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30 Fully Funded PhD Programs at Utrecht University, Netherlands

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Are you holding Master’s degree and looking for fully funded PhD positions? Utrecht University, Netherlands invites online application for multiple funded PhD Programs / fully funded PhD positions in various research areas.

Candidates interested in fully funded PhD positions can check the details and may apply as soon as possible. Interested and eligible applicants may submit their online application for PhD programs via the University’s Online Application Portal. 

1. Fully Funded PhD Position in Anchoring Innovation 

Summary of PhD Program:

The research programme in classical studies ‘Anchoring Innovation in the Philosophical Schools of the Empire’ studies the way in which ‘the new’ is made acceptable and understandable to relevant social groups in a process of ‘anchoring’. The new is frequently anchored in ‘cultural common ground’. In this work package of the Anchoring Innovation research programme, we study how the notion of cultural common ground (as opposed to personal common ground) can help explain different aspects of the coming-into-being of the Roman empire. The overarching issue for this WP, then, is precisely the role of cultural common ground as an anchor for self-understanding and identity-formation.

Application Deadline: 24 April 2023

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2. Fully Funded PhD Position in Economics

Summary of PhD Program:

Within the period of six years, the progress of your research and your work as a teacher will be evaluated at predetermined moments. Details about research objectives, methods, and deadlines will be set in consultation with your supervisors. We are particularly interested in researchers eager to examine the micro-level determinants of the adoption of green technologies’ adoption and environmentally conscious consumption. Potential research questions include: what are the characteristics and motives of firms adopting green technologies, and what are the (expected) environmental and economic impacts of these technologies, vis-à-vis other types of technologies?

Application Deadline: 19 March 2023

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3. Fully Funded PhD Position in Marketing of Sustainable Development Technologies

Summary of PhD Program:

The focus of your research and dissertation will be on the innovations that individual citizens across the globe develop to address UNDP’s sustainable development goals (SDGs). For example, citizens have developed applications in sustainable energy (wind/solar energy), 3D printing (waste reduction/separation) and virtual reality (visualization/education tools). The research focus is on conditions in which these innovations disseminate to other people, looking at the role of marketing, crowdfunding, and insights from behavioral economics. You will actively collaborate with experts from marketing, innovation, finance, and behavioral economics.

Application Deadline: 1 April 2023

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4. Fully Funded PhD Position in Natural environment, pro-environmental behaviors and mental health of urban youths

Summary of PhD Program:

We are seeking a highly motivated and talented researcher to join our multidisciplinary team investigating the relationship between nature exposure, mental health, and PEB among urban youth in diverse cultural contexts. Urban youth are experiencing increased stress, depression, and anxiety as they navigate a changing world affected by climate change and deteriorating planetary health. Studies suggest that nature exposure may improve mental health and stimulate pro-environmental behaviors, but previous research has been limited in scope.

Application Deadline: 20 March 2023

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5. Fully Funded PhD Position in TRansforming towards OPen and Inclusive Climate Sciences

Summary of PhD Program:

At the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, we have a full-time four-year PhD position available to examine these questions. This position offers opportunities and expertise from both the Environmental Sciences and Environmental Governance sections within the Copernicus Institute. Through this research, the PhD researcher will embark on interdisciplinary research that aims to document the marginalization of climate scientists and knowledges from tropical countries in the Global South, while highlighting the importance of independent tropical data to support global assessments.

Application Deadline: 31 March 2023

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6. Fully Funded PhD Position in Unified spatial ecosystem models – the ecological angle

Summary of PhD Program:

The aim of RESILIENCE is to fundamentally advance our understanding and predictions of tipping points and critical transitions in ecosystems and reveal how these can be evaded and even reversed through spatial pattern formation. RESILIENCE will develop a new theory for emerging resilience through spatial pattern formation and link this with real tipping-prone biomes undergoing accelerating global change: savanna and tundra. The candidate will benefit from the expertise of the four Principal Investigators (PIs) in the RESILIENCE project: Max Rietkerk, an ecologist at Utrecht University, Arjen Doelman, a mathematician at Leiden University, Ehud Meron, a physicist at Ben-Gurion University, and Isla Meyers-Smith, an ecologist at the University of British Columbia.

Application Deadline: 31 March 2023

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7. Fully Funded PhD Position in Unified spatial ecosystem models – the mathematical angle

Summary of PhD Program:

There is an urgent need to understand the effects that global change can have on the Earth, its system components and ecosystems. One area of critical concern is the imminent abrupt and irreversible critical transitions of ecosystems through tipping points. Recent discoveries indicate that such tipping could be evaded and even reversed in ecosystems through spatial pattern formation, thereby creating pathways of resilience. For our ERC-Synergy project Pathways of resilience and evasion of tipping in ecosystems (RESILIENCE) we are offering a PhD position for a self-motivated candidate with a strong scientific background in the field of mathematics, ecology, environmental sciences or physics, preferably spanning two of the disciplines, and with excellent English language skills external link.

Application Deadline: 31 March 2023

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8. Fully Funded PhD Position in Turing before tipping

Summary of PhD Program:

In the PhD project Turing before tipping at Leiden University, you will study and develop fundamental mechanisms by which an ecosystem may evade tipping by the formation of patterns. Ecosystems are usually modeled by reaction-diffusion systems in which patterns are typically generated by a Turing bifurcation. However, the onset of Turing patterns by itself is insufficient to enable the ecosystem to avoid collapse, it is also crucial that a family of Turing patterns extends beyond the tipping point.

Application Deadline: 31 March 2023

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9. Fully Funded PhD Position in Enhancing Carbon Sequestration using refined compost in agricultural soils

Summary of PhD Program:

Dutch agriculture faces the major challenge of contributing to reducing the emission of greenhouse gases. This objective can be contributed to by sequestrating more CO2 in soils and crops while at the same time reducing the emission of other greenhouse gases. In the NWA call ‘Climate-friendly agricultural soils’ two projects focus on how microbes in the soil, separately or in collaboration with plants, can contribute to increased carbon storage and decreased emissions of greenhouse gases, especially nitrous oxide.

Application Deadline: 27 March 2023

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10. 02 Fully Funded PhD Position in Indo-Dutch Jazz, Improvisation and Decolonisation

Summary of PhD Program:

The project as a whole studies the emergence of free improvisation in Europe in the context of the historical process of decolonisation, with a particular focus on the Netherlands. European improvisers distinguished their so-called ‘non-idiomatic’ free improvisation from jazz and other improvisatory musical practices. At the same time, post-war decolonisation processes meant that more and more musicians from former European colonies were making their livelihoods in Europe, with sometimes very different perspectives on the relation between jazz, improvisation, and concepts of musical and political freedom.

Application Deadline: 31 March 2023

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11. Fully Funded PhD Position in ice sheet and glacial flow modelling

Summary of PhD Program:

The Department of Earth Science, Faculty of Geosciences at Utrecht University, invites applications from highly-motivated candidates for a PhD position on ”Improving ice sheet and glacial flow models for reducing uncertainty in sea-level rise projections”. This project is a research collaboration between the Department of Earth Sciences external link and the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research external link (IMAU) at Utrecht University.

Application Deadline: 24 March 2023

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12. Fully Funded PhD Position in Improving freshwater quality in the Netherlands

Summary of PhD Program:

The ecological and chemical quality of freshwater units is essential for ecosystems and human well-being. In the EU, freshwater quality is controlled via the Water Framework Directive (WFD). EU Member States must have achieved the WFD water quality targets by 2027, but many are struggling to meet them. This applies in particular to the Netherlands, one of the most densely populated Member States with a high degree of industrialization and an intensive agricultural sector that contribute negatively to water quality. Achieving the WFD goals in this complex setting is a multi-dimensional task that requires cross-sectoral cooperation, which is extremely difficult to achieve.

Application Deadline: 19 March 2023

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13. Two Fully Funded PhD Position in EU-TREAD network on Data and Processes in Seismic Hazard

Summary of PhD Program:

The Department of Earth Sciences is seeking to fill two PhD positions of in total 11 within the EU TREAD doctoral network: ‘Data and Processes in Seismic Hazard’. The two positions at Utrecht University offer a four-year PhD track with help of additional non-EU funding, in contrast to the other 3-year tracks in the network. A personalized training program will be set up, reflecting your training needs and career objectives. About 20% of your time will be dedicated to this training component, which includes training on the job in assisting in the BSc and MSc teaching programs of our department.

Application Deadline: 15 April 2023

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14. Fully Funded PhD Position in Improving Fluvial Morphodynamics to Meet Ecological Standards

Summary of PhD Program:

The Department of Physical Geography is searching for a PhD candidate who will study the hydromorphological processes that have led to the low aquatic biodiversity of the Common Meuse river (Maas in Dutch). The aim is to improve our understanding of these processes in order to find appropriate interventions for habitat restoration. This project is funded by Rivers2Morrow, a research programme of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and its executive organisation Rijkswaterstaat.

Application Deadline: 7 April 2023

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15. Fully Funded PhD Position in Quantifying the Role of Vegetation on Drought Duration, Propagation and Recovery for Multi-year Droughts

Summary of PhD Program:

The department of Physical Geography is searching for a PhD candidate within the ERC MultiDry project. The aim of the project is to understand how vegetation responds to multi-year droughts. It will make use of the latest developments in dynamic vegetation and hydrological modelling and will be executed in close collaboration with Wageningen University (WUR).

Application Deadline: 31 March 2023

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16. Fully Funded PhD Position in Atmospheric, Oceanic and Land Drivers of Multi-year Droughts Under Climate Change

Summary of PhD Program:

The department of Physical Geography is searching for a PhD candidate with the aim to improve our understanding of drivers of multi-year droughts within the ERC MultiDry project. The project will make use of the latest developments in climate and hydrological modelling and will be executed in close collaboration with the Dutch meteorological service (KNMI).

Application Deadline: 31 March 2023

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17. Fully Funded PhD Position in 3D Modelling of the Subsurface of the Netherlands Using Statistics and Machine Learning 

Summary of PhD Program:

Are you interested in statistics, AI, or machine learning and are you eager to apply these methods to solve problems in geology? We welcome you to apply for a position at the Department of Physical Geography external link at Utrecht University external link (DPG-UU) in the Netherlands, for a joint project with TNO Geological Survey of the Netherlands. To support planning of engineering and mining activities on and below the surface, the Geological Survey of the Netherlands (TNO) creates and maintains consistent, nation-wide digital 3D models of the subsurface.

Application Deadline: 31 March 2023

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18. Fully Funded PhD Position in microbial genome evolution

Summary of PhD Program:

This position aims to investigate bacterial and archaeal genome organisation, studying the evolutionary mechanisms and the biological impacts of current genome architectures. A first step will involve describing and understanding novel patterns of gene localisation, and exploring bacterial and archaeal lineages with a strong emphasis on recently discovered groups. You will employ molecular evolution and comparative genomic techniques such as gene annotation, phylogenetics/phylogenomics, and a range of sequence analyses to examine large-scale genome datasets. Depending on specific opportunities and your own interests, this position may involve several additional approaches.

Application Deadline: 23 March 2023

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19. Fully Funded PhD Position in co-governance for heat stress adaptation

Summary of PhD Program:

Utrecht University has opened a new full-time four-year position for a doctoral (PhD) researcher in the field of co-governance for heat stress adaptation strategies. The doctoral researcher will become part of a new 4 year research project, BEAT THE HEAT, led by Dr. Heleen Mees and Dr. Bishawjit Mallick. The combined effects of climate change and the urban heat island are causing heat stress, morbidity, and excess mortality in cities, particularly among vulnerable citizen groups in socially deprived neighbourhoods. Vulnerable citizens have a) higher exposure to heat (poor housing, limited green space); b) increased sensitivity to heat (older adults and children, people with disability or chronic illness); and/or c) limited coping capacities (poor physical/mental health, no supportive network).

Application Deadline: 31 March 2023

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20. Fully Funded PhD Position in Footprint of Colonialism

Summary of PhD Program:

The aim of this project is to quantify the relative attribution of different countries to biodiversity loss and GHG emissions arising from land change since the colonial period using footprint analysis. This will illustrate to what extent the burden of resource extraction has shifted over time and how colonial legacies impact environmental footprints in present day. We will use an approach that integrates the HYDE database external link of landcover change with reconstructions of resource flows based on historical data and footprint modelling techniques.

Application Deadline: 31 March 2023

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21. Fully Funded PhD Position in Conservation paleobiology of toothed whales of the North Atlantic

Summary of PhD Program:

We are looking for a candidate to fill a prospective PhD position in the project “Conservation paleobiology of toothed whales of the North Atlantic” carried out in collaboration between the Department of Earth Sciences (Faculty of Geosciences) and the Department Biomolecular Health Sciences (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine) at Utrecht University. This project will apply geochemical methods to unravel changes in the habitat and ecology of toothed whales in the North Sea during the last millennia, focusing on the anthropogenic impact.

Application Deadline: 31 March 2023

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22. Fully Funded PhD Position in Cell Wall Alteration and Sensing in Response to Abiotic Stress in Plants

Summary of PhD Program:

Plants perceive the environment and dynamically respond to their surroundings. One of the main features of plant cells is the cell wall, crucial to provide support and generate the turgor pressure vital for cell expansion. Plants also use the cell walls as antennas to alert the cell about its own status. How? Plants have evolved proteins that sense the integrity of the walls. When the cell wall is perceived to be damaged, intracellular responses are activated.

Application Deadline: 27 March 2023

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23. Fully Funded PhD Position in Educational Sciences/ Educational Psychology 

Summary of PhD Program:

The Department of Education at Utrecht University offers a PhD position in Educational Sciences/Educational Psychology on an NRO funded project that seeks to improve critical thinking skills of higher education students. This project is conducted in close collaboration with Avans University of Applied Sciences. The supervision team consists of prof.dr. Tamara van Gog and dr. Eva Janssen at Utrecht University, and dr. Peter Verkoeijen at Avans University of Applied Sciences.

Application Deadline: 19 March 2023

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24. Fully Funded PhD Position in Cloud-Aerosol interaction

Summary of PhD Program:

Reactive nitrogen is quickly becoming the dominant pollutant in many regions in the world, with important consequences for ecosystems, human health and climate. This leads to changes in atmospheric chemistry and physics that need to be understood. The CAINA project investigates how aerosols and clouds interact in this new chemical regime by combining field experiments, chamber studies and modeling. The project is located mainly in the Netherlands, where nitrogen pollution evolved to be a serious problem. We make extensive use of the Ruisdael atmospheric observatory external link with its advanced in-situ and remote sensing infrastructure.

Application Deadline: 2 April 2023

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25. Fully Funded PhD Position in NWA project 

Summary of PhD Program:

Today’s children and youth (C&Y) are immersed in digital media in the full media landscape that surrounds them across contexts. The Covid pandemic revealed inequal opportunities for C&Y to use digital media. There are differences in digital media access, motivation/skills to use digital media, and support of key persons (e.g., parents/teachers/peers) herein. Understanding mechanisms in C&Y’s digital media use related to their development helps them and key persons to act in evidence-informed ways to reduce inequality.

Application Deadline: 31 March 2023

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26. Fully Funded PhD Position in Pathogenesis of stem cells tumorigenicity

Summary of PhD Program:

Human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells can be maintained in culture indefinitely (self-renewal) and differentiate into virtually all cell types of the human body (pluripotency). Challenges in stem cell therapies include the detection and removal of incompletely differentiated cells, addressing the genomic and epigenetic alterations in the generated cells and overcoming the tumorigenicity of these cells that could arise on transplantation. Moreover, long-term culture of PSCs can lead to (epi)genetic drift, potentially activating processes that resemble malignant transformation as an adaptive mechanism to the culture conditions.

Application Deadline: 31 March 2023

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27. Fully Funded PhD Position in Geographies of Inclusive Cities

Summary of PhD Program:

We are looking for an ambitious and highly motivated PhD candidate with a background in Human Geography or a related discipline. In your PhD project you will compare non-Anglo-American northern and/or southern cities through theoretical reflection and methodological innovation. You will empirically investigate how these cities learn from one another about the meaningful inclusion of sexual and gender non-normative citizens, through what kinds of partnerships, and with what local outcomes.

Application Deadline: 15 April 2023

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28. Fully Funded PhD Position in cryo-Electron Microscopy and Tomography of microtubules in mammalian sperm cells

Summary of PhD Program:

Microtubules play a key role in controlling cell shape, organelle distribution and cell motility. Microtubules are intrinsically dynamic polymers, however some cellular components are based on stable microtubules. Depolymerisation of stable microtubules can be prevented by specific factors, but the mechanisms of their action are unknown. We are now seeking a motivated PhD candidate to study microtubules stabilisation in vitro and in mammalian cells with a special interest in sperm cells. In this position you will become part of a consortium supported by an NWO-OCENW-XL grant to study microtubule structure and dynamics in situ using a combination of innovative cryo-Electron Tomography (cryo-ET) and advanced cryo-fluorescence microscopy.

Application Deadline: 14 April 2023

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