The University of Antwerp is a dynamic, forward-thinking university. We offer an innovative academic education to more than 20 000 students, conduct pioneering scientific research and play an important service-providing role in society. We are one of the largest, most international and most innovative employers in the region.

With more than 6000 employees from 100 different countries, we are helping to build tomorrow’s world every day. Through top scientific research, we push back boundaries and set a course for the future – a future that you can help to shape. 

The Department of Biology in the Faculty of Science is looking for a full-time (100%) doctoral scholarship holder in the field of terrestrial ecosystem ecology.


  • You will work actively on the preparation and defence of a PhD thesis in the field of terrestrial ecosystem ecology. The project will investigate the annual biomass production (called net primary production or NPP) of the major ecosystem types (e.g. forests, grasslands, croplands) and their environmental, vegetation and anthropogenic drivers at the global scale. For example, the relationship between NPP and temperature, ecosystem management, plant functional type, atmospheric nitrogen deposition etc. will be investigated and ranked. First, global datasets will be collected. Second, meta- and synthesis analyses will be performed. Third, the findings will be implemented in the model ORCHIDEE. The research will be carried out with international partners (e.g. VUAmsterdam). The project fits in the general topic of ecosystem services and global carbon cycle.
  • You will publish scientific articles related to the research project.
  • You will carry out a very limited number of teaching and research support tasks within the research group PLECO (Plant and Ecosystem) of the Department of Biology..


  • You hold a Master degree in Biology, Bioengineering, Forest Engineering, Environmental Sciences, or Natural Sciences. Holders of a master degree in related fields (e.g. agronomy, biophysics) with proved knowledge of ecosystem ecology can also apply. Candidates obtaining their diploma by early September can also apply.
  • You can demonstrate excellent study results.
  • Your teaching competences are in line with the University of Antwerp’s educational vision.
  • Your research qualities are in line with the faculty and university research policies.
  • You act with attention to quality, integrity, creativity and cooperation.
  • You need to have relevant experience with data analysis, statistics and modelling using the R program or similar programming languages (e.g. SAS, Matlab).
  • You need to be fluent in written and oral English
  • Knowledge of terrestrial ecosystem ecology (e.g. the impact of the environment on plant functioning, carbon and nutrient cycle, ecosystem management, etc) is an important competence.

What we offer

  • We offer a doctoral scholarship for a period of two years. Following a positive evaluation, the scholarship can be renewed for another two years.
  • The planned start date is 1 November 2022 or as soon as possible after that date.
  • Your monthly scholarship amount is calculated according to the scholarship amounts for doctoral scholarship holders on the pay scales for Contract Research Staff (Dutch: Bijzonder Academisch Personeel, BAP).
  • You will receive ecocheques, Internet-connectivity allowance, and a bicycle allowance or a full reimbursement of public transport costs for commuting.
  • You will do most of your work at the Campus Drie Eiken in a dynamic and stimulating working environment.

Want to apply?

  • You can apply for this vacancy through the University of Antwerp’s online job application platform up to and including 8 August 2022 (by midnight Brussels time). Click on the ‘Apply’ button, complete the online application form and be sure to include the following four attachments: (i) a motivation letter, (ii) your academic CV and two files with results of a data analysis competence test: (iii) a report and (iv) a file with the code used. Important: applications without the four files (for example, without the report of the data analysis competence test) will not be considered. Knowledge about data analysis competence will also be checked during the interview.
  • The selection committee will review all of the applications as soon as possible after the application deadline. As soon as a decision has been made (in mid-late August), we will inform you about the next step in the selection procedure, which will comprise an interview.
  • If you have any questions about the online application form, please send an email to If you have any questions about the job itself, please contact Prof. Matteo Campioli

Apply now

The University of Antwerp received the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award for its HR policy. We are a sustainable, family-friendly organisation which invests in its employees’ growth. We encourage diversity and attach great importance to an inclusive working environment and equal opportunities, regardless of gender identity, disability, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age. We encourage people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse characteristics to apply.

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