Postdoctoral position: integrated proximal and remote sensing of soil

Application Deadline: 20th of September 2020
Possible start date: 15th of November 2020
Duration: 2+ years,
Job location: Agro Business Park 10, Wageningen
Bruto monthly salary: The gross monthly salary starts at € 2.720,- (with possible bonuses)
Job type: Post-doctoral researcher
Fields: pedometrics, soil spectroscopy, remote sensing, predictive modeling, soil organic carbon, data science
Employer: OpenGeoHub foundation

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. For this we use High Performance Computing / optimisation and state-of-the-art Machine Learning.

OpenGeoHub foundation is looking for a Post-doctoral researcher in the field of proximal and remote soil sensing, with a proven experience of fitting soil-spectroscopy calibration models, harmonizing and managing laboratory soil measurements, estimating soil organic carbon stocks using combination of remote sensing and soil spectroscopy, and has experience in programming in R and/or Python. We especially welcome candidates with interest in developing and implementing novel modeling techniques that help bridge the gaps between field-based proximal sensing, and satellite-based remote sensing of soil (see some examples). The candidate would work for OpenGeoHub on current and future international projects including the “Soil Spectroscopy for global good” (global data sets; project lead by WHRC) and the H2020 project “AgriCapture — Developing EO-powered services to promote soil carbon sequestration through regenerative agriculture” (EU-wide data sets). The candidate would also actively contribute to the data portal and similar global datasets produced and maintained by OpenGeoHub. You would also work on developing potential business solutions for soil spectroscopy jointly with the EnvirometriX company.

The candidate would spend a significant amount of their time writing research proposals and publications, meeting with senior researchers (weekly), and would be encouraged to network with other researchers and groups including international organizations such as FAO, UNCCD, International Soil Carbon Network, JRC and similar.

Your profile

Minimum requirements:

  • You have a PhD degree in the field of soil science, remote sensing, environmental sciences and/or pedometrics (PhD thesis closely focusing on soil spectroscopy and/or predictive soil mapping would be considered an advantage),
  • You have excellent knowledge of programming languages R and/or Python, and some knowledge of programming with geospatial databases and web-services,
  • You have extensive experience with working with large multidimensional arrays including soil spectroscopy data,
  • You enjoy debugging code (github, gitlab) and optimizing models to achieve maximum prediction accuracy,
  • You have sufficient knowledge of remote sensing (physical and engineering backgrounds) with applications to soil property mapping and monitoring,
  • You have interest in organizing ML benchmarking and running competitions,
  • You are fluent in English,
  • You have high motivation to document your work and publish results in prestigious peer reviewed journals,
  • You are willing to help prepare research proposals and apply for research funding,



Questions regarding this position can be directed to Tom Hengl, email: 

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 with an initial contract for 2 years, within a very stimulating international innovation and research environment. You will work in a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues. There may be frequent international travels.

  • The gross monthly salary starts at €2.720,- (with possible bonuses);
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary;
  • Minimum of 29 holidays if in full-time employment;
  • Possible contract extension;

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

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