PhD, relative sea-level rise related subsidence - Utrecht, The Netherlands

There is a PhD vacancy at the Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, The Netherlands, studying relative sea-level rise related subsidence.


This position is for one year with possibility of extension to four years.

Keywords: Spatial data science, GIA-modelling input and output, Geological benchmarking, North Sea Basin, Past, Present, Future.

People involved: K.M. Cohen, R.S.W. van de Wal, E. Stouthamer (UU), W. van der Wal (TU Delft), and P. Stocchi (NIOZ).


Within the framework of the joint NWA-ORC-programme Living on Soft Soils: Subsidence & Society project of Utrecht University, TUDelft, Wageningen University and Research, Deltares Research Institute, TNO, Wageningen Environmental Research and Utrecht University, Utrecht University is seeking a motivated PhD candidate to work on this collaborative research program.

It is an excellent chance to work in the Netherlands between institutes Utrecht University, TU Delft, NIOZ, Deltares, TNO Geological Survey of the Netherlands, Wageningen UR, and many others.

Program description

The threat of land subsidence, the knowledge hiatus on process-interplays causing it, and lacking mid- to long-term coping strategies, ask for an integrated research programme that addresses the issue of land subsidence in a holistic way, whereby insights about physical-chemical-biological system functioning, development, evaluation and implementation of measures as well as an assessment of their governance and legal implications co-evolve.

The overall aim of the program is to develop an integrative approach to achieve feasible, legitimate and sustainable solutions for managing the negative societal effects of land subsidence, connecting fundamental research on subsidence processes to socio-economic impact of subsidence and to governance and legal framework design.

The program consists of four scientific work packages:

- WP1: Measuring and monitoring of land subsidence
- WP2: Land subsidence mechanisms and associated greenhouse gas emissions
- WP3: Impact analysis of land subsidence
- WP4: Measures and governance approaches to cope with land subsidence


Applications close 10 April 2020.

For a full position description, requirements, and how to apply, go to:


It is one of 15 PhD and postdoc positions from the NWA Living on Soft Soils programme (a national science agenda consortium call from 2018), in which many institutes partnered on research on understanding actual and forecasting near-future land subsidence in the Netherlands (WP1 and WP2) for measure design and advising policy makers (WP3 and 4). See:

Further information

Seven of the positions are advertised currently. The vacancy on "relative sea-level rise related subsidence" is position WP1.3 (see Applications link).

WP1.1 on InSAR data is also open: