Phd Position On Land Use And Environmental Impacts Of Biobased Products (1.0 Fte)

Utrecht University
October 09, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Negotigation
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PhD position on land use and environmental impacts of biobased products

(1.0 FTE)

Job description

The urgent need to mitigate climate change, to stop biodiversity loss and to move from fossil to renewable resources motivates the increased use of bio- based resources, but can thereby create multiple, sometimes conflicting sustainability impacts. There is a need for assessment methods that enable a robust and forward-looking impact assessment of existing and new bio-based solutions to determine their sustainability.

The large majority of the environmental impacts of bio-based products are related to land use and land management changes resulting from feedstock production and extraction. Impacts of land-use change highly depend on the biophysical context and are therefore location specific, temporally dynamic, and non-linear. The current statical LCA methods cannot capture the dynamic and non-linear impacts from land use. There is therefore a need to incorporate spatial and temporal variability of environmental impacts into existing LCA methodology.

The Copernicus Institute of Utrecht University is looking for a PhD candidate that will be working as part of the Horizon Europe project “ESCIB” (Environmental Sustainability and Circularity criteria for Industrial Bio- based systems), funded by the European Commission. Amongst others, the ESCIB project aims to develop a new dynamic method for assessing the environmental sustainability of bio-based systems, particularly addressing impacts related to land use and including circularity of bio-based systems.


We are seeking an outstanding and a highly motivated candidate with a deep interest in spatiotemporal environmental impact modelling, bio-based systems and LCA. We are especially interested in interdisciplinary scholars with strong modelling skills.

We gladly receive applications from candidates who:

  • hold a Master degree in Environmental Sciences, Physical geography or related field;
  • have experience with spatial and temporal numerical environmental impact and/or land use change modelling;
  • have experience in conducting LCA;
  • have experience in environmental impact assessment and/or modeling;
  • have affinity with bio-based systems;
  • preferably have programming skills in Python;
  • have good oral and written communication skills in English;
  • have an open, enthusiastic attitude and is able to work in inter- and transdisciplinary settings.
  • Offer

    You will be offered a temporary position (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.

    About the organization

    A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major strategic themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Pathways to Sustainability. Sharing science, shaping tomorrow.

    Additional information

    For more information about the position, please contact Professor Martin Junginger at [email protected].

    Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives.

    The application deadline is 09/10/2023

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