourth year of employment (scale P according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year.

In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions , including an attractive retirement scheme, professional development , (partly paid) parental leave, sports  and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University .


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