PhD Adaptation to climate change of agricultural systems in the Netherlands, Wageningen

PhD Adaptation to climate change of agricultural systems in the Netherlands
Wageningen, (Gelderland), 38 hours per week Wageningen University, Plant Production Systems group

Job description
In September the so-called Delta Committee issued a report and advice to the Dutch government on how to make The Netherlands climate-proof for the century to come. The Delta programme aims to protect the country against flooding and at safeguarding freshwater supplies. Dutch agriculture is one of the sectors significantly affected by climate change; efficient and effective adaptation strategies are needed. Effects of higher temperatures and different rainfall and rainfall patterns in a changing international economy and markets affect sectors, individual farms and fields. Hence, adaptation strategies should be multi-scale with a good mix of measures at regional, farm and field level. Such strategies must be facilitated by efficient policies, promoting the use of effective adaptation strategies for the agricultural sectors while avoiding negative influences on other types of land use.
The present PhD aims at developing and using a multi-scale and quantitative approach for assessing adaptation strategies for Dutch agriculture, and to complement this approach with qualitative methods for assessing governance aspects such as institutional compatibility and acceptability by various stakeholders groups.
The PhD will develop and use bio-economic models, a farm typology and a biophysical simulation model. These models will be used to assess alternative adaptation strategies in the context of market developments, policy changes and technological innovations. Economic and environmental effects will be investigated for regions, farm types and fields. Risk and uncertainties about weather, price, policy and market changes will be included in the assessment. Compatibility and acceptability of alternative policies to promote adaptation will be investigated using a pre- and post-modelling approach. Participation of stakeholders is possible through collaboration with a project running in parallel to the model-based project.

The candidate has completed an MSc in a relevant domain (e.g. Plant Sciences, Agronomy, Biology, Resource Ecology), with affinity for social sciences including economy and political science. He/she has proven capabilities in systems analysis, simulation modeling and other quantitative methods, has experience with literature research and computer programming languages, is fluent in English and has good writing skills. The candidate is able to communicate well with fellow researchers in similar and other relevant disciplines.

Wageningen University, Plant Production Systems group
Within one of the strategic research themes of Wageningen University and Research Centre, Scaling and Governance, a PhD position will be funded to conduct fundamental research applied to the subject climate change and adaptation of agricultural systems. This subject is also core to research taking place within the BSIK programme Klimaat voor Ruimte (e.g. the project AgriAdapt-NL) which aims at exploring and underpinning adaptation strategies for agriculture in the three Northern provinces of the Netherlands through quantitative research models allowing an analysis at regional and local level, in the context of national and international developments.

Information on a similar type of research is available at

Conditions of employment
Employment basis: Temporary for specified period
Duration of the contract: 18 months.
Maximum hours per week: 38

Additional conditions of employment:
A PhD position at Wageningen University. Gross salary per month: € 2000 in the first year, increasing to € 2558 in the fourth year. Duration of the contract: for a period of 18 months. Continuation of the appointment for another 30 months will be based on a performance evaluation.

Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from:

Dr. Martin van Ittersum
Telephone number: +31 317 482382
E-mail address:

Prof.dr. B. Arts
Telephone number: +31 317 486196
E-mail address:

You can apply for this job before 20-11-2008 by sending your application to:

Wageninge University, Plant Production Systems group
Personnel & Organisation
L. Bikker
P.O. Box 16
6700 AA Wageningen
The Netherlands
E-mail address:

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Two PhD positions mathematical physics/quantum gravity Department of Mathematics at Hamburg University.

The successful applicant will be part of the Emmy Noether Junior Research Group "Conceptual Questions of Quantum Gravity and Mathematical Structures in Three-Dimensional Gravity" funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The starting dates are flexible from late spring 2009 onwards.

Applicants must have a Master (or equivalent) in either mathematics or physics and should be interested in working at the interface of these subjects.

They should email the following application documents to :

1. Curriculum vitae
2. List of courses taken, transcript of degree
3. If applicable: short summary of master project or thesis (one page)
4. Contact details (including email address and phone number) of two referees who have agreed to be contacted and to provide an evaluation of the applicant

We will start reviewing the applications on December 1 2008, but later applications will be considered until the position is filled.

Further information about the positions and the research group can be found at

For questions or informal enquiries please contact .

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2 PhD positions at the University of Amsterdam on understanding and modelling biomineralization

2 PhD positions at the University of Amsterdam on understanding and modelling biomineralization

Within the Marie Curie Initial Training Network "Biomineralization: understanding of basic mechanisms for the design of novel strategies in nanobiotechnology (BIOMINTEC)'' there are currently a number of PhD positions available.

The duration of each PhD position is 36 months.
Being part of a mobility program, PhD candidates will perform their work in two of the partner institutions (18 months each, in two different countries) which can not be the home country of the candidate. The University of Amsterdam (The Informatics Institute) is one of the partners in the BIOMINTEC project and involved in 2 PhD positions.
The first PhD (ESR2) will work on sponges and the title of the project is: ``Fractal mechanism of silicatein self-assembly and biosilicification (Experimental studies and Modelling studies)''.
The second PhD (ESR8) will work on calcification, e.g., in scleractinian corals and molluscs, the title of this project is ``Biocalcification: Characterization of crystal-shaping proteins of the molluscan shell and modelling gene regulation''.
Candidates should have a master's degree (or equivalent) in scientific computing or computational science, (computational) physics, chemistry, molecular biology or a comparable expertise.

Details about both PhD positions are available at: ESR2 (vacancy number 08-1057)

ESR8 (vacancy number 08-1058)

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PhD Position Context Recognition in Opportunistic Sensor Networks


Ambient intelligence nowadays becomes key to provide smart assistance to people in a transparent, unobtrusive manner, at any time, anywhere.

Instrumented houses caring for elderly, smart clothing teaching new sport moves, industrial worker assistant are but a few examples of ambient intelligence.

Our group investigates how to recognize human activities and context from on-body sensors and sensor in the environment using machine learning techniques, time series segmentation and data mining.

State of the art systems assume statically defined sensor configuration, where the location of the sensor and its characteristics is known a-priori and does not change.

In a real-world scenario this is not the case: sensor location on body may change, sensor characteristics may degrade over time, sensors may be added or removed in an instrumented environments. The devices the user carry with him change depending on the activities.

The new European project OPPORTUNITY will develop new methods for context and activity recognition in opportunistic sensors configurations.


OPPORTUNITY picks up on the very essential methodological underpinnings of any Ambient Intelligence (AmI) scenario: recognizing (and understanding) context and activity.

Methodologies are missing to design context-aware systems: (1) working over long periods of time despite changes in sensing infrastructure (sensor failures, degradation); (2) providing the freedom to users to change wearable device placement; (3) that can be deployed without user-specific training. This limits the real-world deployment of AmI systems.

We develop opportunistic systems that recognize complex activities/contexts despite the absence of static assumptions about sensor availability and characteristics. They are based on goal-oriented sensor assemblies spontaneously arising and self-organizing to achieve a common activity/context recognition goal. They are embodied and situated, relying on self-supervised learning to achieve autonomous operation. They makes best use of the available resources, and keep working despite-or improves thanks to-changes in the sensing environment. Changes include e.g. placement, modality, sensor parameters and can occur at runtime.

Four groups contribute to this goal. They develop: (1) intermediate features that reduce the impact of sensor parameter variability and isolate the recognition chain from sensor specificities; (2) classifier and classifier fusion methods suited for opportunistic systems, capable of incorporating new knowledge online, monitoring their own performance, and dynamically selecting most appropriate information sources; (3) unsupervised dynamic adaptation and autonomous evolution principles to cope with short term changes and long term trends in sensor infrastructure, (4) goal-oriented cooperative sensor ensembles to opportunistically collect data about the user and his environment in a scalable way.

The methods are demonstrated in complex opportunistic activity recognition scenarios, and on robust opportunistic EEG-based BCI systems.

Job description

We offer a PhD position within the framework of the new European Research Project OPPORTUNITY. OPPORTUNITY groups 4 high-profile European universities and research institutes. They will collaborate over the next 3 years (2009-2011) to develop systems capable of activity recognition from sensors opportunistically discovered on the user and in his neighborhood. This includes hardware, software and algorithmic innovations that will be combined in a number of technology demonstrators.

In this position you will be responsible for one of the project's work package. You will closely collaborate with the project's partners throughout the duration of the project.

Your work environment will be multinational, both in Zürich and with project partners within Europe, with frequent travels to the partner's location.

Within this project, your research topics will include (but are not limited to):

Context recognition in sensor networks.

Unsupervised dynamic adaptation. Methods will be investigated and developed to achieve a dynamically-defined multi-parametric performance goal (e.g. accuracy, energy use) given an opportunistically discovered set of sensors and confidence and signal quality metrics. The methods will focus on the dynamic adaptation of the activity recognition chain (e.g. through dynamic resource selection, feature, and classifier adaptation) on the basis of a model of the system performance.

Autonomous evolution in open-ended environments. New sensors, that were not available when the system was trained, can be discovered at run-time. Methods will be developed to take advantage of additional resources without the need for user intervention or system re-training. First approaches will focus on self-supervised learning - where a part of the system supervises the training of the new part of the system. Our end objective is to achieve autonomously evolving context-aware systems capable to "grow" and use new resources as they are discovered, in open-ended environment. Inclusion of minimal user feedback. Methods will be devised so that minimally intrusive user feedback can be used by the system to enhance activity recognition performance (e.g. sporadic annotation of an activity by the user). Constraints include maximizing information gain and minimizing user disturbance.

Starting date: ASAP


The candidate has a diploma, MSc, or equivalent in electrical engineering, micro-engineering, computer science or mathematics.

He has strong interests in mobile computing systems, machine learning/pattern recognition, signal processing, adaptive and learning systems, and in the combination of theoretical and experimental research.

Fluent spoken and written English is mandatory.

Contact and application

For further information about the Euopean project Opportunity and your contribution within this project, contact Dr. Daniel Roggen.

If you are interested and believe that you qualify, please send your application to Prof. Gerhard Tröster. Include:

* Curriculum Vitae with the names and contact details of at least 2 references
* a list of exams and grades obtained
* a cover letter explaining how your skills and research interests fit the project

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The Vasilios Stavros Lagakos Fellowship

The Vasilios Stavros Lagakos Fellowship

The Vasilios Stavros Lagakos Fellowship is a new fellowship program intended for international applicants to the Biostatistics Ph.D. Program who will return to their home country upon completion of their degree. The broad goals of the fellowship are to promote senior-level expertise in the field of Biostatistics in regions of the world where improvements in such expertise would meaningfully advance public health.

Interested individuals should apply for admission to the Ph.D. program using the standard application procedures at Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, but should include information about their long-term plans and why they wish to be considered for this Fellowship in their personal statement. Applicants will be considered for this fellowship based on (i) commitment to return to her or his home country and to become engaged in public health research following completion of the Ph.D. Program, (ii) potential to enhance health research and promote the discipline of biostatistics after returning to her or his home country, and (iii) lack of comparable training options in home country.

The Fellowship provides tuition, health fees, and a full stipend for the first 1-2 years of graduate study. Other sources of Departmental funding, including Teaching Assistantships or Research Assistantships, will be used in subsequent years to fund the student’s Ph.D. program.
For more information, please contact:

David Wypij, Ph.D.
Director of Graduate Studies

Department of Biostatistics
Harvard School of Public Health
655 Huntington Avenue, II-4th Floor
Boston, MA 02115

Phone: (617) 432-4906
Fax: (617) 432-5619

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PhD position Discontinuous Galerkin Methods for Turbomachinery

PhD position Discontinuous Galerkin Methods for Turbomachinery

Cenaero is looking for a PhD student to work on the application of the Discontinuous Galerkin Finite Element methods to RANS-type simulation of turbomachinery flows. The research involves as well the development of higher order curved grid generation and boundary layer tailored shape function spaces.

Applicants should have an excellent background in computational fluid dynamics and object oriented programming languages such as C++ and Python as well as experience with CAD modeling, meshing software and turbomachinery. They should also possess good communication skills in french and/or english and be able to work in a team. The position is open to citizen from NATO countries and is available immediately.

More information about this offer (and others) can be found at

Interested candidates should send a cover letter and a resume via e-mail to with mention of the reference number CFD-2008-4.

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PhD studentship (2x2 years) molecular and cellular aspects of toxicity

PhD studentship (2x2 years) molecular and cellular aspects of toxicity BOF-project “Cd-induced oxidative stress: damage versus signalling” (BOF08G01)
(mandate SBG/2008/007-HO)

The Centre for Environmental Sciences is a multidisciplinary research centre that opts for a deliberate combination and symbiosis of high-level basic and applied environmental research. Participating researchers come from different disciplines: biology, chemistry, physiology, economics and law. The mission of the Centre for Environmental Sciences includes research, education and public service.

Job description
In the framework of the BOF-project mentioned above, the successful applicants will conduct research on the relationship between oxidative stress and its effects. The aim is to elucidate the physiological and molecular processes which will lead to cell recovery or irreversible damage and cell death, depending on the Cd concentration during exposure. These processes will be studied using three different types of test organisms: plants (A. thaliana), invertebrates (turbellarians) and vertebrates (mice). Each of the candidates will conduct research on one of these test organisms.

Profile and diploma
Applicants have a licentiate/master degree in biology, biotechnology, biochemistry, biomedical sciences or applied biological sciences or equivalent. Experience in molecular biology techniques is an asset.

Further information


Content job responsibilities:

Prof. dr. Tom Artois, +32-11-26 83 09,

Prof. dr. Ann Cuypers, +32-11-26 83 26,

Prof. dr. Emmy Van Kerkhove, +32-11-26 85 33,

Content terms of employment and selection procedure: Jef Vanvoorden, 011-26 80 80,

Applicants must use the official application forms


which are available at the Rectoraat of Hasselt University, Campus Diepenbeek, Agoralaan - building D, B-3590 Diepenbeek (Belgium), phone +32 - 11 - 26 80 03

or which can be downloaded here pdf-file / Word format.

The completed application forms must reach the above mentioned address no later than Friday, November 7th 2008.

Application by e-mail will only be taken into consideration when sent to the following address:

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PhD student in biomedical sciences, belgium

PhD student in biomedical sciences (2x2 years) ‘Autoimmunity’: Biomarker research in Multiple Sclerosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis
(mandate MBW/2008/021-HO)

The Biomedical Research Institute ( is a multidisciplinary research institute of the Hasselt University. 70 researchers and technical personnel perform molecular and cellular biomedical research. The research is focused on two main research domains: neuroinflammation and development of biosensors (in cooperation with the Institute for Material Research (IMO)).

Job description
The successful applicant will be involved in a research project entitled ‘New diagnostic and prognostic antibody biomarkers for multiple sclerosis (MS) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA)’ of the Biomedical Research Institute (BIOMED) at Hasselt University. This project is aimed at identifying a panel of new molecular target antigens combined with existing target antigens selected on MS with diagnostic and prognostic potency by using technological platforms that allow for profiling the antibody reactivity to tissue antigens in these diseases. The first goal is aimed at identifying new serum markers for MS and RA by a systematic profiling of the humoral immune response using the powerful molecular SAS technology. A second goal is aimed at studying the functional relevance of the existing selected MS markers and new MS and RA serum markers in relation to disease by studying their expression in diseased tissue and by studying T cell reactivity to these antigens. A third goal is aimed at developing a high throughput and label free screening platform using phages expressing autoantigens or derived peptide fragments to efficiently validate candidate markers in a large number of patients. The candidate will work on the third goal of the project.

Profile and diploma
The applicant should hold a master degree in biomedical sciences, bioengineering, biochemistry, biology, biotechnology, medicine, chemistry, or equal). Students in their last master year can also apply.

Further information


Content job responsibilities:

prof. dr. Piet Stinissen, +32-11-26 92 04,

prof. dr. Veerle Somers, +32-11-26 92 02,

prof. dr. Luc Michiels, +32-11-26 92 31,

fax +32 11 26 92 09, website:

Content terms of employment and selection procedure: Jef Vanvoorden, 011-26 80 80,

Applicants must use the official application forms


which are available at the Rectoraat of Hasselt University, Campus Diepenbeek, Agoralaan - building D, B-3590 Diepenbeek (Belgium), phone +32 - 11 - 26 80 03

or which can be downloaded here pdf-file / Word format.

The completed application forms must reach the above mentioned address no later than Wednesday, November 5th, 2008.

Application by e-mail will only be taken into consideration when sent to the following address:

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PhD-grant (2x2 years) Organic and Polymer Chemistry

PhD-grant (2x2 years) Organic and Polymer Chemistry
(mandate SBG/2008/011)

Job description
The research group “Organic and Polymer Chemistry”, a division of IMO (Institute of Material Research), is located on the Hasselt University campus in Belgium and has a strong competence in Polymer Chemistry and Polymer Analysis. Via the IMOMEC division, there is a close collaboration with IMEC, the biggest independent research centre in electronics in Europe. One of the core activities of the group relates to the synthesis and characterisation of conjugated or conductive polymers for plastic electronics, e.g. P-LED’s, organic transistors, organic Solar cells, chemosensors, biosensors, etc… A PhD-grant is available from IMEC for a PhD on the premises of the UHasselt in the domain of Conjugated (Semi-conductive) Polymers for application in solar cells.

The activity planned aims to perform research in the field of semi-conductive polymers for photovoltaic applications, in particular synthesis and characterisation of new polymeric materials and this with an emphasis on exploring living polymerization as a method toward functionalized and/or block copolymers. The research will take place in close collaboration with the division of material physics of IMO (Prof. Jean Manca) and the photovoltaic group of IMEC (Dr. Jef Poortmans) at Leuven.

Applicants must possess a master degree in (Bio)Chemistry, Material Chemistry or Chemical Engineering and should be interested in the field of materials science and polymer characterization. Experience in polymer synthesis or organic synthesis is a plus.

The position is voor two periods of 2 years with an intermediate evaluation. The grant amounts to about 1600 Euro/month free of taxes.

Further information


Content job responsibilities: Prof. dr. Dirk Vanderzande, +32-11-26 83 21,

Content terms of employment and selection procedure: Jef Vanvoorden, 011-26 80 80,

Applicants must use the official application forms


which are available at the Rectoraat of Hasselt University, Campus Diepenbeek, Agoralaan - building D, B-3590 Diepenbeek (Belgium), phone +32 - 11 - 26 80 03

or which can be downloaded here pdf-file / Word format.

The completed application forms must reach the above mentioned address no later than Friday, November 7th 2008.

Application by e-mail will only be taken into consideration when sent to the following address:

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PhD positions, Molecular & Cellular Biology, Heidelberg, Germany

Application and Admission
http://www.hbigs. uni-heidelberg. de/main_applicat ion.html

Please read the following instructions carefully!

The next HBIGS International Call for applications will be open from
15 October 2008 to 1 December 2008. Only applications submitted via
the online application system will be considered! Applications sent
by e-mail or mail will be discarded without further notice.

1. External applicants
Students who are not yet accepted for a PhD position in a research
group of an HBIGS project leader may apply to max. two of the
following research areas (view open PhD projects):
- Developmental Biology
- Infectious Diseases
- Molecular Biology of the Cell
- Molecular Biotechnology & Biophysics
- Molecular Plant Sciences
- Neurosciences
- Structural Biology & Biochemistry
- Systems Biology, Bioinformatics & Mathematical Biology

Please note: Applicants who submit more than one application will
automatically be excluded from the application process!

2. Internal applicants
PhD students of Heidelberg University who work in a research group
of an HBIGS project leader and who have started or will start their
PhD thesis between 01 June 2008 and 15 March 2009 (dates as stated
on the "Annahme als Doktorand" letter) are eligible to apply for
HBIGS during this call.

Admission requirements

Applicants must not be older than 30 years at the respective
application deadline.

The minimal requirement for admission into the Graduate School is a
university degree from an internationally accredited university that
would allow the applicant to enter a PhD program in biosciences in
the country where the degree was awarded. Depending on the country,
this may be a Masters, Licentiate or Diploma in Natural Sciences or

In addition, applicants are requested to provide the following

1. Secondary school leaving certificate/ Academic records
Submit with your application your Secondary school leaving
certificate and official transcripts of academic records from every
postsecondary institution attended for at least one year as a full-
time student. Academic records should give information on the type
and content of courses taken (Diploma supplement) and the grades you
received. Your rank in class should be noted whenever possible. If
the institution does not issue records in German, English, or
French, original language records must be submitted with
translations. All Applicants are expected to have received their
final certificates (Master, Diploma etc.) before 15 March 2009!

2. Curriculum Vitae (CV)

3. Proof of English language ability
If your native language is not English, proof of an adequate command
of spoken and written English is required for admission.
Proof can be provided either by
a) a TOEFL certificate ( (Score requirements: Paper
based: 570+, Computer based: 230+, Internet based: 90+),
b) an IELTS certificate ( (Score requirements: band
6.5+) ,
c) a Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE ),
Applicants who took part in an undergraduate program in which the
language of instruction was English are asked to provide a suitable
certificate from their Faculty. Applicants who are enrolled in the
MSc programs Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB), Molecular
Biosciences or Molecular Biotechnology at Heidelberg University do
not have to provide proof of language proficiency.

4. Statement of Purpose
Write a statement (+/- 500 words) describing why you wish to become
a member of HBIGS, your preparation for this field of study and your
future career plans. Describe the area of biology you find most
interesting, your previous research experience, and other aspects of
your background and interests which may aid the admissions committee
in evaluating your aptitude and motivation for the programme.
External applicants may also indicate their preferred research group
or project.

5. Two Letters of reference

6. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores (optional)
The scores of the GRE Subject Test in Biochemistry, Molecular and
Cellular Biology are not required for application but a good score
will strengthen your application. Scores must be from an examination
taken within the last three years. For information on test dates and
formats, visit

Time frame for PhD student recruitment

Application Deadline:
01 December 2008

Final Shortlist and invitation
of candidates:

15 December 2008

Interviews: 20-22 January 2009

Admission letters:
January 2009

Start of PhD core course
Mid March 2009

Selection Procedure

1. After eligibility has been checked, the files will be sent to the
respective group leaders and the Executive Board for further

2. All short-listed candidates will be invited, as a group, for
interviews to Heidelberg. The interview process will require three
days and will include panel interviews by several group leaders.
During the panel interviews, the candidates will give a short oral
presentation of their preferred research project (free speech, no
media), introducing the scientific background, suggesting research
directions and explaining how their qualifications meet the
requirements of the research project. The oral presentation is
followed by a question and answer session related to the research
project selected by the candidate.

3. Admission letters will go out shortly after the interview process.

https://www. w1system08. de/www.hbigs- intern/registrie ren_registrieren _for.php