Are you a highly motivated researcher and excited by an interdisciplinary project on developing autonomous drone technology for wildlife conservation? Are you interested in innovative and applied research to develop effective and feasible practices to monitor wildlife populations and manage human-wildlife conflicts? Then we invite you to apply for this exciting PhD position in our team!
Recent advances in technology have paved new avenues for more accurate and large-scale interventions to prevent wildlife population decline. The overarching aim of the EU-funded Doctoral Network “WildDrone” is to revolutionize wildlife conservation practices by integrating the fields of aerial robotics, computer vision and wildlife ecology, using autonomous drone technology as a unifying platform. WildDrone will develop new autonomous systems (innovation in drone technology), expand current software (innovation in machine learning and computer vision), and combine these advances to create practical tools for visual inspection and monitoring of wildlife populations, movement, behaviour, and habitats in complex field settings (innovation in ecology).
The PhD candidate will (1) analyse data from collared predators to identify movement signatures indicative of hunting, (2) use drones to study the long-term responses of free-ranging zebras after an encounter with predators or humans, and (3) analyse movement data to identify individual and collective behaviours that can differentiate between predator attacks and encounters with humans.
We are looking for a PhD candidate who is keen to perform state-of-the-art research on tracking and studying movement of predators and prey using drones. The candidate is expected to publish the research findings in leading international academic journals, but must also communicate well across disciplines, project partners and stakeholders (e.g. government, development). The candidate will also be involved in the supervision of MSc students who perform their thesis research within the framework of the project.
- MSc in ecology, environmental sciences, or a related field;
- quantitative skills for analysing spatial and temporal data;
- experience in data science and statistical modelling;
- team player;
- good organizational and communication skills;
- excellent command of English (C1 level).
Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
- paid parental leave;
- working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
- the option to accrue additional holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
- there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
- a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
- excellent pension scheme.
In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will receive a fully funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs and the research team. The gross salary for the first year is € 2.434,- per month rising to € 3.111,- in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale P). This is based on a full-time working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project if you perform well.
There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.
You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the “Best University” in the Netherlands for the 17th consecutive time.
Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees. Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, known as the 30% ruling. Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.
Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research’s International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling, and other issues.
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. For more information please go to our inclusivity page. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.
To learn more about this position, please contact Prof. Frank van Langevelde (firstname.lastname@example.org). For additional information about the process please contact our corporate recruiter Edgar Tijhuis (email@example.com).
DO YOU WANT TO APPLY?
You can apply up to and including 15 September 2022. Interviews with the top 5 candidates are planned for September 2022. The first round of interviews will be held via Teams. Envisioned starting date of the PhD position is October 2022.
Applications must be uploaded via our webpage and include (1) a cover letter summarizing your motivation to apply and explaining why you are the ideal candidate for this position, (2) your CV, including the names of two references at the end of the CV. Please do not upload any other documents.
The mission of Wageningen University and Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.
With its roughly 30 branches, 7.200 employees and 13.200 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen’s unique approach. WUR has been named the best university of the Netherlands by students for the 17th time in a row.
The Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Group is working to understand how changing environments affect the abundance, distributions, and ecological interactions of wild animals and plants. We study how humans influence wildlife by examining direct mechanisms as well as mechanisms that are part of larger-scale processes. We embrace field-based, experimental and theoretical studies, and we work at levels of biological organization ranging from individuals to ecosystems.
The group is embedded in the department of Environmental Sciences of Wageningen University & Research, which provides fundamental research and academic education on our living environment. The mission of Wageningen University and Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.
With its roughly 30 branches, 6.800 employees and 12.900 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen’s unique approach. WUR has been named Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020.