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Job: Early Career Researcher - Marie Curie

Active since 23-11-2017 Job category Science, research & development
Location Delft Level Entry level / Graduate
Educational level Master / Post-Graduate / ... Employment type -
Hours 40 - 0 Salary -

Are you a highly motivated graduate or nearly graduate and would you like to develop and deploy new methodologies for researching, monitoring and modelling the base of the mixotroph-centric marine food chain to aid in the updating of environmental management tools and policies? And would you like to work at different locations around Europe?


Early Career Researcher (ESR, 11 positions) within the MARIE SKŁODOWSKA-CURIE ACTIONS (Innovative Training Networks, ITN) project “MixITiN”
1 ESR position at Deltares in the subproject: Life in planktonic greenhouses; a systems dynamics approach

The Marine and Coastal Systems Unit aims at enabling innovative management and sustainable development of marine and coastal zones. Extensive and in-depth knowledge of coastal processes, numerical modelling tools and a sound system understanding constitute the state-of-the-art basis for multidisciplinary research and specialised consultancy, executed for a diversity of clients (government agencies, consultants, contractors, industry, universities, research funds). In R&D and non-standard consultancy projects we combine practical relevance with high standards for quality. The unit consists of five departments, is staffed by some 130 highly-qualified and committed professionals. The department of Environmental Hydrodynamics (EHY) consists of 20 persons and is the department in which you will start your career at Deltares.

MixITiN project
The conceptual basis upon which management tools for our ocean, seas and coasts have operated are out-of-date. Development of management tools and policies to predict fish production and global change in marine waters operates within a paradigm that builds on a simple division between “plant-like” phytoplankton and their main consumers, the microzooplankton at the base of the food chain. Recent research led by the applicants of the MixITiN programme has shown that this plant-animal paradigm represents at the least a gross simplification, if not a falsehood. The new revised paradigm recognises that most phytoplankton and as much as half the microzooplankton actually combine both plant-like photosynthesis and animal-like consumer activity within the same single-cell. This form of nutrition, “mixotrophy”, supports the growth of organisms important for food chains and biogeochemical cycles removing atmospheric CO2; mixotrophs are also causative agents in harmful algal bloom events. As a consequence of this revised paradigm, traditional laboratory and field research approaches, management policies and allied computer modelling tools, are arguably no longer fit for purpose.

The objective of MixITiN is to develop and deploy new methodologies for researching, monitoring and modelling the base of the mixotroph-centric marine food chain to aid in the updating of environmental management tools and policies. The objectives will be delivered by a team of 4 universities, 3 research institutions and 3 non-academic providers from 9 countries, training 11 early stage researchers (ESRs) in skill sets from molecular biology, ecophysiology and computer modelling, to environmental management, public and media engagement. The ESRs will thus be trained in multi-national and multi-disciplinary centres of excellence, with comprehensive engagement of academics as well as non-academics, to enable them to gain employment in a range of different sectors such as consultancy, government, academic, or allied industries. The synergy of training approaches provided to the ESRs will raise their capabilities and progress the field beyond the current state-of-the-art. General enquires concerning the MixITiN programme should be submitted to the Project Coordinator, Dr Aditee Mitra, via

What can you expect in the position of an Early Career Researcher?
When you work at Deltares as Early Career Researcher you will be involved in the following subproject ‘Life in planktonic greenhouses; a systems dynamics approach’. The objectives of this subproject are to develop, test and implement robust formulations for mixotrophs in a coupled physical/biogeochemical model based on newest knowledge, for coastal management purposes. Within this project you will work most of the time under supervision of Deltares on the coupled physical/biogeochemical modelling. You will undertake the research identified in the MixITiN project. Furthermore, you are expected to attend network training activities and to participate in scientific and public outreach dissemination activities. For some periods you will work under the supervision of Dr. Additee Mitra at Swansea University in Wales (6 months) and Dr. Nathalie Gypens at Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium (3 months) tostudy individual based modelling of mixotrophs and to explore changes of ecosystem parameters under different coastal management regimes and the impact on mixotrophic groups/species.

What do we expect from you as a Early Career Researcher?
You are an enthusiastic researcher with knowledge of, or interest in, biological processes and system dynamics. You have finished a relevant education, such as Biosciences, Oceanography, Mathematics or a related discipline. You have good communication and English language competences, and you enjoy interacting with colleagues, other European researchers and stakeholders. Furthermore you act proactively. You possess excellent numeric skills (data analysis &/or statistics &/or modelling) and you have the ability to work alone and also as part of a multidisciplinary team. You like to work across complementary subject areas within the science topic, and within public-facing media engagement. Affinity with computer coding, web page construction or similar skills is considered an advantage.

Since this job fits into the program MARIE SKŁODOWSKA-CURIE ACTIONS (Innovative Training Networks, ITN) project “MixITiN”, there are some specific requirement:
• You have less than 4 years research experience;
• You must not yet have a PhD or be enrolled on one;
• You have not resided, or undertaken employment (main activity) within the host country of the ESR (The Netherlands) for more than 12 months in the last 3 years immediately prior to starting date (1st March 2018);
• You are willing to travel, since you will be seconded to allied institutes and partners for periods of up to 2 months and you will receive training courses together with other ESRs at different locations.

Working at Deltares
Deltares is an independent institute for applied research in the field of water, subsurface and infrastructure. Worldwide we work on smart solutions, innovations and applications for people, environment and society in the Netherlands and internationally. To obtain this goal we develop our own knowledge, innovative products and services, we combine our knowledge with that of others and make it available for others. We advise governments and businesses on the physical condition of and possible control measures for deltas, coastal regions and river basins. At Deltares the quality of our expertise and advice is of foremost importance. Enabling Delta Life is our core business.

Our offer
We offer an informal, dynamic and challenging working environment. Your personal development and building your curriculum is important to us. Therefore we offer excellent training opportunities and future perspective. You will be part of a team of advisors and researchers who work in close cooperation with each other. The position will be based in Delft. We offer a three year contract. We offer special facilities on our campus, like daily lunch lectures, the Delta Flume (in which high waves can be generated) and our iD-lab (an interactive data research laboratory). Our terms of employment are competitive, with a good pension scheme and 34 holidays.


Are you interested in this job and do you fit the job qualifications? Then apply directly via the apply button and upload your CV and your motivation letter. For more information about this vacancy you can contact Willem Stolte (, +31883358598) or Sabine van den Boogerd (, +31883358518). The starting date will be 1 March 2018.

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More information
This listing is a full-time job

Job category Science, research & development
Industry / Industries Engineering
Region Netherlands
Keywords Early career researcher, phd, Marie Curie

Contact information

Name Sollicitatie Deltares