PhD-candidate on soil databases and digital soil mapping

Wageningen Agricultural University

We are looking for

Are you a motivated and talented MSc-graduate in soil or environmental science and do you have a strong affinity with geo-information science and statistics? Then you may fit well in our soil database and mapping team to carry out the following activities:

  • PhD-research on the development and use of a soil database that also stores soil data uncertainty. The use of the database must include the adaptation of digital soil mapping methodologies to a case in which the soil training data have known uncertainties.
  • Demonstration of the practical validity of the developed methods in real-world case studies.
  • Publication of developed methods and results in peer reviewed scientific journals and a PhD-thesis.
  • Participation in courses and conferences as part of a Training and Supervision Plan.
  • Collaboration with international partners involved in the PhD-research.
  • Demonstration of developed methods and tools to ISRIC staff and support their implementation in operational ISRIC products, such as WoSIS and SoilGrids.

We ask

  • has a MSc degree or equivalent in soil science, environmental science, computer science or statistics;
  • has proven affinity with the application of statistical methods in the earth and environmental sciences;
  • has experience with (open source) geo-information software, (spatial) database software and programming languages, such as the R language for statistical computing;
  • has strong analytical capabilities and a sense for scientific innovation;
  • has excellent communication skills and can work well in a team;
  • is a pleasant and intrinsically motivated colleague who takes initiatives;
  • has a good command of English and has proven scientific writing skills.

We offer

  • a full-time position as a PhD researcher for 18 months with an extension of 30 months after a positive evaluation; part-time assignment of 4 days per week for a total period of 5 instead of 4 years is negotiable;
  • a challenging and international working environment with a diverse, experienced and motivated team at a renowned institute in the field of soil information; while working at ISRIC you have ample possibilities to engage with WUR groups, in particular with the Soil Geography and Landscape group;
  • further development of your technical or personal skills, solid education towards an independent scientific researcher;
  • a gross salary that increases from € 2.325 per month in the first year up to € 2.972 per month in the fourth year (based on full-time employment). In addition, we offer a holiday bonus of 8% and an end-of-the-year bonus of 8.3% of your annual salary.

More information

How to apply:Interested? Do not email directly to the people mentioned above. Please use the website to apply and upload your CV and a motivation letter before 1 April, 2019.

We are

ISRIC — World Soil Information ( has a mission to serve the international community with information about the world’s soil resources to help address major global issues. We are the International Science Council  (ISC, formerly ICSU) accredited World Data Centre for Soils (WDC-Soils) since 1989 and host the World Soil Museum. In partnership, we operate in four priority areas: (i) standards setting for soil information; (ii) production and serving of spatial soil information products; (iii) education and capacity building; and (iv) development of derived products for specific user groups. We are a science-based organisation located at the Wageningen Campus and have a strategic cooperation agreement with Wageningen University and Research (WUR). The appointment of a special professorship on pedometrics and digital soil mapping formalises a close collaboration with the Soil Geography and Landscape group of Wageningen University.We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, colour, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, or disability status.Wageningen University & ResearchDelivering a substantial contribution to the quality of life. That's our focus – each and every day. Within our domain of good and safe food & food production, food security and a healthy living environment, we search for answers to issues affecting society – such as sustainable food production, climate change and alternative energy. Of course, we don’t do this alone. Every day, 5000 people work on ‘the quality of life’, turning ideas into reality, on a global scale.

More Information


Phd candidate


Wageningen , Netherlands





Phd candidate