PhD position: spatio-temporal data modeling and scenario testing using web-GIS

Application Deadline: 3rd of May 2020
Possible start date: 1st of June 2020
Duration: 3.5+ years,
Job location: Agro Business Park 10, Wageningen
Bruto monthly salary: The gross monthly salary starts at € 2.290,- in the first year and will increase to € 2.972,- in the fourth year of your employment (with possible bonuses)
Job type:  PhD student / researcher
Fields: geoinformatics, geo-databases, meteorology, pedometrics, environmetrics, environmental sciences
Employer: OpenGeoHub foundation
PhD study programme: PE&RC Post-graduate school (, to be organized jointly with the Laboratory of Geo-information Science and Remote Sensing, Department of Environmental Sciences, Wageningen University and Research

Job description

OpenGeoHub (Stichting OpenGeoHub) is a not-for-profit research foundation with headquarters at the Agro Business Park, Wageningen, the Netherlands. We aim to become world experts in producing global and regional spatial predictions of soil, vegetation and meteo variables, by using High Performance Computing / optimization and state-of-the-art Machine Learning. 

OpenGeoHub foundation is looking for a young researcher (PhD position) in the field of spatio-temporal environmental data modeling and visualization. To qualify for this position, a solid knowledge of spatial and spatiotemporal statistics and time-series data analysis is required. You are expected to show capacity to develop software and web-solutions for spatiotemporal data using Open Source software (R, Python, Javascript and/or Julia); capacity to develop new solutions in geocomputing and geovisualization, while optimizing and automating modeling frameworks to help deliver scientific outputs in a timely manner, is also expected. You would further develop algorithms for scenario testing using web-GIS and interactive visualizations i.e. that can be served to thousands of users. You would work on data science problems within the OpenGeoHub’s current and future European Commission (Horizon 2020) projects including: “Geo-Harmonizer: EU-wide automated mapping system for harmonization of Open Data based on FOSS4G and Machine Learning” (2019–2022) and “MOOD: MOnitoring Outbreak events for Disease surveillance in a data science context” (2020–2023).

A formal program of PhD study will be organized jointly with the Laboratory of Geo-information Science and Remote Sensing, Department of Environmental Sciences, Wageningen University and Research (prof. dr. Martin Herold). This implies that you would spend a significant amount of time writing a research proposal and publications, meeting with supervisors (weekly), following PhD courses (organized through the PE&RC Postgraduate school) and networking with other researchers. You would have to prepare and submit a research proposal after 6 months from the start of position, which would be evaluated at the PE&RC school level independently. 

Your profile

Minimum requirements:

  • You have a MSc degree in the field of geoinformatics, geo-information science, environmental sciences, statistics and/or computer science.
  • You have initial experience with processing remote sensing images including MODIS, Landsat, Sentinel (mid-resolution) and high resolution imagery.
  • You have a solid knowledge of spatial and spatiotemporal statistics and time-series analysis.
  • You have initial knowledge or FOSS including Linux OS, R, Python and/or similar.
  • You enjoy modeling and visualizing spatiotemporal phenomena such as land cover changes, land degradation / soil erosion, climate change indices and similar, especially using Google Earth and various Open Source software solutions such as leaflet, R Shiny, Geoserver and/or Cesium.
  • You have affinity to work with large multidimensional arrays including time-series of Sentinel and Landsat imagery.
  • You have sufficient knowledge of geo-databases and can independently install and upgrade databases (Cloud Optimized GeoTIFF, PostGIS, CouchDB or similar).
  • You are fluent in English.
  • As a general requirement for the PhD promotion, you are expected to successfully complete the PE&RC postgraduate study programme, and produce, and have accepted for publication (as first author): 2 articles in Q1 or Q2 journals and 2 articles in other peer-reviewed journals (note: only articles connected with the topic of the thesis would count for this criteria).



Questions regarding this position can be directed to: 

Applications, including (1) a CV, (2) a statement of your interest and vision, and (3) self-assessment based on the minimum requirements, should be uploaded via this link. Read more about the general submission procedure.

Our offer

We offer a potentially full time position for 3.5+ years, with possible extension, within a very stimulating international innovation and research environment. You will work in a dynamic working environment with enthusiastic colleagues.

  • The gross monthly salary starts at €2.290,- in the first year and will increase to €2.972,- in the fourth year of your employment (with possible bonuses);
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary;
  • Minimum of 29 holidays if in full-time employment;
  • Professional and personal development programs (up to 2 days per week for personal development);

We strongly encourage a high degree of responsibility and independence, while collaborating with close colleagues through virtual groups (Mattermost, WhatsApp). Flexi-hours and remote working is also possible.

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